Festive fall salad with lentils, quinoa, kale, butternut squash and a delicious rosemary-infused maple-balsamic dressing. Our favorite autumn salad – great for seasonal eating and holidays! (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free.)
I’ve been wrangling with several variations of this fall salad for the past couple years, but am delighted to (finally!) post my favorite version. We absolutely love it, plus it’s wonderfully festive for holidays or simply seasonal eating.
Ingredients for Fall Salad
And let me tell you, it’s overflowing with delicious autumn goodness. Roasted butternut squash, hearty kale, and a flavorful maple-balsamic dressing with fresh rosemary. Plus I love the walnut crunch and additional sweetness from the dried cranberries.
The nutrient-packed lentil & quinoa combination is one that I also love in this Lentil Quinoa Salad. But feel free to give this a try with your own favorite whole grains (or use all quinoa if desired). Truly hope you also enjoy this one as much as we do – happy autumn!
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Lentil Quinoa Fall Salad with Maple Dressing
- 4-5 cups butternut squash, cubed (about a 3 lb. squash)
- 1/2 cup quinoa (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
- 15 oz. can lentils
- 1/2 bunch kale
- 3-4 green onions
- 1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (I use raw, unsalted)
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
For the maple-balsamic dressing:
- 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped (more/less to taste)
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Line a baking pan with parchment paper and arrange squash cubes in a single layer. (Salt/pepper if desired.) Place in oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or to desired tenderness, stirring halfway through.
- Meanwhile, cook the quinoa: place 1/2 cup quinoa (rinsed and drained) in a small saucepan with 3/4 cup water or vegetable broth. Bring to a light boil over med-high heat. Then reduce heat to med-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Make the dressing: in a small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Thinly chop kale, large stems removed. Place in a large mixing bowl and gently massage to tenderize.
- Slice green onions and roughly chop walnuts. Add to bowl with kale.
- Add lentils (rinsed and drained), cranberries, cooked quinoa, and roasted squash to bowl.
- Pour dressing over top and gently toss to thoroughly combine. Add more cranberries or walnuts if desired.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate for later. (Great served warm, room temperature, or chilled.)