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Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Salad with Pecans and Orange Vinaigrette - a perfect holiday side dish or entree this fall and winter
Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Salad
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins
Course: Salad
Servings: 4 people
Author: Julia
  • 1/2 medium-sized butternut squash chopped into 1/2" pieces, about 1.5 cups
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 pieces thick-cut bacon
  • 2 heads lacinato kale 6 cups loosely packed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate arils
Orange Vinaigrette:
Maple-Toasted Pecans:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the chopped butternut squash on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Toss everything together to ensure the squash is well-coated. Roast for 20 minutes, stir, then roast another 5 to 10 minutes, until golden-brown and cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

  2. While the squash is roasting, in a small skillet cook the bacon over medium high heat until it reaches desired level of crisp (about 2 to 3 minutes per side). Place on a cutting board and all to cool, then chop into pieces.

  3. Add all of the ingredients for the orange vinaigrette to a small blender. Blend until completely combined (note: you can also whisk the ingredients together in a bowl if you don’t have a small blender).

  4. Place all ingredients for the maple-toasted pecans in a small skillet and heat over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until toasted and sticky, stirring often. Be sure to monitor the nuts closely, as they burn easily.

  5. Wash, dry, and chop the kale leaves and place them in a large serving bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice and use your hands to massage the juice into the kale leaves for 1 to 2 minutes, until you can feel the kale leaves are more tender (this process breaks up some of the fibers in the kale and makes it easier to chew). 

  6. Add the pomegranate arils, roasted butternut squash, chopped bacon, and maple-toasted pecans. Drizzle in desired amount of orange vinaigrette and toss everything together to combine. Serve alongside your favorite entrée.