When the kale craze first started, I wasn’t a big fan. But salads like this kale butternut squash salad completely changed my opinion. If you’re looking for a fall salad to serve for lunch, dinner, or a holiday gathering, look no further than this recipe!
Kale Butternut Squash Salad
One of the reasons I originally didn’t love kale salads was because all of the ones I had tried had tough kale leaves that left much to be desired. The kale leaves were cut into large pieces, and while the stems were removed, that didn’t keep the kale from being difficult to chew.
After I had a Tuscan Kale Salad from a local restaurant, where the kale had been cut into thin shreds, my opinion of kale completely changed. Now it’s my favorite green to use in a salad.
This kale butternut squash salad approaches kale the same way, with the kale being chopped up finely. It’s dressed in a sweet maple vinaigrette that pairs beautifully with the butternut squash.
The squash is roasted on a baking sheet for approximately 20 minutes, until it’s fork-tender. It’s cooled to room temperature then tossed with the kale leaves and the rest of the salad ingredients.
I like adding in chopped granny smith apples, hazelnuts, and crumbled blue cheese to this salad. Other favorites include pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds, persimmon, and goat cheese. They’re all in-season and would pair equally well with the dressing.
Like most salads, this kale butternut squash salad just wouldn’t be the same without its fabulous dressing. The maple vinaigrette is made up of maple syrup, mayonnaise, dijon, champagne vinegar and olive oil.
The resulting dressing is sweet, yet light as a vinaigrette should be.
I love pairing this kale butternut squash salad with either roasted chicken or wild-caught salmon. I’ll usually just salt and pepper the salmon, add a smidgen of butter to it with a lemon slice, and then bake it.
This salad is also fantastic for Turkey Day. It’s not only beautiful and tasty, but it’s also a lighter side dish that family and friends can look forward to enjoying among traditional, heavier sides.
Kale Butternut Squash Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
A fall salad with roasted butternut squash and a delicious, sweet maple vinaigrette.
- 1 bunch kale stems removed and finely shredded
- 1 butternut squash peeled and cubed
- 1 large granny smith apple peeled and diced
- 4 oz blue cheese crumbled
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts chopped
- olive oil for roasting squash
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp champagne vinegar or more to taste
- pinch of salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Spread the butternut squash out onto the prepared sheet. Drizzle olive oil all over the squash. Lightly sprinkle salt all over the squash. Bake the squash for 20 to 25 minutes, until the squash is fork-tender. Transfer the baked squash to a plate and allow them to cool to room temperature.
Create the dressing by whisking all the dressing ingredients together. Taste test and add any more champagne vinegar or salt, if desired.
Combine the kale leaves, squash, apple, cheese, and hazelnuts together in a large bowl. Pour most of the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Add as much of the remaining dressing to the salad, as desired.