Delicata Squash & Arugula Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

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Thanksgiving is going to be weird this year. Like all holidays in 2020. Like everything in 2020.

sexy thanksgiving green salad

Our plan is to just be with immediate family (after all getting tested) which brings the usual menu down from feeding 40-50 to feeding 4. I’m not sure which dishes will get the axe as a result, but I know it won’t be the green salad.

What, you say? Who gives a hoot about salad greens when there are mashed potatoes and gravy and cubed bread to roll around in? WE DO!

delicata squash cut seedssliced delicata squash on a sheet pan

My mom always insists on a really simple green salad with a bright, vinegary dressing that offsets all the other rich things on the dinner table. I usually give myself a big helping during seconds as a palette cleanser before dessert. It is 9/10 the dish that gets consumed the least by the rest of our family. But that’s neither here nor there.

This year I decided to design my dream Thanksgiving salad, so that for the lone few who seek them out, a sexy Thanksgiving green salad would be right on deck.

apple cider vinaigrette in a saucepanwarm apple cider vinaigrette

It’s got roasted delicata squash, which is by far the easiest squash to mess with on Thanksgiving, and a warm cider vinaigrette that was inspired by an old Ina Garten favorite. Both of these elements can be made a few days in advance. Peppery arugula creates a lovely bed and then I throw on some chopped toasted pecans and dried cranberries for good festive measure.

The salad can easily be low FODMAP if you use just cider vinegar and swap the sweet apple cider for a little maple syrup.

What say you? Yay or nay to ye ole green salad? Let me know in the comments.

As for the rest of the spread, check out some of these dishes for inspiration.

With health and hedonism,


p.s. Don’t forget I’m hosting a low FODMAP sides cooking class on the 18th with 3 advanced recipes from my book! If you pre-order it’s free to join. More here.

sexy thanksgiving green salad


Delicata Squash & Arugula Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

If you’re not serving this green salad at Thanksgiving or on your holiday dinner table, you can easily turn it into a main course salad with some sliced chicken or pork tenderloin. To make this low FODMAP, swap the apple cider for 1 tablespoon maple syrup and whisk all ingredients together off the heat instead of reducing on the stove. Also keep portions of dried cranberries to 1 tablespoon a serving.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 side servings


  • 2 pounds delicata squash about 2 medium, seeds removed and cut into ¼ inch half-moons
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • ¾ cup apple cider
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 5 ounces baby arugula
  • ¼ cup toasted pecans roughly chopped
  • ¼ dried cranberries


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • On a parchment-lined baking sheet, toss the squash pieces with 2 tablespoons olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt. Arrange in an even layer and roast in the oven until lightly browned and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. The squash can be roasted up to 4 days in advance.
  • Meanwhile, combine the apple cider and cider vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat and continue cooking until reduced to about ¼ cup, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the Dijon mustard and ½ teaspoon salt. Measure out ½ cup of olive oil. Slowly, a few drops at a time, add the oil to the cider mixture, whisking constantly until it incorporates easily. Stream in the remaining olive oil while whisking until fully combined. The vinaigrette can be made up to 4 days in advance.
  • Assemble the salad: arrange the arugula on a large platter. Top with the delicata squash, toasted pecans and dried cranberries. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of dressing and serve the remaining cider vinaigrette on the side.