Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale Salad

Raw kale isn’t for everyone. It’s a heartier, bitter green that most people prefer sautéed or tossed into stews.

I thought I didn’t like raw kale, but I was wrong. Turns out you just need to have it prepared in the right way. The trick is massaging the kale with lemon juice, which causes it to wilt as if you had lightly steamed it.

This salad is a beautiful mix of colours, flavours and textures. You’ve got the garlicky sweetness of the butternut squash combined with the lemony kale, along with tart cranberries. So fresh, so delightful.

Want to switch things up? Use sweet potato instead of butternut squash, or dried cherries to replace the cranberries. You could also use a different green, though kale is such a nutritional powerhouse I encourage you to try it just once!

What are your thoughts on kale? Do you like it raw, or can you only tolerate it cooked?

Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, egg-free, nut-free
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4 to 6
  • 1 medium butternut squash (~3lb), peeled, seeded and chopped into one-inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 bunch kale, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar, or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • sea salt
  1. In a medium bowl, combine butternut squash cubes with the oil, minced garlic and sprinkle with sea salt. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Roast at 350 degrees F until fork-tender, but not falling apart (around 30-40 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, mix the kale, lemon juice and a few pinches of salt with your hands, massaging it together. It should wilt into half its volume after three minutes or so.
  3. Make dressing by whisking olive oil, vinegar, ¼ tsp salt, maple syrup and mustard together. Pour over kale and toss to coat.
  4. When the butternut squash has finished roasting, remove from oven and let it cool for five to 10 minutes. Add to kale and gently toss together. Stir in the dried cranberries.
  5. Season to taste.


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6 Responses to Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale Salad

  1. reciperenovator February 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    Love the kale, but only fairly recently. I heard Aarti Sequeira say that you know when to stop massaging it when it starts to smell like banana. Wait, that sounds dirty. Oh well.

    • Sondi Bruner February 23, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

      I’ve never heard that before, and I’ve never noticed that it smells like banana! Too funny.

  2. Hannah November 4, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    I LOVE raw kale salad! Thanks for this fun twist on it! Even my veggie adverse husband loves it so we make it alot :)


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