The ultimate powerhouse Fall Salad made with leafy kale, protein-packed quinoa, crisp apples, roasted butternut squash, spiced pepitas and pecans, all drizzled in the most delicious maple tahini dressing!
Oh how I look forward to making fall salads every season and this one is a total winner! This protein-packed salad is loaded with all your fall favorites like roasted butternut squash, fluffy quinoa, leafy kale, fresh cut apple slices, roasted pepitas and pecans, all tossed in a delicious maple tahini dressing! I know. There is A LOT going on here, but trust me, every step is worth it!
This salad is a powerhouse of a meal and the best part is you can serve this salad warm or cold which makes it great for meal prep! I can make this on a Sunday and have my lunches planned out for most of the week. The maple tahini dressing alone is a MUST and one you should keep on hand all season long. This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan, and truly has something for everyone!
Here’s What You’ll Need
- Leafy greens – I used kale, but any variety of kale or leafy greens will work in this salad
- Cooked quinoa – any variety of quinoa will work and you can even make the quinoa a day or two ahead of time
- Butternut squash – this makes the salad so filling and delicious, you could also roast sweet potato or other squash
- Apples – is it even fall if you don’t have apples?? These add some sweetness to the salad and I prefer using Honeycrisp for that sweet/tart combo
- Nuts and seeds – I added pecans and pepitas which I roasted with a little olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon and cayenne, these add a nice crunch to the salad. You could also use walnuts, almonds or sunflower seeds
- Dried cranberries – these add little pops of sweetness throughout the salad along with some added color. You could also use pomegranate arils which I couldn’t find at the store just yet, but they’re my favorite in fall salads!
- Maple Tahini Dressing – you can find the recipe for this is below!
How to Roast Butternut Squash
Roasting butternut squash is super simple and tastes absolutely delicious! First, you’ll want to peel and slice the butternut squash into 1-inch cubes and toss them in a bowl with olive oil, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper, mixing well until the squash is evenly coated. Next, transfer the butternut squash cubes onto a sheet pan sprayed with non-stick spray and roast in the oven at 400 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping the squash halfway through. The butternut squash is done when it’s fork tender and starting to brown.
How to Cook Fluffy Quinoa
I love adding quinoa to my salads because it’s packed with protein and adds great texture! To make perfectly fluffy quinoa, pour vegetable broth (or water) into a medium saucepan and add quinoa. Pro tip: I like to use vegetable or chicken broth when making my quinoa because it’s such a simple way to add so much more flavor to your quinoa! Bring the quinoa to a boil, cover and reduce the heat and allow the quinoa to simmer for about 13 minutes. Take the quinoa off the heat, keeping it covered, and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes then fluff quinoa with a fork.
That’s it! Super easy and such a great addition to any salad. Feel free to make the quinoa ahead of time and just add it to your salad whenever you’re ready to assemble. Quinoa will keep in the fridge for up to 7 days so it’s any easy thing to prep beforehand.
What You Need for the Maple Tahini Dressing
- Maple syrup
- Dijon mustard
- Apple cider vinegar
- Lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
Prepping and Storing
This salad will last in the fridge for 3 to 4 days in a sealed, airtight container. Kale is one of those greens that honestly tastes better after marinating in the dressing! You may want to hold off though on mixing in the crunchy pepitas and pecans until right before serving so that they don’t get soggy and soften up. We like a good crunch!
More Salads You’ll Love
- Roasted Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Kale Salad
- Crunchy Thai Chicken Salad
- Chili-Rubbed Salmon and Corn Salad
- Chinese Chicken Salad
- Arugula Salad with Honey Roasted Chickpeas
Hope you all enjoy this Fall Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing and if you love this recipe as much as we do, please leave me a five-star rating below and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram using the hashtag #eatyourselfskinny! I love seeing all your delicious recreations!
Fall Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing
The ultimate powerhouse Fall Salad made with leafy kale, protein-packed quinoa, crisp apples, roasted butternut squash, and spiced pepitas and pecans, all drizzled in the most delicious maple tahini dressing!
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 40 mins
For the Butternut Squash:
- 1 (2 lb) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Spiced Pepitas & Pecans:
- 1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of cayenne and salt
For the Salad:
- 6 cups chopped kale
- 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa (2 cups cooked)
- 1 1/3 cups vegetable broth (or water)
- 2 apples, cored and sliced
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
For the Maple Tahini Dressing:
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp water (or more if needed)
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Carefully peel and slice the butternut squash, chopping it into 1-inch cubes. Toss with olive oil, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper until completely coated. Spread butternut squash out on prepared baking sheet in a single layer and roast in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, flipping them once halfway through.
- While the butternut squash is roasting, add vegetable broth to a small saucepan and add quinoa. Bring quinoa to a boil, cover and reduce heat and simmer for about 13 minutes. Remove from heat, keeping quinoa covered, and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes then fluff quinoa with a fork.
- For the spiced pepitas and pecans, in a small bowl whisk together olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, cayenne and salt. Add in pepitas and pecans, mixing well until they’re completely coated. When the butternut squash has about 10 minutes left, push the squash to one side of the pan and spread out the pepitas and pecans on the other side. Place the sheet pan back in the oven and roast for 8 to 10 minutes, watching closely to make sure the pepitas and pecans don’t burn.
- To make the maple tahini dressing, whisk together tahini, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon, water and salt/pepper until smooth and creamy. Feel free to add more water a teaspoon at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
- To assemble the salad, combine kale, quinoa, apples, cranberries, roasted pepitas and pecans in a large bowl and toss with dressing. Fold in the roasted butternut squash, serve and enjoy!
- Serving Size: 1/6th of recipe
- Calories: 391
- Sugar: 19.5 g
- Sodium: 341 mg
- Fat: 26.2 g
- Saturated Fat: 3.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 50.7 g
- Fiber: 6.8 g
- Protein: 10.7 g
* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for most accurate results.