Okay, so maybe the first thought that comes to mind when you think of Thanksgiving dinner isn’t leafy green lettuce. It’s hard to compete with a juicy turkey or all of those mouth-watering side dishes. That said, we think the holiday green is highly underestimated, and we’ve got 16 Thanksgiving recipes to prove it. Crisp greens lend color and contrast to a Thanksgiving table and make you feel great by sneaking in some nutrients. They’re the perfect answer for rounding out the meal. Scroll down to check out the most tempting versions of veggies you’ve ever seen.
1. Butternut Squash, Arugula, Roasted Garlic and Goat Cheese Tartines: Get a healthy dose of your veggies before the meal even starts. These tasty tartines make a great appetizer, but they’re also a yummy lunch the following day if you have some leftover squash. (via Blogging Over Thyme)
2. Kale and Collard Greens Gratin: Sturdy collard greens provide a base for a creamy sauce, breadcrumbs and crispy prosciutto. If this dish gets mixed up with the mashed potatoes on your plate, you won’t be sorry! (via The Vintage Mixer)
3. Walnut Steamed Beets and Greens With Miso Balsamic Dressing: Most people forget about the leafy greens that top the beets you picked up at the farmers’ market, but they’re a delicious way to get your vitamins. Crunchy walnuts add texture to the tender veggies. The gorgeous hue of the beets will blend right in with jewel-toned sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce. (via Produce on Parade)
4. Roasted Sweet Potato, Wild Rice and Arugula Salad: Wild rice is chewy and nutty, and packs a punch with good-for-you fiber. Prep this salad ahead of time and mix in the arugula and dressing at the last minute. (via Pinch of Yum)
5. Flatbread With Sage and Arugula Pesto, Figs and Prosciutto: Add a little bit of olive oil and your greens can transform into a silky sauce. We love it on this flatbread as a hearty snack while you’re prepping the rest of the meal. If you can’t find figs this time of year, try red grapes or roasted pears. (via La Crema)
7. Kale and Wild Rice Casserole: The title of this recipe may not scream flavor bomb, but we can promise you you’ll be more than pleasantly surprised. With an ingredient list like caramelized onions and gruyere, there’s no way this recipe will disappoint. (via Half Baked Harvest)
9. Wilted Escarole With Feta and Walnuts: This dish is so simple, you won’t have to think twice about adding it to your to-do list. Feta has a fresh flavor that’ll be a welcome contrast to the meal. (via Food52)
10. Garlicky Kale Salad With Crispy Chickpeas: Roasted garlic cloves and tandoori chickpeas are the stars of this dish, but it all comes together with the help of a bed of kale. The dish packs an unexpected hint of spice that goes perfectly with turkey and potatoes. (via Minimalist Baker)
11. The Ultimate Fall Salad: This is basically confetti in a salad bowl — it’s hard to believe it’s as delicious as it is pretty. It’s also easily customizable, so you can toss in whatever else you see at your local market. (via Making Thyme for Health)
12. Butternut Squash and Kale Tart: The great thing about this tart (aside from its deliciousness, of course) is that it can be made completely ahead of time. Your Thanksgiving sides are covered! (via Passports and Pancakes)
13. Grilled Kale and Radicchio With Almonds and Balsamic-Orange Glaze: Make your veggies the bright spot on your Thanksgiving table. The citrus and balsamic vinegar nicely lift roasted greens. (via Martha Stewart)
14. Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale and Cranberry Couscous: This could basically be a meal in itself. It’s got hearty grains and loads of veggies, but it’s also huge on flavor. It’s festive enough for your Thanksgiving table, but you’ll want to put it on repeat for weeknight dinners all winter long. (via Gimme Some Oven)
15. Garlicky Swiss Chard and Chickpeas: This dish comes together super fast and with a handful of pantry staples, leaving you more time for fun stuff like mixing up Thanksgiving cocktails. It’s also a great way to cook up a delicious side dish without losing precious oven space. (via FoodieCrush)
16. Deep Dish Spinach and Prosciutto Quiche With Toasted Sesame Crust: Be careful with this dish: It will easily steal the spotlight from that turkey you stressed over. This quiche is filled with all of our favorite things — tons of spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, three (THREE!) kinds of cheese, fresh herbs and savory prosciutto. The filling also uses two cups of Greek yogurt, so you can even spin it as healthy… not that you’ll need another reason to love it. (via Half Baked Harvest)
Do you have a favorite way to prepare greens for Thanksgiving? Share your ideas with us in the comments below.