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Lentil Quinoa Fall Salad with butternut squash and kale in a bowl

Lentil Quinoa Fall Salad with Maple Dressing

A healthy fall salad with kale, butternut squash, and rosemary-infused maple-balsamic dressing. Great for seasonal eating and holidays!
AuthorKaitlin - The Garden Grazer
Prep Time:15 mins
Cook Time:40 mins
Total Time:55 mins
CourseMain Dish, Salad, Side Dish
CuisineGluten-Free, Oil-Free, Vegan
Servings6 (1 cup servings)


  • 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


  • Roast the squash: Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). 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.
  • Cook the quinoa: Add 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.
  • Prepare salad: 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.)


Yield: Recipe makes about 6 cups salad. (Estimated nutritional content is for 1 cup of 6.) You can also serve this as a small side dish for up to 8-10 people.
Faster prep: To cut down on prep time, I like to make the quinoa and cube the butternut squash ahead of time. (Or you can buy pre-cubed squash in the produce section.)

Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)

Calories: 271 kcal | Carbohydrates: 48 g | Protein: 11 g | Fat: 6 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g | Potassium: 769 mg | Fiber: 9 g | Sugar: 13 g | Vitamin A: 10466 IU | Vitamin C: 28 mg | Calcium: 95 mg | Iron: 4 mg