This vibrant kale salad with roasted butternut squash is absolutely perfect for the holidays (or an average weeknight). You can make it ahead of time and everyone loves it! Vegan and gluten-free.
As you may or may not know, I love kale. It’s loaded with good-for-you stuff like iron, calcium, vitamins A, C and K, and a host of antioxidants. I’ll add kale to just about any dish, but I think salads are where kale really shines.
This particular kale salad is one I posted a few years ago. I made it for a Thanksgiving party at work and it got rave reviews so naturally I shared the recipe. Fast forward four years the recipe is still a winner, but the photos were in desperate need of an upgrade. Hopefully the new photos inspire a few more people to try the salad this holiday season, because it’s a good one.
Maria and I decided this holiday kale salad is kind of like a fall Greek salad. You’ve got the kalamata olives, peppers and a simple vinegar based dressing so all the Greek salad flavors are there, while the roasted butternut squash and cranberries bring in festive, fall flavors. The combo is delicious. I didn’t include feta in the recipe, but if you do diary a sprinkle of feta is a great addition and makes the salad even more similar to a Greek salad.
Every holiday table needs a salad (IMO) and this salad is absolutely perfect. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
- 1 large bunch of Lacinato kale, washed and de-stemmed
- 2 cups of spring mix
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup of kalamata olives, pitted and cut into slivers
- ½ cup raw walnuts
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 small butternut squash
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Prepare the squash by peeling it, cutting it in half and scraping out the seeds.
- Cut the squash into 1 inch cubes, toss them 1 Tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, and spread the cubes onto a baking sheet.
- Roast the squash at 400° for 30-40 minutes, turning once or twice, until all the pieces are tender and some have brown spots.
- While roasting the squash, toast the walnuts on a separate baking sheet for about 6-8 minutes in the 400° oven.
- Remove both items from oven when finished and let the squash and walnuts cool.
- Chop walnuts.
- Stack the kale leaves and roll them into tight bundles, then slice very thinly with a sharp knife to create shredded pieces.
- Pour ½ cup of water over the cranberries and leave them to soften until you are ready to toss the salad. (Drain before adding to the salad).
- In you salad bowl, whisk together dressing by combining olive oil, balsamic, sea salt and pepper. Add all the remaining salad ingredients and toss everything together. Let the salad marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to an hour before serving. The longer the kale marinates the softer the leaves will become.
Want more kale ideas? Check out these recipes: