Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Salad {A Meatless Monday Recipe

Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Salad {A Meatless Monday Recipe

I love a good winter salad and this butternut squash kale salad is my new favorite!

This healthy vegetarian salad is made with tender kale tossed with savory roasted butternut squash, crispy seasoned chickpeas with a hint of spice and tangy dried cherries, drizzled with a zesty orange dressing and topped with feta cheese. This salad has a perfect blend of flavors and is satisfying, comforting, and oh so delicious.

Last month David took me to a gala. The gala is a yearly shindig (hosted by the company he works for) where the company honors its best employees with a huge formal celebration.

the gala

After nearly 10 years, David decided it was time to attend. I couldn’t believe it was his idea to rent a tux!

Y’all David didn’t even wear a tux when Elvis walked me down the aisle! Luckily they took a formal picture of us all gussied up because it didn’t last long!

David and I dressed up for the gala

The gala was so much fun! We spent the whole evening partying and dancing. In many ways, the gala was kind of like the prom David and I never had. We had a blast!

dancing at the gala

I’m just glad that I tried this butternut squash kale salad before David and I went to the gala last month. I say this because the kale salad they served at the gala wasn’t as good as this salad. If I had not known how good a kale salad could be I may not have tried this recipe.

The key to a good kale salad is to massage the kale with oil to soften it up. The oil helps to tenderize the leaves making it velvety soft instead of dry toothy leaves, making it a lot better to eat. The kale salad served at the gala was very dry and awkward to eat.

This kale salad is anything but dry and awkward. Let me show you how to make it…

a bowl full of salad

How to Make Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Salad with Chickpeas and Dried Cherries

First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Set aside.

Next, peel, slice and cube the squash.

You can learn how to prepare butternut squash HERE!

Toss the squash with extra-virgin olive oil on the prepared sheet pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread the squash cubes out in a single layer, then place in the preheated oven and bake 15 minutes.

butternut squash on a sheet pan

Add the washed and chopped kale to a large bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil and add a pinch of salt. Using your fingers, massage the kale until it darkens and becomes velvety. Set aside.

massaging kale with oil inside a bowl

Add the dressing ingredients to a small jar with a lid and shake; set aside. Alternatively, add the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk.

Blot the drained and rinsed chickpeas with a paper towel, then toss with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and the seasoning mix; coat well. Season with salt, to taste. Spread them out on a small baking sheet. When the butternut squash have baked 15 minutes, add the sheet pan of chickpeas to the oven with the squash and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes or until the chickpeas are crisp. The baking time of the butternut squash may vary depending on the size of the squash cubes. You may have to remove it before the chickpeas are ready.

When the butternut squash and chickpeas are done, cool slightly before serving.

To serve, toss the kale with squash, chickpeas, dried cherries, and feta cheese. Give the dressing a final whisk or shake the dressing before drizzling over the salad.

Note: Leave out the feta and this salad is 100% vegan.

prepared butternut squash kale salad
a bowl of butternut squash kale salad

Enjoy this salad today, for Meatless Monday and don’t you dare forget to massage those kale leaves!

Butternut squash kale salad is a healthy vegetarian salad made of kale tossed with roasted butternut squash, crispy chickpeas, dried cherries, and feta.
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Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Salad with Chickpeas and Dried Cherries

Butternut squash kale salad is a healthy vegetarian salad made of kale tossed with roasted butternut squash, crispy chickpeas, dried cherries, and feta.
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American, Meatless Monday, Vegetarian
Keyword Butternut Squash, Dried Cherries, Feta Cheese, Kale, Roasted
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 474kcal
Author Debbie Spivey

Ingredients

  • 1 pound butternut squash
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 3 cups curly kale washed and chopped
  • 15 ounces chickpeas canned ,drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil + more to drizzle on the kale
  • 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries
  • ¼ cup feta cheese crumbled (optional)

Crispy Chickpea Seasoning:

  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • teaspoon ground cumin
  • teaspoon black pepper

Zesty Orange Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice freshly squeezed
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Set aside.
  • Peel, slice, and cube the squash. 
    Toss the squash with extra-virgin olive oil on the prepared sheet pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread the squash cubes out in a single layer, then place in the preheated oven and bake 15 minutes.
  • Add the washed and chopped kale to a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and add a pinch of salt. Using your fingers, massage the kale until it darkens and becomes velvety. Set aside. 
  • Add the dressing ingredients to a small jar with a lid and shake; set aside. Alternatively, add the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk.
  • Blot the drained and rinsed chickpeas with a paper towel, then toss with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and the seasoning mix; coat well. Season with salt, to taste. Spread them out on a small baking sheet. When the butternut squash has baked 15 minutes, add the sheet pan of chickpeas to the oven with the squash and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes or until the chickpeas are crisp. The baking time of the butternut squash may vary depending on the size of the squash cubes. You may have to remove it before the chickpeas are ready.
  • When the butternut squash and chickpeas are done, cool slightly.
  • To serve, toss the kale with squash, chickpeas, dried cherries, and feta cheese. Give the dressing a final whisk or shake the dressing before drizzling over the salad.

Notes

Leave out the feta and this salad is 100% vegan.
You can learn how to peel, cut and dice butternut squash HERE.

Nutrition

Calories: 474kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 141mg | Potassium: 972mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 367% | Vitamin C: 109.6% | Calcium: 25.5% | Iron: 28.6%
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