Arugula and kale topped with thyme roasted butternut squash, hazelnuts, and apples. Topped with a sweet and tangy apple cider vinegar dressing, this kale apple salad is the perfect Fall side dish. Great for holidays or weeknight dinners alike!
Oh hey, kale apple salad. The perfect combination of refreshing, comforting, and healthy. Now that’s my kind of salad! What makes this salad recipe so darn good?!
- Thyme-roasted butternut squash
- Zesty arugula
- Toasted hazelnuts
- Honeycrisp apples
- Homemade apple cider vinegar dressing
Yeah, now we’re talking! Serve as a side with a delicious main dish or “beef” it up with some quinoa to serve as a meal.
Learn how to make this simple salad recipe that will have your tastebuds swooning.
Ingredients for kale apple salad
- Leafy greens
- Olive oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Honey (can use agave or maple syrup to make vegan)
- Salt and pepper
How to cut butternut squash
- Start by peeling the thick skin off using a potato peeler.
- Cut in half length-wise and scoop out the insides.
- Cut into 1/2-inch slices
- Cut into cubes
Transfer the cut butternut squash to a mixing bowl and add oil, salt, pepper, and thyme. Mix well and transfer to a baking sheet.
Roast the squash at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. While the squash is roasting, you can prep the other ingredients for the salad.
How to wash kale
Fresh kale can be tough and bitter. With a few tips and tricks, you can prep kale to make it so much more palatable.
- Remove tough stems from the kale and break into bite-sized pieces.
- Transfer to a salad spinner or bowl and massage well under very warm water.
- Drain the water and let the kale dry thoroughly
You can even add a splash of fresh lemon juice when massaging the kale as the acid helps to break down the bitterness of kale as well.
Mix together the ingredients for the dressing and set aside until ready to assemble the salad.
At this point too you can toast the hazelnuts for 7-10 minutes.
How to make kale apple salad
- Start with a base of kale and arugula
- Add butternut squash, apples, toasted hazelnuts, and pepitas
- Add half of the dressing and toss well
- To serve, place salad on a plate or bowl and top with additional dressing if desired
Ways to customize this kale apple salad
- Instead of hazelnuts, use toasted walnuts or pecans
- Use gala apples or even pears in this salad recipe
- Add cheese such as crumbled goat, feta, or cheddar if not vegan
- To make this salad more of a meal, add quinoa
- For an extra sweetness element, add craisins (dried cranberries)
If you tried this kale apple salad, let me know in the comments below and share a photo using #mindfulavocado. I’d love to hear from you! Want to see more recipes? Let’s get social! CONNECT WITH ME on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest to see what I’m currently cooking up!
Kale Apple Salad with Butternut Squash
- 1 butternut squash
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 bunch lacinato kale any kale variety or leafy green will work
- 2 cups arugula chopped
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts chopped
- 1 apple sliced; I used Honeycrisp
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons honey can substitute with maple syrup or agave if vegan
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
Prepare Butternut Squash:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Peel skin off the butternut squash using a potato peeler. Cut in half length-wise and cut off top and bottom.
- Spoon out the seeds and cut into 1/2-inch slices. cut into 1/2-inch cubes and transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Add olive oil, salt, thyme, and pepper. Mix well and transfer to a baking sheet.
- Roast for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 7-10 minutes while the squash is roasting. Set aside.
- Remove stems and tear into bite-sized pieces. Place kale in a salad spinner or bowl and massage until very warm water.
- Drain the water and let the kale dry.
- In a small bowl or mason jar, add olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisk well. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside.
- Add kale and arugula to a large serving bowl. Top with squash, apples, hazelnuts, and pepitas. Pour half of the dressing on top and toss well.
- To serve, place salad on a plate or bowl and top with extra dressing if desired.
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