Butternut Squash Salad With Kale, Apples & Cranberries

roasted_butternut_Squash_Salad

Butternut Squash Salad

The ultimate fall harvest salad, this roasted butternut squash salad is the perfect holiday side dish or seasonal salad.  This salad is loaded with perfectly caramelized butternut squash, toasted pepitas, crunchy apples, sweet cranberries, and pomegranate arils and it’s all tied together with a delicious apple cider maple dijon dressing. 

Fall is my favorite season for cooking using fall harvest ingredients like squash, apples, pumpkin seeds or pepitas, and pomegranates.  I’ve made this salad for years always bringing it to any fall dinner party and serving it as a side for Thanksgiving.     

It’s always a requested recipe as it’s bursting with fall harvest ingredients and fall flavors. 

The salad is family-friendly as well because it has a great combination of sweet and savory flavors.  My kids love it since the only way they eat squash is roasted. 

To make the salad vegan or vegetarian, you can leave out the goat cheese or put it on the side for people to add on their own.  I’ve been known to swap the pepitas for toasted pecans and other times swap the goat cheese for feta, but it is always a highly requested dish, especially for any vegetarian guests you might have for dinner this fall. 

Take advantage of sales on seasonal ingredients like squash, apples, pomegranates, and cranberries at Safeway to make this delicious butternut squash salad this fall!

Salad Ingredients

  • butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and oven-roasted
  • olive oil, for roasting the squash
  • salt and pepper for the squash
  • baby kale or spinach, kale blend
  • Honeycrisp apple, thinly sliced
  • dried cranberries
  • goat cheese, crumbled
  • pepitas, toasted
  • pomegranate arils

Dressing

  • olive oil
  • apple cider vinegar
  • pure maple syrup
  • dijon mustard
  • salt
  • pepper
  • onion powder
  • garlic clove

For the freshest dried cranberries and pepitas, head to the produce section of your local store.  The bulk table of dried fruit, seeds, and nuts has tremendous value – so be sure to check it out! 

Pepitas are the inside of pumpkin seeds.  If you want to substitute pecans for the pepitas, you can – just toast them slightly just as you would the pepitas to get a nice crunch.  You could also use the glazed pecans from the baking aisle. 

butternut_Sqush_salad_with_Kale

How to Make a Butternut Squash Salad

Making a butternut squash salad is incredibly easy, but requires a little preparation because you’ll need to roast the squash, which takes time. 

First, you’ll need to cut and roast the butternut squash lightly tossed in olive oil and salt and pepper in a 375° oven for about 40 minutes.  This step can be done in advance. and the squash can be brought to room temperature or you can reheat it gently in the oven to re-plump the squash if refrigerated. 

Then you’ll make the dressing in a mason jar or measuring cup.  Combine the olive oil, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, onion powder and drop a smashed clove of garlic in the jar.  Whisk together with a fork until the dressing is emulsified. Let it sit while the squash is roasting so that the flavors have a chance to marry.

Toast the pepitas on a baking sheet in the oven with the squash for about 10 minutes until they are toasted and crispy. 

In a large bowl, toss together the baby kale with half of the dressing so that each leaf is perfectly coated with the flavorful dressing.

Top with the sliced apples, dried cranberries, pepitas, roasted squash, crumbled goat cheese, and the pomegranate arils.

This type of salad is best served in a low salad bowl that is not too deep.  Otherwise, if your bowl is really deep, the toppings will fall to the bottom of the bowl.

 

roasted_butternut_Squash_Salad

Butternut Squash Salad

The ultimate fall harvest salad, this roasted butternut squash salad is the perfect holiday side dish or seasonal salad.  This salad is loaded with perfectly caramelized butternut squash, toasted pepitas, crunchy apples, sweet cranberries, and pomegranate arils and it's all tied together with a delicious apple cider maple dijon dressing. 
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Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: butternut squash salad, fall harvest salad, fall salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories:
Author: Eva Fry

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash cut into 1/2 inch pieces and oven-roasted (~4 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil for roasting the squash
  • salt and pepper for the squash to taste
  • 16 oz baby kale or spinach-kale blend
  • 1 Honeycrisp apple cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese crumbled
  • 1/4 cup pepitas toasted
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 garlic clove gently smashed

Instructions

  • ROAST SQUASH. First, you'll need to cut and roast the butternut squash lightly tossed in olive oil and salt and pepper in a 375° oven for about 40 minutes.  This step can be done in advance. and the squash can be brought to room temperature or you can reheat it gently in the oven to re-plump the squash if refrigerated.
  • MAKE DRESSING. Then you'll make the dressing in a mason jar or measuring cup.  Combine the olive oil, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, onion powder and drop a smashed clove of garlic in the jar.  Whisk together with a fork until the dressing is emulsified. Let it sit while the squash is roasting so that the flavors have a chance to marry.
  • TOAST SEEDS Toast the pepitas on a baking sheet in the oven with the squash for about 10 minutes until they are toasted and crispy.
  • TOSS SALAD in DRESSING In a large bowl, toss together the baby kale with half of the dressing so that each leaf is perfectly coated with the flavorful dressing.
  • Top with the sliced apples, dried cranberries, pepitas, roasted squash, crumbled goat cheese, and the pomegranate arils.
  • Drizzle remaining dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat.

Notes

This type of salad is best served in a low salad bowl that is not too deep.  Otherwise, if your bowl is really deep, the toppings will fall to the bottom of the bowl.

Other Seasonal Recipes

Clementine Brussels Sprouts Salad Recipe and Video

Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe With Apples, Sausage and Cranberries

Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Winter Salad With Granny Smith Apple Vinaigrette

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