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This butternut squash salad recipe is my favorite fall salad! I’ve been making it on repeat through September and October — and once you try it, I think you will, too. Plus, it makes a healthy, delicious, and a colorful addition to any holiday table! Like my pear salad, it’s super easy to make and everyone will love the flavorful combination of kale, roasted squash, tangy goat cheese, and toppings tossed in a quick vinaigrette. Just like my kale crunch salad, this kale butternut squash salad is one of my favorite meal prep recipes that always impresses guests.
I’m always looking for ways to get extra nutrition in my recipes, so I use Eaton Hemp Hearts whenever I can! With complete plant protein and healthy fats, they make an amazing addition to everything from keto yogurt to hemp milk… and this mouthwatering kale salad with butternut squash!
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Why You’ll Love This Kale Butternut Squash Salad
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for butternut squash salad, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Butternut Squash – Look for a 3 pound (medium-sized) squash. Peel and dice into 1-inch cubes. Acorn squash or sweet potato would also taste excellent here!
- Olive Oil – Any neutral cooking oil will work for roasting the squash.
- Sea salt & Black Pepper
- Curly Kale – Curly kale is smaller and holds the ingredients better, but other kale varieties will work as well. Discard thick stems.
- Dried Cranberries – I make my own sugar-free dried cranberries, but store bought will work.
- Eaton Hemp Hearts – Add protein, healthy fats, and a subtle nutty flavor to this salad.
- Goat Cheese – I used a plain variety, but flavored ones work as well.
- Olive Oil
- Balsamic Vinegar – Adds a tangy flavor that balances the slight bitterness in the kale. The acidic vinegar also helps to break down the cellulose in the kale, making it less tough.
- Seasonings – Simply garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper.
How To Make Butternut Squash Salad
This section shows how to make roasted squash salad, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Toss. Place squash cubes in a bowl and toss with oil and seasonings.
- Roast. Transfer squash to a sheet pan and roast until fork tender and caramelized.
- Whisk dressing. Mix together oil, vinegar, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Combine. Place chopped kale, roasted butternut squash, goat cheese, cranberries, and hemp hearts in a large salad bowl.
- Toss. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. (You can also plate the salad first instead, and drizzle the dressing over each plate.)
- Swap the squash – Try acorn squash or sweet potato instead of butternut.
- Use different greens – Swap kale with arugula, spinach, or mixed greens.
- Trade the fruit – Instead of cranberries, use golden currants, raisins, dried blueberries, or fresh pomegranate seeds.
- Add even more crunch – In addition to the hemp hearts, toss in some walnuts or pecans.
- Make a sweeter dressing – Replace the 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar with 1 tablespoon each of apple cider vinegar and maple syrup.
- Try other cheeses – Not a fan of goat cheese? Use feta cheese, blue cheese, or shredded parmesan!
- Add protein – Top salad with bacon, shredded chicken, or flank steak for a filling, lower-calorie main dish.
- Store: Cover leftover roasted butternut squash salad and store in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Unlike other salads, this one stores very well. Or use leftover squash for butternut squash soup.
- Meal prep: Roast butternut squash in advance and chill cubes in the fridge. Chop kale. Store both until ready to assemble and serve.
- Reheat: You can enjoy leftovers cold, but I prefer for the squash to be warm. You can store it separately and reheat in the oven (or the microwave) before adding to the salad. I’ve also had my daughter pick the squash out of leftover salad so I could reheat it. 😉
- Freeze: Leftover butternut squash can be frozen up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and use in a soup, salad, or smoothie. Avoid freezing the assembled salad, as the texture will be unappetizing.
What To Serve With Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
Butternut squash salad pairs best with equally rich and savory main dishes, especially during the fall and winter months. Try with these pairings:
- Turkey – Whole roasted turkey, air fryer turkey breast, and bacon wrapped turkey meatloaf make great fall pairings with this salad.
- Chicken – Plate salad with balsamic chicken, baked chicken breasts, or roasted chicken and vegetables.
- Beef – New York strip steak or prime rib partner perfectly with butternut squash salad.
- Soups and stews – Make a soup and salad combo and plate this recipe with pork stew or a creamy corn chowder.
More Healthy Salad Recipes For Fall
If you like this recipe for butternut squash salad, you might also like some of these other hearty and healthy salad recipes:
Butternut Squash Salad
Butternut Squash Salad (Easy!)
This easy kale butternut squash salad is a flavorful fall combo of kale, roasted squash, tangy & crunchy toppings, and a quick vinaigrette.
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Roasted Butternut Squash:
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).
In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash cubes with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Arrange the squash on a large baking sheet in a single layer, with space between most of the pieces.
Roast the squash in the oven for 30-35 minutes, flipping the pieces halfway through, until soft and caramelized on the edges. (If you want it more browned, you can place under the broiler for a couple of minutes to brown.)
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
In a large bowl, combine the chopped kale, roasted butternut squash, goat cheese, cranberries, and hemp hearts.
Add the dressing to the salad and toss to coat.
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Serving size: 1 ½ cups
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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