Kale & Apple Butternut Squash Salad

Kale & apple butternut salad is a perfect healthy fall dinner or Thanksgiving side. Butternut ribbons add fun color and texture to this delicious dish.

raw kale & apple butternut squash salad / loveandlemons.com

We’re on a butternut squash kick this week. It wasn’t intentional, it’s just that one butternut squash times two people equals about four meals. It’s a squash that keeps on giving.

Today’s special shape: ribbons! No special gadgets required – just get out your regular veggie peeler, and peel away. Toss with a tangy dressing (it’ll help tame down the raw bite), and toss with kale, apples, herbs and nuts.

Kale & apple butternut squash salad Kale & apple butternut squash salad

If this is all too green and healthy for your traditional Thanksgiving meal, just think of it as your pre-turkey-day (delicious) detox!

Kale & Apple Butternut Squash Salad

This kale salad is full of fall flavors from apple and butternut squash. A delicious Thanksgiving side or healthy autumn dinner!
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 3-4 as a side
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper
For the salad:
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale (3 cups, chopped, stems removed)
  • 2 cups shaved butternut squash (about ⅓ of the squash)
  • 1 small apple, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley (or other leafy herb)
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • Shaved pecorino cheese (optional)
  • A few pinches of red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. Make the dressing: whisk together the lemon juice, sherry vinegar, Dijon, garlic, olive oil, chives, salt, and pepper. Taste, adjust seasonings, and set aside.
  2. Place chopped kale leaves in a large bowl, drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil and a few pinches of salt. Using your hands, rub the leaves together massaging the kale until it becomes soft and darker in color. Toss with half of the dressing. Set aside.
  3. Slice your butternut squash lengthwise in half, scoop out the seeds, and slice lengthwise again and again so you have long wedges. Using a regular vegetable peeler, peel off long strips.
  4. Assemble the salad: toss the kale, butternut ribbons, apple slices, parsley, pine nuts, and chives with the remainder of the dressing. Let it sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes (for best flavor) and serve with shaved pecorino and a pinch of red chile flakes, if you like.
Raw kale tip: I wash mine in warm water to help it begin to soften.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. This is absolutely beautiful and delicious- all in one lovely Thanksgiving package. Your images inspire me with my own designs and paintings and I can’t stop looking at them :). What a gorgeous elegant meal!

  2. amanda from easylittletiger.com

    this is so lovely! i’ve never thought of eating raw butternut squash.

  3. Oh wow, this is a gorgeous salad. I love the flavor combo, and it is the perfect use of fall ingredients while keeping it light and fresh. Thank you for the inspiration, will definitely try!

  4. Tiffany from garlicandsalt-tiffany.blogspot.com

    You just took my favorite fall/winter produce and put it into one amazing looking salad. Beautiful, and delicious to be sure!

  5. Ale from piloncilloyvainilla.com

    Mmmmm! Gotta try it!

  6. Eileen from hampiesandwiches.blogspot.com

    Such a pretty salad! I’ve never eaten butternut squash raw before–must try very soon.

    • jeanine

      hope you like it!! (and hope you enjoy the peeler!)

  7. What a great detox meal. I am def going to need this! PS That cool peeler form the other day… I ordered it and

  8. This is impossible to turn down. I love the colour and freshness of the salad dressing. Your salad pictures are always so clear and perfect

  9. Absolutely stunning salad. I would never think to peel butternut squash to serve it; I initially thought you made pasta with butternut squash *in* it and was marveling at the color! Then, when I read that it was simply peeled, my mind was blown! I’m thinking this might find its way into my lunch bag very very soon. Thanks for the inspiration! xo

    • jeanine

      omg, you think too highly of my pasta-making skills :). I don’t know if anyone’s noticed, but I’ve been trying to simplify things lately… fewer ingredients & the less processes the better!

  10. Pang from doingso.com

    Wonderful Wonderful Wonderful pics as always. Also, I love everything with kale. My hubby will even try it if I show him your pic. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • jeanine

      ha! I love it when the hubby’s are convinced, let me know if he (and you) like it!!

  11. Definitely can’t go wrong with butternut squash and apples! I just bought and enormous squash (part of which will be used for the spiralizer experiment we discussed earlier this week!) but I’ll keep some leftovers to make this too!

    • jeanine

      I hope it works through the spiralzer (report back, will you?). I loved these peeler ribbons because they were so easy on the 2nd day after the arm work I put in for those spirals ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. dana from minimalistbaker.com

    Love this, Jeanine! I made a warm butternut squash salad today at my blog but I LOVE the idea of a raw one. Bravo! p.s. absolutely smitten with your site these days : )

    • jeanine

      thanks!! it’s deceptively hard to come up with ways to show salads so they don’t all look identical ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. elizabeth from rawlivingandlearning.blogspot.com

    That is over-the-top beautiful!!
    I want a plate right now.
    Peace & Raw Health,

    • jeanine

      thanks Elizabeth! I was having a raw moment, so peace & raw health to you too, xo ๐Ÿ™‚

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.