Fall Harvest Salad featuring roasted butternut squash & hearty kale. Tossed in the most flavorful rosemary-infused maple-balsamic dressing!
I love this Roasted Butternut Squash & Kale Salad when the weather starts to chill. If you crave salads year-round as well, this is the perfect seasonal dish to keep the fresh salads flowing. It’s a great (healthy!) option for autumn, Thanksgiving, and holidays. Plus it looks so festive.
While the squash is roasting to buttery perfection, you can prepare the dressing and salad ingredients. If you’re making it ahead of time, feel free to store the dressing & salad separately. Then toss together before serving. Otherwise, kale holds up pretty well so you can certainly toss it with the dressing and let it marinate in the fridge for a while beforehand – the flavors will beautifully intensify!
The rosemary-infused maple-balsamic dressing is really what makes this recipe shine. I use it on other salads for an instant burst of flavor. Hope you enjoy as much as we do!
PS – come join The Garden Grazer on Instagram and share a photo if you make or adapt this! I love seeing your beautiful recreations. (Also please leave a review & star rating below if you give it a try – your feedback is always very appreciated. Thank you!)
Butternut Squash & Kale Salad with Maple-Balsamic Dressing
- 1 large bunch kale (I use dinosaur/lacinato)
- 2 cups butternut squash (cubed)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup pepitas/pumpkin seeds
For the maple-balsamic dressing:
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced (or more to taste)
- 1/8 tsp. salt (more/less to taste)
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Prepare the butternut squash: slice off each end, cut vertically in half, and remove the seeds. Peel and cube squash into about 3/4" chunks. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and arrange squash cubes in a single layer. Salt/pepper to taste if desired (or other seasonings if you wish).
- Roast for 30-35 minutes (or to desired tenderness), stirring halfway through.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing: mince garlic and fresh rosemary (stems removed). Add all dressing ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine. Taste and alter flavors if desired. (Salt, more maple syrup for sweetness, more rosemary, etc.) Set aside.
- Tear or slice kale into bite-sized pieces (stems removed). Place in a large bowl. Gently massage to soften.
- Pour dressing over kale and massage again to incorporate. Set aside and let marinate for a few minutes.
- When squash is done, add to kale and gently toss. Sprinkle cranberries and pepitas on top. (Or try it with some Maple-Vanilla Candied Nuts!)