This Kale Salad is loaded with all the flavors of fall: shaved brussels sprouts, roasted butternut squash, maple roasted walnuts, dried cranberries, and crumbled crunchy bacon, all topped with a bright raspberry vinaigrette. A must-have during the colder winter months.
How was your Thanksgiving? Ours was a blast, with lots of good food and family, way too much pie, and tons of laughter.
And now that we’re full-on into the stretch before Christmas, I’m looking for some ways to manage the influx of holiday cookies, cocktails, and rich dishes that I know are headed our way.
Enter this kale salad, which tastes like fall, and has tons of good for your greens and veggies. But it's also just enough indulgence that will make you feel like you’re still eating something really decadent and special.
It’s perfect for this time of year and has all my favorite flavors. Fresh greens, soft roasted butternut squash, tangy cheese, and crumbled bacon. And, for an extra special topping, I added some maple-spiced roasted walnuts, which totally made the taste and the texture of this salad pop for me.
How To Make It
This is a slightly more time-consuming salad to make since you have to roast the walnuts and also the butternut squash. But, you can do a big batch of the nuts ahead of time (they make great gifts on their own for the holidays). And if you buy a package of pre-chopped butternut squash, all you really need to do is pop it in the oven for about 20 minutes and you’re good to go.
After that, assembling the salad is easy!
- Shred your kale and your brussels sprouts (I used a mandolin for the Brussel sprouts to make them nice and thin).
- Make your vinaigrette by sautéing the shallot in oil for a couple of minutes. This not only physically softens the shallot but softens the bitterness of the taste as well. Add in some apple cider vinegar, thyme, a scoop of raspberry preserves, and a dash of salt and pepper to taste. Whisk these well to combine.
- Add your dressing. Pour about ¼ cup of the vinaigrette over the kale and Brussel sprouts mixture and toss to coat. You can add more dressing if you’d like, but be careful not to drench your leaves. I used only about half of the vinaigrette and it was plenty. You can store the rest for another use later.
(Just a note: I LOVE this dressing! It’s totally worth it to double the batch and use it for other salads!)
- Let it rest. I like to let the salad sit for at least 10-15 minutes with the kale to really let the dressing soak in. This makes the kale a bit less bitter and not quite as tough in texture.
- Add your toppings. Top the salad with the butternut squash (it’s ok if the squash hasn’t cooled completely – I actually love eating this salad when it’s a bit warm!). Then add the dried cranberries, spiced walnuts, bacon, and shaved parmesan cheese. Serve the salad immediately.
Can I Make This Kale Salad Ahead In Advance?
If you’d like to make this kale salad ahead of time, you totally can. It actually is one that gets better with a little time. Letting the kale marinate in the dressing gives the flavors of the dressing a chance to really penetrate the kale leaves. But, if you’re planning to do this, I would store your toppings separately from the salad, then add them just before serving. Storing the nuts, bacon, and cheese with the salad may make them a bit soft and you’ll lose the crunch that’s so great with this salad.
This Kale Salad is such a great dish for this time of year – I hope you try it! (And tag me on IG if you do!!)
Looking For More Salad Recipes? Check These Out!
- Burrata Salad With Cherries And Hot Honey
- Chopped Zucchini Salad With Parmesan And Herbs
- Tomato Salad With Grains, Mint, And Feta
- Chickpea And Veggie Salad With Dill Dressing
- Spinach, Strawberry, Goat Cheese And Candied Walnut Salad
Kale Salad With Shaved Brussel Sprouts, Roasted Butternut Squash, And Maple Spiced Walnuts
For The Salad
- maple spiced walnuts
- 2 cups shredded brussle sprouts
- 1 large bunch of shredded kale (about 5-6 cups)
- 1 cup butternut squash, cubed
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 3 strips bacon, crumbled
- ¼ cup shaved parmesan cheese
For The Vinaigrette
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/ cup shallot, chopped
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 ½ tsp raspberry perserves
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Place your cubed butternut squash onto a baking sheet and mix well with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to coat. Sprinkle with a dash of salt before baking at 450 for about 20 minutes. Once cooked, allow to cool slightly before adding to the salad.
- While your squash is baking, separate kale from stems and roughly shred into pieces.
- Next, prepare your vinaigrette. Sautee the shallot in the olive oil in a small pot over medium heat on the stove for 2-3 minutes, until the shallot is tender and translucent. Remove from heat and add the apple cider vinegar, freshly chopped thyme, raspberry preserves, and a dash of salt and pepper. Whisk well to combine.
- Combine the shredded kale and shredded brussel sprouts in a large bowl and pour a small amount of dressing (about ¼ cup) onto the mixture. Stir well to coat the kale leaves and the brussel sprouts.
- Top the salad with the crumbled bacon, squash, spiced nuts and shaved parmesan cheese.
- Serve immediately.