A seasonal autumn salad featuring roasted butternut squash and hearty kale. Then tossed in the most flavorful rosemary-infused maple-balsamic dressing!
This Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale Salad is lovely when the weather starts to chill.
It is a great seasonal dish and a healthy option for autumn, Thanksgiving, and holidays.
Plus the vibrant colors look so festive!
Ingredients for Salad
For the salad portion you will need:
- Kale: I use dinosaur/lacinato for this recipe.
- Butternut squash: You will need about 2 cups cubed squash, so you can either cut your own from a whole squash, or buy pre-cubed squash.
- Dried cranberries
- Pumpkin/pepita seeds
Ingredients for Dressing
For the maple-balsamic dressing you will need:
- Balsamic vinegar
- Pure maple syrup
- Dijon mustard
- Fresh rosemary
The rosemary-infused maple balsamic dressing is what makes this recipe shine. I also use it on other salads for a wonderful addition of flavor.
Serving & Storage
If you are making the salad ahead of time, feel free to store the dressing and salad separately. Then toss together before serving to keep it fresh and crisp.
Kale tends to hold up pretty well, however. So you can certainly toss it with the dressing and let it marinate in the fridge beforehand. The flavors will beautifully intensify this way.
For more inspiration, also browse all oil-free recipes.
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°F (204°C).
- 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.)
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
If you are enjoying this Butternut Squash Kale Salad, also check out:
- Vegan Mini Meatloaf
- 15-Minute Miso-Glazed Green Beans
- Roasted Vegetable Panini with Pesto
- Balsamic Green Bean Salad