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Butternut Squash Kale Salad with fork piercing the salad

Butternut Squash & Kale Salad with Maple-Balsamic Dressing

A seasonal salad featuring roasted butternut squash & hearty kale. Tossed with a flavorful rosemary-infused maple-balsamic dressing!
AuthorKaitlin - The Garden Grazer
Prep Time:15 mins
Cook Time:35 mins
Total Time:50 mins
CourseSalad, Side Dish
CuisineGluten-Free, Oil-Free, Vegan
Servings6 small side servings


  • 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 baking, add to kale and gently toss. Sprinkle cranberries and pepitas on top. (Or try it with some Maple-Vanilla Candied Nuts.)


Other additions: Apple, toasted pecans, thinly sliced red onion, green onion, etc.
Butternut squash: I usually buy about a 3.5 lb butternut squash for this recipe, which yields about 6 cups cubed squash. I roast it all, then use the leftover squash for snacks or other recipes. (You could also look for pre-cubed squash in the produce section to cut down on prep time.)

Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)

Calories: 92 kcal | Carbohydrates: 19 g | Protein: 2 g | Fat: 2 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Potassium: 260 mg | Fiber: 2 g | Sugar: 11 g | Vitamin A: 5923 IU | Vitamin C: 22 mg | Calcium: 48 mg | Iron: 1 mg