When I think of Thanksgiving salad, I immediately go to the Thanksgiving table of my youth. The only salad ever served had one or all of these ingredients: marshmallows, nuts, sour cream, jello and canned cranberries. It was prepared frozen on a bed of iceberg lettuce with a dollop of sour cream, which had canned pineapple and nuts in it.  Could it get any better?  Yes!

This gorgeous salad by Dani Kates combines the best of fall ingredients–butternut squash, cranberries and toasted almonds. Simple and delicious, this salad is a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving meal.

If you want to save time, you can purchase butternut squash already cubed at area grocery stores

Butternut squash is quickly roasted in butter before tossing together all the ingredients.

This combination of flavors is so good that you’ll want to eat it out of the bowl.

A quick garnish of cilantro adds the perfect accent to this wonderful Thanksgiving salad.


Israeli Couscous and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Danielle Kates, d Kates Catering
This simple side salad melds together a bounty of fall favorites. By combining cous-cous, butternut squash, cranberries and nuts, this savory salad is a wonderful accompaniment to turkey and dressing.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine Vegetarian
Servings 4 -6


  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 butternut squash
  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • 1/4 c. cilantro
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds
  • 3/4 cup cranberries dried
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  • Place Couscous in boiling pot of water. Bring back to a boil then reduce to simmer. Cover for 8 minutes, turn off heat.
  • Meanwhile peel butternut squash and cut into 1 inch cubes. Toss with butter and salt and pepper and roast on baking pan in oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
  • Toss couscous and butternut squash with almonds, cranberries, olive oil, cinnamon, lemon zest, lemon juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper.
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For more information on d Kates Catering, click here:

Thanks to Dani Kates, one of Nashville’s premiere caterers.