This harvest salad recipe is perfect for a fall lunch or dinner. It is made with lots of goodies including roasted butternut squash, steamed beets, massaged kale, dried cranberries, and toasted pecans. The salad is then tossed in a delicious harvest salad dressing and sprinkled with vegan feta cheese. It’s so tasty that you will soon fall in love with.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- This fresh salad is a delicious way to make the most out of seasonal fall produce.
- Seasonal fall produce is picked at the peak of ripeness to give you the best flavors possible.
- A great way to enjoy the delicious flavors of fall produce without needing to make a heavy soup or stew recipe.
You only need a few simple ingredients that are all easy to find at your local grocery store or farmers market to make this tasty recipe. You won’t regret making a trip to pick up these ingredients after your first bite of this fresh and healthy salad.
- Butternut squash – Look for a good-sized squash that weighs around 2.5 pounds.
- Red onion – If you don’t have red onion, you can use a sweet onion.
- Olive oil – Instead of olive oil you can also use avocado oil if you have it on hand.
- Salt and pepper – Use these to suit your taste buds. I’ve found that pepper really makes the flavors in this salad stand out.
- Beets – You will need about one pound of fresh beets for this recipe. Freshly steamed tastes best but in a pinch you can use store bought steamed or canned beets.
- Kale – There are so many different varieties in season during the fall, pick up your favorite variety or whatever looks fresh at the store.
- Fresh parsley – If you have garden fresh parsley that would be great. Italian or curly parsley works best for this recipe.
- Fresh chives – You can find fresh chives in the refrigerated section of your local produce department, or farmers market! Bonus points if your chives have flowers. Save them for garnish.
- Vegan feta cheese – I’ve found that Trader Joe’s or Violife Life cheese has the best taste and texture.
- Red apple – You will want to use a crisp apple such as Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, or Fuji.
- Pecans – Toasting these yourself really gives the best flavor, but you can purchase toasted pecans at the store if you would like to save a little time.
- Dried cranberries – These really bring a hint of sweetness and delicious texture to the salad.
Red Wine Vinegar Dressing
- Olive oil – I like to use high-quality olive oil when I am using it in a salad dressing as it has the best flavor.
- Garlic cloves – Roasted garlic will bring such a sweet and tangy flavor to this salad dressing.
- Red wine vinegar – Red wine vinegar will add a rich and deep flavor to this homemade dressing.
- Maple syrup – This adds a touch of sweetness to the dressing that takes the flavor over the top.
- Dijon mustard – Use a flavorful and higher quality mustard for a deep flavor.
- Salt & pepper – These pantry staples can be used to suit your tastes in this vibrant dressing.
To make this fall-themed salad you will need a few kitchen tools that you most likely already have on hand in your kitchen. Gather these tools and get ready to enjoy this fresh meal.
- Salad Bowl
- Salad Spoons
- Instant Pot
- Cutting Board
- Baking Pan
- Parchment paper or silicone baking mat
- Small bowl or salad dressing shaker
How to Make This Harvest Salad Recipe
Making this harvest salad is simple. Follow the directions below and you will have a tasty salad that is full of fall flavor in no time.
- Preheat the oven to 400F (204C) and line a baking tray with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Prepare the butternut squash, red onion & garlic:
- Place cut butternut squash into a medium size bowl, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat then spread out on 3/4 of the baking pan.
- Repeat the process with the red onion, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper, then place on the remaining 1/4 of the baking tray.
- Wrap the garlic cloves in aluminum foil and place on the baking tray.
- Place vegetable into the oven and roast until tender, around 45 minutes. Half way through the cooking time flip the butternut squash and remove the onion and garlic. Set aside to cool.
Prepare the beets
- Stovetop method: Into a medium size pot add your steamer basket and water (just enough that it doesn’t touch the bottom of the steamer basket). Place beets into the steamer basket, cover, and bring the water to a boil. Once boiling then reduce to a simmer and cook until tender (you may need to top off the water during steaming), around 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Instant Pot: Add the steamer basket to your Instant Pot and water (just enough that it doesn’t touch the bottom of the steamer basket). Place beets into the steamer basket and secure the lid. Press ‘Pressure Cook’, high and select 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Peel & slice the beets: Remove the skin from the beets by gently rubbing them and peeling away the skin. Then slice into desired shape.
Make the dressing
- Make the dressing by mixing ingredients together in a small bowl or salad dressing shaker.
Make the Harvest Salad:
- Into a salad bowl add kale and red wine vinegar dressing, then stir to coat the kale. Top with roasted butternut squash and red onion, steamed beets, fresh parsley, and chives, and toss to combine. Garnish with crumbled vegan feta cheese, apple slices, dried cranberries, and toasted pecans.
This harvest salad is enjoyed right away. However, if you want to meal prep this tasty recipe you can store the greens and other dry items separate from the dressing, squash, and beets. And, then layer them when you are ready to enjoy.
This harvest salad dressing can be made up to 3-days in advance and stored in the fridge in an airtight container. Just make sure that you give it a good shake before you use it to dress your harvest salad.
Here are a few tips to help make sure that your salad turns out perfectly every time that you make it.
- Beets really taste best when you cook them yourself. If you are in a pinch you can purchase steamed beets in the produce department at your local grocery store. Canned beets can also be used if you are in a hurry.
- Green onions make a great swap for the chives in this recipe if you don’t have fresh chives on hand.
- I really recommend toasting the pecans yourself in a skillet for just a couple of minutes, the fresh taste toasted is unbeatable. However, you can purchase roasted pecans at your local market if you are in a hurry or want to make this salad recipe easier to make.
Here are a few ways that you change up and personalize this recipe to suit your taste buds.
- You can add any type of seasonal vegetables that you enjoy to this salad. Fennel can be used instead of kale. Roasted brussels sprouts would also taste delicious in this salad.
- If you want to change things up a little bit you can switch out the butternut squash for rutabaga, turnips, and acorn squash.
- The apples add a nice crunch and sweetness, but you could also swap them out for pomegranates. If you don’t like fruit in your salad, just leave it out.
Do you have questions about this harvest salad recipe? Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions for this recipe.
Yes, I’ve found that peeling the butternut squash tastes best for this recipe.
Peeling a butternut squash is simple. You can use a good quality vegetable peeler and slide it down the length of the squash until you have peeled it completely.
Once you have peeled the squash, slice it length-wise and then scoop out the seeds. Once you have the seeds removed you can slice.
Looking for more Fall Recipes?
If you enjoyed this Harvest Salad with Butternut Squash, Beets & Kale recipe, then here are a few more of my readers’ favorite Fall recipes. I can’t wait for you to try them!
- Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
- Kale Salad Recipe with Apple, Orange & Pomegranate
- Homemade Pumpkin Puree
- Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce
- Pumpkin Pie Recipe
Thanks for checking out this Harvest Salad Recipe. If you try it, please let me know what you think with a comment and rating. Every bit of feedback helps make the blog even better!Print
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