Simple Vegetable Thanksgiving Side Dishes, with Prep Ahead Options

Indy Style

Picture this at your Thanksgiving Day table this year: Spiced Nuts, Roasted Squash and Kale Salad with Roasted Squash!

That’s what’s on the menu in our kitchen this morning with Tara Rochford, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Healthy Living Blogger, at Tara Rochford Nutrition.

Tara says: “I love the special food only available at the holiday season as much as the next person, but I’m also a true vegetable lover at heart. When it comes to the holidays, I rely on everyone else to bring the traditional favorites and I always bring this Kale Salad with Roasted Squash and Pine Nuts as a vegetable side dish the crowd will love! The perfect complement to any holiday meal.

Time is short during the holidays, so I’ve broken this salad up into three steps that you can do on three separate occasions so that when it’s time to serve making this salad will feel completely effortless!”

Spiced Nuts

1 egg white
¼ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cayenne
2 cups raw pecans and walnuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit. Place foil or a silicone baking mat on a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Then, mix in the maple syrup and spices.
  3. Add the nuts and coat with the egg white mixture. Spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Roasted Butternut Squash

2-3 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. I usually do this right after the walnuts are done.
  2. Place the cubed squash onto a lined baking sheet and toss with olive oil and salt.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the squash is tender.
  4. Allow to cool for the salad.

Kale Salad with Roasted Squash and Spiced Nuts

Prep Time:
Cook Time:

Yield: 4 meal servings or 8 side servings

For the Salad:
1 ½ tsp dijon mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons walnut oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste
10 oz (weight) chopped Tuscan Kale
2 cups roasted butternut squash
2 cups spiced walnuts and pecans


  1. Make the dressing by whisking together the mustard, lemon juice and maple syrup.
  2. While whisking, drizzle the walnut oil until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the kale in a large bowl and coat with the dressing, adjusting to taste by adding a little more salt, oil or lemon juice.
  4. Add the cooled and roasted squash and spiced nuts to the salad and toss.

You can find these recipes and more at
Tara Rochford Nutrition on Facebook and TaraRochford on Instagram

© 2019 Circle City Broadcasting I, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.


Indy Style Featured Guests:

Take a look inside Indy Style's new studio!