Upgrade your leftover holiday turkey with this Maple Swiss Chard Salad with apples and pecans. This 10-minute chard recipe is tossed in an irresistible maple dressing that will make you fall in love with this beautiful leafy green!
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It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and all through the house, leftovers are aplenty…you even spilled some on your blouse?
Ok, so I still need to workshop that one, but you’re probably getting the picture! I created this Swiss chard salad with Thanksgiving leftovers in mind. It has pecans (perhaps leftover from making pies or sweet potatoes), dried cranberries (that maybe you used for Thanksgiving salads or slaws), apples (from more pie), and of course — turkey!
I don’t know about you, but I always crave lighter foods during the weekend after Thanksgiving. It’s not that I don’t also indulge in leftover tater tot casserole, stuffing, and sweet potato casserole, but I like to mix it up and make a few salads too.
So a few weeks ago, I made some turkey breasts in the crockpot (since I didn’t have leftover turkey yet!), picked up a gorgeous bunch of rainbow chard, and got to work!
What is Rainbow Swiss Chard?
If you aren’t familiar with rainbow chard, it’s a type of Swiss chard with deep green leaves and bright, multicolored stems and veins. Because of its earthy flavor, it doesn’t get as much love in the leafy green world. But I personally love it!
Chard leaves taste earthy and slightly bitter, whereas their stems taste a bit sweeter. I didn’t use the stems in this recipe, but you can if you want! Rainbow chard is also one of the prettiest vegetables of all time, so that’s another one of the many reasons to give it a try.
Plus, it’s incredibly healthy and packed with vitamins K, A, and C, as well as magnesium and potassium.
Reasons to Love Swiss Chard Salad
This Maple Swiss Chard Salad really has a lot going for it, but my favorite thing about this creation is the dressing! With apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and dijon mustard, it’s the perfect combination of sweet and tangy.
And, therefore, it’s a great complement to earthy chard.
I also love this salad because of the fun colors! There’s no better way to get into the Christmas spirit after Thanksgiving than eating a red and green Swiss chard recipe.
Can Swiss Chard be eaten raw in a salad?
Yes, raw Swiss chard is edible and delicious. In fact, cooked chard is sometimes more bitter than raw chard. If you haven’t tried this vegetable yet, eating it raw is a good way to experience the true flavor.
You can also eat Swiss Chard stems. Since they can be tougher than the leaves, I recommend slicing them into thin pieces.
How to Prepare Swiss Chard Salad
If you are using leftover turkey for this recipe, then the rest of it comes together in minutes! But if you are making this without leftovers and still want to add turkey, I’d recommend throwing some turkey breasts in the crockpot on low for 4-6 hours.
Once they’re finished cooking, shred them, add what you want to the salad, and store leftovers in the fridge or freezer.
Other than that, you just need to chop up an apple and whisk together the dressing to pour over the chard, apples, dried cranberries, pecans, and turkey. You can even garnish Swiss chard salad with fresh herbs to add a festive flair!
More Swiss Chard Recipes
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Maple Swiss Chard Salad with Turkey
- Mixing bowl
For the salad:
- Prepare the chard by washing the leaves and removing them from the stems. Roughly chop the leaves. You can add the stems to the salad too, but I recommend chopping them into smaller pieces.
- In a large bowl, combine the chard, turkey, dried cranberries, pecans, and diced apples. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and dijon mustard. Taste and add salt if desired.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until well coated. Top with extra pecans or dried cranberries if desired. Enjoy!
- If you are making this at another time of year/do not have leftover Thanksgiving turkey, you can prep turkey by putting turkey breasts in the crockpot on low for 4-6 hours. When they're finished cooking, shred them with a fork, add what you want to the salad, and store the rest in the fridge or freezer.
- This salad will last for 3-5 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
This post was originally published in November 2018 and was updated with expert tips in November 2019.
Have a wonderful holiday weekend!