This Fall Harvest Salad is inspired by the seasonal veges that are popular in autumn - including kale, sweet potatoes and beets tossed in a tahini dressing!
This Fall Harvest Salad is a festive, nutritious and delicious salad that you can make for an easy weeknight meal or include as part of a larger holiday spread. It’s full of many colors, textures and tastes, so you’ll never find eating a salad boring again! And because I use seasonal items, it means the produce is at its peak flavors (and price 😉 )
What to Include in a Fall Harvest Salad
The best way to know what to include in a fall harvest salad is to browse your market or grocery store and see what fruits and vegetables they’re featuring in large quantities. Usually they will be cheaper given their abundance. For this salad, I included the following:
- Kale: De-stemmed and cut into bite sized pieces.
- Sweet Potatoes: Peeled, cut into large chunks and roasted in the oven.
- Brussel Sprouts: Thinly sliced or shaved. You can achieve this using a knife or a food processor. You can also buy the Brussel sprouts shaved in bags.
- Beets: You can buy them fresh or pre-cooked. If you buy them fresh, feel free to roast them with the sweet potatoes or boil them until fork tender.
- Pecans: Very popular during the fall.
- Feta Cheese: Because it’s my favorite cheese to go on salads all year long.
- Quinoa: Not pictured below but it adds protein and heart-healthy grains.
- Tahini Sauce: This is my authentic Lebanese sauce and I water it down slightly to use as a dressing.
You can check out my list of seasonal fall fruits and vegetables for most examples and inspiration for what you can include in your own fall harvest salad.
How to Make a Fall Harvest Salad
There’s not much to putting together this fall harvest salad. But I would recommend massaging the kale with half the dressing to make it more tender and easier to chew. I always do this with a kale salad recipe. Leave the other half of the dressing for serving.
Next place all the items on top of the massaged kale, except for the beets. The beets will likely stain the other ingredients with their strong red hue. So I like adding them at the end for best presentation.
Now give everything a good toss, and you can top the fall harvest salad off with those previously excluded beets and enjoy!
However, if I’m serving this for a gathering or as part of a holiday dinner, I like to use half the ingredients for tossing and save the other half for topping. The presentation is just so much better this way when you can see all the colorful seasonal produce on top.
Tips for Making This Salad
- Massage the kale separately with the dressing. This works with any type of dressing you’re using. But the oil from the dressing helps to soften the tough kale leaves to tenderize them and darken their green hue. It makes it much easier to eat the kale this way, and it’s ready in just a couple minutes.
- Make ahead all the ingredients and toss before serving. This fall harvest salad is a great make-ahead dish for the holidays, so feel free to prep everything separately and toss together when ready to serve.
- Add protein to make this a full meal. This salad lends itself very well to be served with roasted chicken or grilled chicken. If you wanted to keep it vegetarian, there’s plenty of protein from the quinoa, kale and feta cheese.
- Reserve the beets for topping the salad only. This is the case for any fruits you’re using (like apples, pears or pomegranate), but also cheese in many cases. Reserve them for topping, not tossing, and it will preserve their color and make for an overall better presentation.
Get cozy during the holidays with this healthy, fresh and comforting bowl of a fall harvest salad, loaded up with peak autumn produce and hearty grains. It’s a beautifully-made salad that can cross from casual weeknight meal to a fancy dinner gathering.
For more fall-inspired salads:
- Autumn Pear Salad
- Brussel Sprout Salad Recipe
- Asian Noodle Salad
- Brussels Sprout Salad
- Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Fall Harvest Salad recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
Fall Harvest Salad
- 1/2 cup quinoa uncooked
- 8 ounces kale de-stemmed and chopped, about 6 cups
- 1/2 pound Brussel sprouts thinly sliced, about 3 cups
- 2 sweet potatoes peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 4 beets cooked, chopped
- ¼ cup feta cheese
- 1/2 cup tahini paste
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup water
- Cook quinoa according to directions on package and cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway through. Set aside to cool.
- While quinoa and sweet potatoes are cooling, whisk together the tahini dressing.
- Add kale to a salad bowl. Pour dressing over kale and toss until kale is evenly coated.
- Toss in the cooled quinoa, sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts. Add beets and feta cheese on top and serve.