This Thanksgiving Leftovers Kale Salad is filled with all of your extras from Thanksgiving dinner! We’ve got turkey, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted brussels, corn, cornbread croutons, and a delicious cranberry balsamic vinaigrette! Such a delicious and hearty salad to enjoy after the holiday!
If you need to know what to do with all of the Thanksgiving food still staring at you in your fridge, I’ve got you covered! This salad is SO delicious and hearty, and it is different enough from Thanksgiving dinner, that it feels like something new and exciting. Hello cranberry balsamic vinaigrette and cornbread croutons!
And if you’re anything like me, after last week, having a salad is probably a good idea!
I’ve always been a huge fan of texture filled salads, especially kale salads, because they stand up to anything, and you can add all the toppings, which let’s be real, are the best part!
This recipe is merely a suggestion of add-ins, but you can truly use whatever you want!
This dressing is so delish and I want to make it all the time through this holiday season! I just added some cranberry sauce to my classic maple balsamic vinaigrette, along with a little garlic, salt, and pepper. It’s the perfect amount of sweet and tart, and it’s such a great use for leftover cranberry sauce!
I love using lacinato kale for this, which is the darker, smoother kale, but green curly kale would work here too! I’m just partial to the other stuff. It’s softer and tastes better in my opinion!
Also – I wouldn’t put it past you to put leftover stuffing or green bean casserole, or the more traditional sides into this salad. The kale really is so hearty, that adding those kind of sides would just make it more like a hash – and that would be totally delicious.
You really can’t mess this up!
And for the cornbread croutons, you could make them with leftover dinner rolls or any other bread from Thanksgiving dinner – even biscuits! Literally just thought of that as I’m typing this and omg – I can’t get biscuit croutons out of my head.
That needs to happen!
But this cornbread version is amazing, and I’ve added them to other salads too. They don’t get as crispy as regular croutons, but they kind of crumble into the salad and I tend to like that better.
A little bit of cornbread goodness in every bite.
And if you need more Thanksgiving leftover inspiration, I’ve got you covered!
Thanksgiving Leftovers Kale Salad
This Thanksgiving Leftovers Kale Salad is filled with all of your extras from Thanksgiving dinner! We've got turkey, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted brussels, corn, green beans, cornbread croutons, and a delicious cranberry balsamic vinaigrette! Such a delicious and hearty salad to enjoy after the holiday!
For the salad
- 1 bunch lacinato/Tuscan kale, de-stemmed and shredded
- leftover turkey, cut into bite-sized pieces
- leftover roasted sweet potatoes or sweet potato casserole
- leftover roasted brussels sprouts
- leftover green beans or green bean casserole
- whatever other leftovers you want to add!
For the cornbread croutons
- 3 cups cornbread (cut into cubes/bite sized pieces)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
For the cranberry balsamic vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons cranberry sauce (I used the whole berry canned stuff)
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Add kale to a mixing bowl. Drizzle with a couple tablespoons of dressing and massage the kale for a minute or so in your hands to help soften it. Add the turkey, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted brussels, green beans, corn, and whatever other leftovers you want to add! Toss in some of the cornbread croutons, saving a few for the top. Portion into bowls, top with more croutons, and drizzle with desired amount of dressing. Serve!
Preheat oven to 375℉. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Place the cornbread on the sheet and toss with olive oil, and a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and crunchy.
cranberry balsamic vinaigrette
In a food processor or blender, combine the balsamic vinegar, cranberry sauce, maple syrup, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth and emulsified. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
*The cornbread croutons won't get as crunchy as your typical bread croutons, you're looking for more of a toasted, golden exterior!