Roasted Delicata Squash and Kale Salad

November 28, 2023

This Roasted Delicata Squash and Kale Salad is a taste of fall made with massaged kale, tender squash, dried cranberries, crispy chickpeas, pepitas, Parmesan cheese, and maple vinaigrette.

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Flat lay photo of Roasted Delicata Squash and Kale Salad in wooden serving bowl. Bowl of dried cranberries, shallot, dressing, gold fork, and gray kitchen towel also in photo.

Delicata squash season is once again upon us.  And like some years, this year it seems to be a little harder to find.  So when I do find it, I end up buying two at a time.  Thankfully, the squash lasts a while in the fridge so I don’t have to scramble to use it right away.

However, when it is time to use the squash, my go-to recipe is slicing and roasting it on a sheet pan with grated parmesan cheese and other herbs and seasonings.  But when I’m basically buying squash in bulk, I tend to whip up something a bit more creative.

Close up flat lay view of Roasted Delicata Squash and Kale Salad in wooden serving bowl.

Along with keeping plenty of delicata in the fridge, this time of year I also find myself buying dark, leafy greens, like kale.  Whether it’s simply sautéed in a bit of olive oil and garlic or shredded and massaged with oil or dressing, kale is the perfect base for a fall salad.

I recently made a kale salad full of fall flavors and ingredients – something I could easily whip up and enjoy throughout the week.  So I roasted a delicata squash and added it to my kale salad along with dried cranberries, crispy chickpeas, pepitas, and shaved Parmesan cheese.

Roasted Delicata Squash and Kale Salad

Once this salad is put together, you can use a simple dressing like olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  But I decided to make a quick maple vinaigrette to really give this salad a fall feel.

Roasted delicata squash cut into half moons and seasoned on a parchment lined baking sheet.

The first step in putting this salad together is roasting the delicata squash.  Prepare the squash by cutting it in half longwise and scooping out the seeds.  The skin is edible so there’s no need to peel it.

Cut the squash into half moons and toss it with olive oil, dried oregano, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.  Bake it for 25-30 minutes, or until it’s tender, and set aside.

Kale leaves massed with olive oil and salt in a metal mixing bowl.

Now, we’re going to add the kale to a large bowl.  Make sure all of those thick stems are removed from the leaves.  Then, drizzle it with olive oil and season with salt.  Use your hands to massage the oil into the kale leaves.  This helps break down the leaves.

Kale, pepitas, crispy chickpeas, dried cranberries, and roasted delicata squash in metal mixing bowl.

Once the kale leaves have softened, you can start building the salad.  Add the delicata squash, dried cranberries, crispy chickpeas (I love using these in place of croutons!), and pepitas.

Close up of parmesan, maple, garlic, shallot, white vinegar, and olive oil dressing in small bowl with spoon. Delicata squash and kale salad in background.

Then, we can start working on the dressing.  In a small bowl or small mason jar, add the Parmesan, garlic, shallots, maple syrup, olive oil, crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper.

Whisk until combined.  Then, drizzle it over the salad.  Keep the remainder of the dressing in the fridge.

Roasted Delicata Squash and Kale Salad in wooden salad bowl. Shallot, homemade dressing, and small wooden bowl sit in background.

Finish the salad with a sprinkle of shaved Parmesan cheese on top and serve.

Roasted Delicata Squash and Kale Salad

Roasted Delicata Squash and Kale Salad

Ingredients

    For the salad:
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil + more for drizzling
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 delicata squash, washed with seeds removed and cut into half moons
  • 6 cups kale, shredded or chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup lightly salted crispy chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese
  • For the dressing:
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsps. shallot, minced
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tbsps. white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place the cut delicata squash into a mixing bowl and toss with olive oil, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
  3. Spread the delicata squash evenly onto the baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until tender. Remove from oven and set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add the kale and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt.
  5. Use your hands to massage the olive and salt into kale until kale has softened.
  6. Add kale to a salad bowl. Then, add delicata squash, dried cranberries, crispy chickpeas, and pepitas.
  7. Make the dressing:
  8. Add dressing ingredients to a small bowl or jar. Whisk until combined.
  9. Drizzle dressing over salad. Store any extra dressing in fridge.
  10. Top salad with shaved Parmesan cheese and serve.
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Close up of forkful of Roasted Delicata Squash and Kale Salad lifted over salad bowl.

This entire salad comes together beautifully and the maple dressing really gives it that extra something special.  It’s full of gorgeous color, crunch, and flavor.  It’s super easy to put together and is a salad worthy of gracing the holiday table.

Did you make this Roasted Delicata Squash and Kale Salad recipe? Share it on social media using the hashtag #livinglavidaeats. Don’t forget to tag me @lavidaholoka!

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