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  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 5 cups

Each bite of this colorful salad is filled with the flavors of favorite fall ingredients such as apples, butternut squash, and pumpkin seeds. For optimum freshness and texture, wait to add the dressing until just before serving.

Note that this recipe calls for cooked quinoa, so have that ready to go: For 1½ cups cooked quinoa, rinse and drain ½ cup quinoa; cook according to package directions; and drain if needed. Check out our Grains Cooking Guide for more tips on prepping grains like a pro.

Kale Apple and Quinoa Salad


  • 2 cups ¾-inch pieces peeled butternut squash
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 cups stemmed and chopped kale
  • 1½ cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup chopped apple
  • ½ cup sliced green onions
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a 15×10-inch baking pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Arrange squash in the prepared baking pan. Roast 20 to 25 minutes or until squash is tender, brushing lightly with water if squash starts to look dry. Cool slightly on a wire rack.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl toss together pumpkin seeds and ½ teaspoon water; sprinkle with cinnamon. Place pumpkin seeds in a small, shallow baking pan. Roast 5 minutes or until lightly toasted; cool.
  3. For dressing, remove 1 teaspoon zest and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice from lemon. In a small bowl whisk together lemon zest and juice, maple syrup, and mustard.
  4. In a large bowl combine kale, quinoa, apple, green onions, and roasted squash. Add dressing; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Top with pumpkin seeds.

Comments (9)

(4.67 from 9 votes)
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Deborah7 months ago
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Made some substitutes used rice pilaf and added carrots and zucchini was awesome

Barbara Reale8 months ago
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I make it over and over again during the cold months. Simply delicious and light:). I like it more with grapefuit juice instead of lemon, but for the rest, I wouldn’t change it a bit:)

Jill11 months ago
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This salad was great. I never know where preptimes and ready to eat times come from. I had to cook this from scratch-the quinoa, squash, and pumpkin seeds. It took me 2 hours!

Debra11 months ago
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Next time grab a bag of diced butternut squash from the grocery store and roast that instead of peeling, deseeding and dicing a whole butternut squash.

Susan Packwood1 year ago
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I just made this last night…..wonderful! I didn’t have butternut squash so I used half a sweet potato. It was flavorful and I think very healthy.

Brenda Page-Covel1 year ago
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Absolutely delicious!!! the dressing is the key ingredient in this salad.
I’ve had so may people as for this recipe, everyone loves it.
Thank you !!

lori dickens1 year ago
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can I use swiss chard instead of kale?

Jacqueline1 year ago
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This was absolutely delicious! I had cooked sorghum berries already, so I used them instead of the quinoa, but everything else was the same. Family and friends all loved it as well!! It is very colourful and flavourful and is a beautiful salad to bring to potlucks or bbq’s. Highly recommended!!

Annemiek1 year ago
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So delicious!
I had to sub the kale for spinach and pumpkin seeds for roasted almond slices.

Definitely a keeper.

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Headshot of Nancy Macklin
about the author

Nancy Macklin, RDN

Nancy Macklin has a bachelor of science in dietetics from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in health services administration from the University of Saint Francis. Macklin worked as a hospital-based clinical dietitian, providing counseling for diabetes, heart disease, and weight loss and as a food service director in health care dining sites. She now serves as a test kitchen dietitian, developing 500+ recipes per year. She is a member of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics and International Association of Culinary Professionals. Find her on LinkedIn.

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