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Warm Butternut Squash Kale Quinoa Salad

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This Butternut Kale Quinoa Salad is delicious, healthy and wholesome. Roasted spiced butternut squash and warm cooked quinoa is tossed with kale, slightly wilting it, before tossing with toasted pepitas, dried cranberries, golden raisins and cider dijon dressing. Serves 6 to 8.
Serves roughly 6 to 8 (1 generous cup) servings.
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Keyword butternut squash, fall recipes, kale, quinoa, salad
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Additional Time 5 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 8 servings
Calories 454
Author Laurie McNamara



  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic grated (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil


  • 1 cup quinoa uncooked
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups butternut squash cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale stripped off stems, chopped, rinsed and patted or spun dry
  • 1/3 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) toasted
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins



  • In a glass jar combine the salt, pepper, garlic, vinegar, mustard, honey and olive oil. Secure the lid and shake well.


  • Add the pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) into a skillet and heat over medium to medium-low. Shake or stir the pan until the pepitas are golden brown in spots and smell nutty. You might hear them popping a bit, that’s normal.
  • Place 1 cup quinoa in a mesh sieve and rinse well under cool water. Follow package directions to prepare.
    This is how I make mine: Transfer rinsed quinoa to a saucepan and add 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt and 2 cups water. Heat on high heat and bring to a rapid boil. Once boiling, cover and turn off the heat, leaving the covered pot still on the burner. Set a timer for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile preheat your oven to 400°.
  • Toss the cubed butternut squash in the oil, sugar, smoked paprika, salt, coriander, cumin, black pepper, nutmeg and cayenne. Spread out evenly onto a rimmed sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. No need to turn or toss the squash, just rotate the pan halfway through.
  • In a large salad bowl add the chopped kale, cooked (warm) quinoa, warm roasted butternut squash, toasted pepitas, dried cranberries and raisins.
  • Drizzle with desired amount dressing or more to taste. Serve warm.
  • Season with a pinch or two of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.


1 small minced shallot can also be added or substitute for the garlic.


Serving: 1generous cup | Calories: 454kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Sodium: 479mg | Potassium: 724mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 7728IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 4mg