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Fall Kale Salad with Butternut Squash and Chicken

This hearty kale salad with roasted butternut squash and chicken, topped with goat’s cheese and dried cranberries, is perfect for autumn. Full of harvest flavours, warm spice, and decadent toppings, this fall kale salad is anything but boring.

The dressing is simple, just freshly squeezed lemon juice and grape seed oil drizzled over the top. It pairs beautifully with the salad ingredients, offering the perfect balance of warmth and tang.

Lettuce Celebrate the Harvest

This is the season to enjoy all the goodness the fall harvest brings. In your local produce store and at the farmer’s market you’ll find bountiful amounts of kale, turnips, beets, carrots, butternut squash, pumpkin, arugula, and much more. It’s time to delight in the vegetables of the autumn season!

What vegetables are available in fall?

Here is a list of vegetables to enjoy during the fall months in Ontario. There are many ways to add them to your weekly menu. Whether it’s a fall salad, a roasted vegetable medley, or an autumn soup. I encourage you to get creative with your veggies!

  • green and yellow beans
  • beets
  • bok choy
  • broccoli
  • brussel sprouts
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • corn
  • eggplant
  • garlic
  • leeks
  • mushrooms
  • onions
  • parsnips
  • pumpkin
  • radishes
  • squash
  • sweet potatoes
  • zucchini

The Beauty of Roasted Butternut Squash

Leave it to me to write an ode to butternut squash. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again. I love roasted butternut squash. Well, I love all kinds of roasted squash. There is just something about the flavour that is quintessential fall. Especially when subtly seasoned with warm spices such as smoked paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg. It’s delicious on its own, as the star of a soup, or tossed in an autumn salad.

The combination of roasted butternut squash, seasoned chicken, creamy goat’s cheese, and tangy dried cranberries in this salad is mouthwatering! Seriously.

Spice a Dish With Love and It Please Every Palate

Yes, love did go into this salad! Because I made it for my sweet little family, who I adore. So did a subtle amount of autumn spices. I used just a pinch of nutmeg and ginger in the mix for the butternut squash and chicken. Then a pinch more directly on top of each chicken thigh (not written into the recipe, that’s up to you!). I think I could have added even more so don’t be shy with your flavours. If you feel like adding a touch of turmeric or smoked paprika, or something else, I say go for it.

If you’re looking for a new scrumptious salad recipe to try, you found it. Add it to your weekly salad rotation and to your Thanksgiving menu too. It’s a crowdpleaser!

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kale salad

Fall Kale Salad with Butternut Squash and Chicken

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  • Author: Emily Smith
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


A hearty kale salad with roasted butternut squash and chicken, topped with goat’s cheese and dried cranberries. 


  • 5 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 yellow onion
  • 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 6 Tbsp grape seed oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 46 cups baby kale
  • 4 Tbsp freshly squeeze lemon juice
  • 2 oz. dried cranberries
  • 4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled


  1. In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash, garlic, onion and chicken thighs with 2 Tbsp of grape seed oil (save the rest for dressing), salt, pepper, nutmeg, and ginger.
  2. Transfer onto two baking sheets, spread evenly, and bake at 425 F for 40-45 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and slice the chicken. 
  4. Set out four salad plates or bowls. For each serving, place a first layer of baby kale, top with butternut squash, chicken, goat’s cheese, and cranberries. 
  5. Drizzle with grape seed oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


For this recipe, I find it easier to plate the salad for individual servings, but you can toss all ingredients in a large salad bowl as well. This recipe makes a good amount of squash. Depending on how much you want to add to the salad, you might find yourself with some left over to enjoy later.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Category: salad
  • Cuisine: american

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Emily Smith
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