Kale and Cornbread Crouton Salad makes good use of some of Thanksgiving’s leftovers for a day-after, lighter dish to enjoy. If you have to toss leftovers, why not toss them into a salad!
Thanksgiving is my favorite meal of the year, but it can leave me wanting, “just a salad” the next day. You, too? There’s nothing better than using up some of those tasty leftovers to toss together a simple salad and dressing.
I should have called this recipe something like “Leftovers Salad,” because that’s pretty much what this is all about.
What to do with leftover and a little dried out cornbread from Thanksgiving? Make croutons with them!
And there has to be some leftover butternut squash in the fridge, right? Perfect. What about those few strips of bacon left behind from breakfast? Crumble them up and scatter them over the top.
Toss a few cherry tomatoes in the oven to blister, whip up some easy-to-make maple-lemon dressing, and sprinkle a bit of crumbled bacon and goat cheese over all of it.
I love using kale in salads, and like I said, who couldn’t use a great salad after Thanksgiving? I’ve whipped up a Kale Cobb Salad with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing before. This might be a good salad to use up your leftovers, too.
You could also try my Kale-Quinoa Salad with Orange Vinaigrette for a lightened up and hearty dish, post-holiday indulgence.
I hate throwing away food, and lately my husband has been using our stale Italian bread (it goes so fast) to make herbed croutons. He doctors them up a bit with a little sprinkle of cheese, and boy are they good!
I had the same idea for cornbread. The best part is that I really didn’t add much to them before popping them into the oven – just a little drizzle of olive oil and some black pepper. It worked like a charm and added big flavor to this Kale and Cornbread Crouton Salad. I also make a super-simple dressing using some olive oil, lemon juice, a bit of maple syrup, and salt and pepper.
If you love cornbread and turkey, you’ll enjoy my Mini Turkey Cornbread Pot Pies for a fun dish.
After the big day when you’re searching for something a bit less indulgent to eat, toss together this Kale and Cornbread Crouton Salad. You’ll love it!
Yields Serves 2-4
- 9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 6 ounces kale, striped from stem and torn into bite-sized pieces
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- 2-1/2 cups leftover cornbread, cubed (about 2-3 inches in size)
- 1-1/2 cups roasted butternut squash, cubed
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 3 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
- 3 ounces crumbled goat cheese as garnish
- Add the olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, and salt and pepper to a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside until ready to use (whisk before serving).
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Add the tomatoes to a pan and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil.
- Add the cubed cornbread to a baking pan and drizzle with the remaining vegetable oil and season with black pepper.
- Add the tomatoes and cubed cornbread to the oven. Remove the tomatoes once they begin to blister, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the cornbread after another 3-5 minutes, when it starts to turn golden.
- After washing the kale, pat it dry it with a few paper towels, then add it to a large bowl. Use your hand to massage and squeeze the leaves together for several minutes. Do this until the leaves turn a dark green and soften.
- Add the kale to a serving bowl and drizzle with half the dressing. Add the tomatoes, squash, and cornbread croutons.
- Drizzle with a bit more of the dressing and garnish with the crumbled bacon and goat cheese.