Kale & Apple Butternut Salad

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.

raw kale & apple butternut squash salad / loveandlemons.com raw kale & apple butternut squash salad / loveandlemons.com

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 salad
Serves: serves 3-4 as a side
  • 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 cups toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons chives
  • a few pinches of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • salt & pepper
  1. Whisk dressing ingredients together. 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 temp 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.

If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.


  1. the ribbons look too pretty. we are celebrating butter squash week too so any new recipes are welcome 🙂

  2. elizabeth from rawlivingandlearning.blogspot.com on said:

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

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      thanks Elizabeth! I was having a raw moment, so peace & raw health to you too, xo 🙂

  3. Gorgeous! Your salads always have such style. This one might convince me to finally try raw kale…

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

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

  4. Mmm love this recipe. It’s so full of goodness and the shaved butternut squash is gorgeous!

  5. dana from minimalistbaker.com on said:

    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 : )

  6. 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 from loveandlemons.com on said:

      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 🙂

  7. Pang from doingso.com on said:

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

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

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

  8. 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 from loveandlemons.com on said:

      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!

  9. 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

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

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

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

  11. Eileen from hampiesandwiches.blogspot.com on said:

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

  12. Ale from piloncilloyvainilla.com on said:

    Mmmmm! Gotta try it!

  13. Tiffany from garlicandsalt-tiffany.blogspot.com on said:

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

  14. 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!

  15. amanda from easylittletiger.com on said:

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

  16. I love the use of butternut ribbons. Makes this simple salad so so so much prettier and even more delectable!

  17. Joy Newton from JoyNewton.com on said:

    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!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      thank you Joy!

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