Make This Insanely Healthy Kale and Butternut Squash Salad

Kale and butternut squash salad

Kale Butternut Squash Salad with Beans, Cranberries and Nuts

Serves 2 as a main meal


If you’ve cooked the squash slices ahead, this salad comes together very quickly. It also keeps well in the refrigerator for a day; just save the cranberries, nuts and orange zest to add right before serving. I like it better at room temperature than too cold.


For the Salad:

1½ pounds butternut squash, peeled, sliced in half, seeded, and cut crosswise into ¼” slices

2 large cloves garlic

1 tsp Moroccan spice blend (not harissa)

1 large shallot (both halves), peeled and sliced thinly

1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 large bunch fresh kale, stemmed and cut into ½” slices

4 oz cooked beans of your choice (I like Red Hidatsa, Borlotti, or Pinto)

¼ cup slivered or sliced almonds or pecans, lightly toasted (or a combination)

¼ cup organic dried cranberries infused with fruit juice or honey


For the Vinaigrette:

1 tsp Dijon

Juice and zest from ½ orange (about ¼ cup of juice)

2 Tbsp mild extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp sherry wine vinegar

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the squash slices with some olive oil, the garlic, and the spice blend. Toss the shallot with olive oil.  Drape the shallot slices across one end of the pan, spreading evenly in a single layer. Scatter the squash slices in a single layer on the remaining part of the pan, leaving plenty of room between them to allow for browning and not steaming. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Roast until tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Turn squash slices over and stir shallots. Roast for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Turn oven down to 300°.
  3. Make the vinaigrette while the vegetables are in the oven. Combine all ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Check the flavor by trying a bit with a kale leaf, then adjust seasonings to your taste.
  4. Line a small baking pan with parchment paper. Spread the nuts on the pan and toast in the oven for 5-10 minutes, checking carefully to prevent burning.
  5. Assemble the salad. Place the kale leaves in a large mixing bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over the leaves then grab handfuls and massage them roughly to break down the fibers. After a minute or two, the coarse leaves will be soft and silky, and will decrease in volume.
  6. Add the cooled squash, shallots, beans, and cranberries and toss. Arrange on a serving platter or individual bowls or plates. Sprinkle with nuts and orange zest and serve.




p.s. I made this salad for dinner last night and it’s so filling, I think you can get 3 lighter meals out of this recipe.


5 thoughts on “Make This Insanely Healthy Kale and Butternut Squash Salad

    1. admin Post author

      Collard wraps – great idea, Marcia, thank you for sharing this! As for spice blends, they are usually in the packaged section in the grocery store. I make my own spice blend because I always have the spices on hand. I’ve given links to a couple blends in the p.s. at the bottom of the post if you want to give it a try. My own mix is loosely based on a recipe from Eating Well magazine way back in 1995; I adjust the quantities based on my personal preference, which, of course, is the advantage to making your own. The main ingredients I use are ground cumin, coriander, ginger, chili powder, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, kosher salt, and black pepper.

  1. Marcia

    Love your mixture! I use a lot of those also. Thanks for posting your green smoothy, I appreciate it. Something odd though, your message to me ended up on Stephen’s email yesterday, but I didn’t get a copy in mine. File that under strange but true!


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