Recipe: Kale Butternut Squash Salad with Almonds and Goat Cheese

Salad Recipes, Side Dish Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Check out this delicious, flavorful, and (best of all) healthy kale butternut squash salad recipe. Fall is in full swing and this kale salad is the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table or any autumn meal! It’s an easy way to work in a bunch of super-healthy, super-yummy ingredients into your day. Trust us, you’ll love it!

Try even more delicious salads by exploring my favorite healthy salad recipes that work for any meal!


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    Kale Butternut Squash Salad Breakdown

    Overhead view of kale butternut squash salad on gray table with silverware
    • Roasted Butternut Squash: roasting the squash couldn’t be easier. Peel and chop your squash (or buy pre-chopped to save time!), drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper (cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice would be yummy too!)
    • Citrus Vinaigrette: simply mix and shake!
    • Tuscan Kale: buy pre-chopped or chop yourself!
    • Toppings: Almonds, Goat Cheese, Dried Cranberries, Chickpeas, Cooked Quinoa: this is where things get really good… throw all of these delicious ingredients on top, then toss with squash and dressing. Yum!

    Things We Love About This Salad

    Close up of kale sald with goat cheese, craisins and chickpeas
    • Crunchy
    • Healthy
    • Packed with flavor
    • High protein (hi, quinoa & chickpeas)
    • Unique fall ingredients (squash, dried cranberries)

    Make Ahead Instructions

    Whether you are planning to make this as a Thanksgiving salad or just want to prep some elements for the week, here are a few steps to prep ahead of time:

    Roasted butternut squash on a parchment lined sheet pan
    • Roast the butternut squash 2-3 days ahead. You can fully cook the squash and store in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Reheat them before adding to the salad or just serve at room temperature. You can also peel and cube the squash, and store refrigerated in a bag uncooked if you prefer to cook the squash same day.
    • This dressing can easily be made ahead. Simply combine your ingredients in a jar, shake and store in the refrigerator up to 1 week. When you’re ready it’s nice to drizzle the dressing on the kale butternut squash salad about 10-15-minutes ahead so the flavors can meld and the kale can soften just a bit.
    black plate with salad

    Looking For More Salad Recipes?

    Here are 12 Fall Salad Recipes I know You’ll Love! Because salads aren’t just for summer. These fall salad recipes are bursting with all the flavors of fall! According to Ayurveda medicine, it’s important to eat nutrient-dense meals that are warming and grounding to support your body’s transition into the cooler weather.

    Thanksgiving Kale Salad

    This salad makes a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving menu. It feels festive and seasonal thanks to the dried cranberries and butternut squash but it’s a bit lighter than most of the other items on the Thanksgiving table. We love that you can prep a few components ahead of time to free up oven space the day of and just leave the assembly for the end.

    Love fall salads? Don’t miss our favorite fall salads collection that feature figs, apples, beets, pumpkin and more!

    45 degree shot of thanksgiving kale salad with olive oil in dressing bottle

    Don’t forget to pin this Thanksgiving kale salad to your holiday menu planning board!

    Total Time: 40 minutes

    Yield: 5 serving(s)


    • Roasted Butternut Squash
    • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
    • Olive oil, for drizzling
    • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
    • For the Dressing
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
    • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
    • 1 teaspoon honey
    • Freshly ground salt and pepper
    • To Assemble
    • 1 large bunch of Tuscan kale
    • 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
    • 1/3 cup goat cheese crumbles (or feta)
    • Dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds
    • Optional
    • Cooked quinoa, chickpeas


    1. Preheat oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. Toss cubed butternut squash with olive oil, salt and pepper.
    3. Bake for 30-35 minutes until soft and slightly caramelized on the edges.
    4. While the squash is cooking, add all dressing ingredients into a mason jar or other container with lid. Shake vigorously to mix and store in fridge until ready to serve.
    5. Before serving, toss the dressing and the kale together, massaging with (clean) hands. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
    6. When ready to serve, add the roasted squash, almonds, goat cheese and dried cranberries.

    From the kitchen of:

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