Cranberry-Pecan Thanksgiving Slaw Recipe - Tasting Table (2024)

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Cranberry-Pecan Thanksgiving Slaw Recipe

Recipes Dish Type Side Dish Recipes

Cranberry-Pecan Thanksgiving Slaw Recipe - Tasting Table (4)

Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

ByAlexander RobertsandTasting Table Staff/

We all know Thanksgiving planning can be exhausting, but luckily we've got some fresh ideas for the table this year! Instead of preparing a classic slaw that you could find in any grocery store year-round, we've put a Thanksgiving-style spin on the shredded cabbage dish. This recipe can even be prepped ahead, leaving more time for other hosting duties and being with loved ones. Sweet, savory, and a little crunchy, this bright fall-forward slaw is a fun take on an old favorite.

The basic coleslaw DNA still remains: cabbage, a creamy dressing, and shredded carrots. No cooking required, best served cold. For our seasonal version, we're going to whip up an apple cider vinaigrette, chop toasted pecans, sprinkle in dried cranberries, and add in grated apple. With various textures, colors, and flavors on display, this cranberry-pecan slaw just might earn a spot on the table for years to come.

Grab the ingredients for cranberry-pecan Thanksgiving slaw

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Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Most slaw recipes call for cabbage as a main ingredient, and ours is no different. Cabbage is relied upon for its hardiness and crunch, which helps it stand up being soaked in creamy dressing and made ahead of time. We'll use one head of green cabbage for this recipe, but if you want to make it even more colorful, try using a mix of half green and half red cabbage. If you want to save time, you can also opt for pre-shredded cabbage — you'll need 6 cups.

You'll also need a carrot, half of a red onion, some chopped pecans, and dried cranberries. The dressing requires the juice of an orange, maple syrup, mayonnaise, mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. Grating an apple into this slaw and topping it with ground cinnamon will make it perfect for fall.

Step 1: Juice the orange

Cranberry-Pecan Thanksgiving Slaw Recipe - Tasting Table (6)

Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Cut the orange in half and juice it into a large bowl.

Step 2: Make the dressing

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Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Add the maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, and salt to the bowl. Whisk until combined.

Step 3: Prepare the green cabbage

Cranberry-Pecan Thanksgiving Slaw Recipe - Tasting Table (8)

Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Remove the outer leaves of the green cabbage and cut it into quarters. Remove the core and discard.

Step 4: Thinly slice the cabbage

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Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Use a mandolin or a sharp knife to slice the cabbage into very thin pieces.

Step 5: Measure the cabbage

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Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Measure 6 cups of sliced cabbage and add to the dressing.

Step 6: Peel and grate the apple

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Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Peel the apple and grate it on the large holes of a box grater.

Step 7: Rinse the onion under cold water

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Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Rinse the sliced red onion in a fine mesh strainer under cold water.

Step 8: Mix all of the slaw ingredients together

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Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Add the apples, red onion, pecans, cranberries, and carrot to the bowl. Mix together with the cabbage and apples until evenly coated.

Step 9: Garnish with cinnamon and serve

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Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

Garnish the slaw with a dash of ground cinnamon and serve immediately, or chill up to 3 days.

How can you switch up this cranberry-pecan Thanksgiving slaw?

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Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

In case of dietary reasons or flavor preferences, you can swap out many of the ingredients in this Thanksgiving slaw. While it can be difficult to find a good cabbage substitute for slaw since it's the main ingredient, you can actually trade it out with a similar textured raw shredded veggie, such as Brussels sprouts. Napa cabbage makes for a good swap, as does shredded kale(though we recommend massaging it for a minute or two).If you need a vegan version of this dish, you'd want to substitute mayonnaise for a vegan version, which is easy to find. Other than that, nothing in the recipe utilizes animal products.

Carrot can be swapped out for another crunchy grated veggie like beets.If you don't have any apples on hand, you can simply omit them. Red onion can be swapped with yellow or white onion with no problems, or changed to sliced scallions for those who prefer a less oniony taste. The pecans can be swapped out with any other chopped nut, or if there's a nut allergy, substitute with sunflower seeds or pepitas.

What else should you serve with Thanksgiving slaw?

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Alexander Roberts/Tasting Table

There are tons of compatible side dishes and accompaniments for this cranberry-pecan slaw. Since it's fresh, cold, and crunchy, the salad section of the meal is covered. If you're serving this slaw at Thanksgiving, the obvious answer is serving it alongside a beautiful turkey, whether it's the whole bird or a roasted breast. This slaw would also go perfectly with fried chicken or anything off the grill, countering fried and charred flavors with a bright note of acid and freshness. When thinking of veggie sides to add to the menu, green bean casserole, steamed broccoli, collard greens or mashed potatoes would all be good options.

