Definitely dig into those mashed potatoes and gravy, but why not balance out that plate with a healthy and colorful fall salad recipe?

By Jennie Miremadi, MS, CNS, LDN
November 14, 2018
Photo: Valorie Darling

When Thanksgiving rolls around, sure you want to indulge in your favorite holiday menu items, but you don't have to throw all your healthy eating goals out the window. While you might not want to eat raw carrots and hummus, what if you make a killer, delicious, colorful salad? Now that's something you can sink your teeth into (and go back for seconds). This kale salad is not your average kale Caesar salad. It has pomegranate and chicken and pumpkin seeds for crunch. (Related: How the Heck Do You Even Eat a Pomegranate?)

Bonus points for it being a solid anti-inflammatory recipe and free of gluten, so sensitive stomachs will have zero issues with this salad. (That's not exactly something you can say about the Thanksgiving stuffing.) It's bursting with color and nutrients from protein-rich chicken to green leafy kale packed with vitamins A, C, and K. It's also got a healthy dose of fiber, magnesium, healthy fat, and protein from those pumpkin seeds. Pomegranate arils (that's what the seeds are called) round out the pack as a good source of fiber and antioxidants. So, if you're going to have a salad on Thanksgiving, make it this one, okay? (P.S. Need a dessert idea too? Try these vegan Thanksgiving desserts even dairy-eaters will want.)

Kale Pomegranate Chicken Caesar Salad with Pumpkin Seeds

Serves 2


  • 4 cups organic Tuscan kale, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
  • 8 oz organic rotisserie chicken, chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegan Caesar dressing (recipe below)
  • Parma! Vegan Parmesan Garlicky Green
  • Himalayan pink salt and ground, black pepper to taste

For vegan Caesar dressing:

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup tahini paste
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup purified water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon Annie's Organic Horseradish Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon coconut aminos
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon rind, zested
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Himalayan pink salt and ground, black pepper to taste


  1. To make vegan Caesar dressing: Add ingredients to Vitamix or other high-speed blender and blend until emulsified. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  2. In a large salad bowl toss kale, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate arils, and chicken with 1/4 cup of vegan caesar dressing.
  3. Sprinkle with vegan parmesan. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.


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