When it comes time to get rid of holiday leftovers, this slaw would be the perfect base for a leftovers sandwich with toasted bread, turkey, cranberry sauce, and mayo. The good news is slaw gets better as it sits!

Cranberry-Pecan Thanksgiving Slaw Recipe

4.9 from 69 ratings

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If coleslaw is a must-have on your Thanksgiving table, give the classic dish a fall upgrade with this cranberry-pecan slaw recipe.

Prep Time

15

minutes

Cook Time

minutes

Servings

6

Servings

Cranberry-Pecan Thanksgiving Slaw Recipe - Tasting Table (17)

Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 head green cabbage
  • 1 small green apple
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup grated carrot
  • Dash of ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Cut the orange in half and juice it into a large bowl.
  2. Add the maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, and salt to the bowl. Whisk until combined.
  3. Remove the outer leaves of the green cabbage and cut it into quarters. Remove the core and discard.
  4. Use a mandolin or a sharp knife to slice the cabbage into very thin pieces.
  5. Measure 5 cups of sliced cabbage and add to the dressing.
  6. Peel the apple and grate it on the large holes of a box grater.
  7. Rinse the sliced red onion in a fine mesh strainer under cold water.
  8. Add the apples, red onion, pecans, cranberries, and carrot to the bowl. Mix together with the cabbage and apples until evenly coated.
  9. Garnish the slaw with a dash of ground cinnamon and serve immediately, or chill up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Calories per Serving262
Total Fat14.4 g
Saturated Fat1.7 g
Trans Fat0.0 g
Cholesterol3.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates34.2 g
Dietary Fiber7.4 g
Total Sugars24.6 g
Sodium418.9 mg
Protein3.5 g

The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Cranberry-Pecan Thanksgiving Slaw Recipe - Tasting Table (2024)

FAQs

What is the cranberry sauce for on Thanksgiving? ›

Cranberry sauce is a crucial component of the Thanksgiving table, where its tart, bright acidity cuts through all of the heavy turkey and gravy and stuffing and mashed potatoes.

Is coleslaw good for Thanksgiving? ›

After the dressing is made, just toss in shredded cabbage (buy pre-shredded cabbage as a shortcut), crunchy almonds, tart cranberries, and some parsley for freshness. The cabbage will stay crisp for up to two hours, making it the ideal salad to serve for Thanksgiving dinner.

What are the two types of cranberry sauce? ›

Cranberry sauce can be served either as a gooey liquid or as a solid jelly. The jellied version is solid enough to retain the shape of the container in which it's placed whereas the sauce version is much more fluid. The difference between the fluid sauce and the jelly versions comes down to pectin.

What brand is the best cranberry sauce? ›

Best Whole Berry: Ocean Spray Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

For those who prefer a whole berry sauce, Ocean Spray was the clear winner. Not only did editors love it for the freshness, texture, and flavor, but several also noted that it was the most visually appealing of the bunch.

Why did KFC stop selling coleslaw? ›

The fast food chain was forced to stop selling its coleslaw tubs when a supply issue meant the slaw would have to be served up without the dressing.

Why did Chick Fil A stop selling coleslaw? ›

"But as our sales volumes grew, it just wasn't feasible to keep adding to the menu without taking anything away." Chick-fil-A cut cole slaw from the menu in January to make room for a new "superfood" side of kale and broccolini in a maple vinaigrette dressing.

What makes coleslaw go bad? ›

The more cut surface area a food item has, the more moist nooks and crannies there are for bacteria to thrive in. So when looking at a cookout staple like coleslaw, where the cabbage is shredded, there's plenty of opportunity for bacterial growth.

Why is cranberry sauce a Thanksgiving tradition? ›

Due to the importance of cranberries in the 1500s and their abundance, it is believed that the pilgrims and the American Indians would have eaten them at the first Thanksgiving. Contrary to popular belief, cranberries do not actually grow in water. Cranberries grow on a low-growing, perennial vine.

What does cranberry represent for Thanksgiving? ›

Beyond their culinary role, cranberries have become a symbol of gratitude and appreciation. The act of sharing a meal with loved ones, expressing thanks for the harvest, and recognizing the blessings of the year is at the heart of Thanksgiving.

Is cranberry sauce supposed to go on turkey? ›

Cranberries are absolutely perfect with turkey. Sort of like lemons and chicken. Something about the flavors, they're just made for each other. Which is why the sauce is so good to spread over turkey in your leftover turkey sandwiches.

Why was cranberry sauce likely not served at the first Thanksgiving? ›

The Pilgrims might have been familiar with cranberries by the first Thanksgiving, but they wouldn't have made sauces and relishes with the tart orbs. That's because the sacks of sugar that traveled across the Atlantic on the Mayflower were nearly or fully depleted by November 1621.

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