Roasted Delicata Squash Kale Salad

Roasted Delicata Squash Kale Salad

It’s Monday, which for me often means: salad day! This past weekend was full of food, wine, friends, and fun – but I’m definitely a little tired today and ready for a healthy eating reset. Not that this is rabbit food by any stretch – it’s full of roasted vegetables, nutty farro, roasted chickpeas, diced apples, cranberries… basically everything I love about fall in one hearty bowl.

Roasted Delicata Squash Kale Salad

This one starts by roasting delicata squash and red onion wedges (btw, how pretty is this color combination?). To get the most out of my oven’s heat, I roasted chickpeas as well. Roast them until crispy – they add a nice texture and a bit of protein to the salad.

Roasted Delicata Squash Kale Salad Roasted Delicata Squash Kale Salad

I made this simple tahini sauce with maple syrup and apple cider vinegar. I like to drizzle and toss it with the base of my salad (farro and kale), and then serve the rest on the side (or just before serving) so that it doesn’t all soak in at once. Leftover sauce keeps in the fridge for about one week.

This serves 2 people as a pretty filling meal, or 4 as a side. I’m thinking I’ll double this and serve it for Thanksgiving this year.

Roasted Delicata Squash Kale Salad

5.0 from 27 reviews

Roasted Delicata Squash Kale Salad

Serves: serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side
  • 1 delicata squash, halved lengthwise and seeded, sliced into ½-inch segments
  • 1 small red onion, sliced into wedges
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • ½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • about 6 leaves of lacinato kale, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cooked farro* (see note)
  • 1 gala apple, diced
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup pepitas
maple tahini sauce:
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons warm water, more as needed
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Assemble the delicata squash, red onion and garlic cloves (still in their paper) on one sheet and the chickpeas on the other. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and several pinches of salt and pepper. Roast until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. Make the tahini sauce: In a small bowl, combine the tahini, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, water and pinches of salt and pepper and stir. If the sauce is too thick, stir in more water until it is a drizzable consistency. If it’s too thin, let it sit for several minutes to thicken.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ½ tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Peel the roasted garlic cloves and smush the softened garlic into the olive oil mixture. Add the kale and gently massage it until it’s lightly wilted and tender. Stir in the farro and a generous drizzle of the tahini sauce. Add the roasted delicata squash, red onions, chickpeas, apple, cranberries and pepitas. Season to taste and add more dressing, if desired.
*I cook my farro, like pasta, in boiling water until it's tender and chewy but not mushy. The timing really varies - sometimes it's done in 20 minutes, sometimes it takes as long as 40. Drain and set aside to dry before adding to the salad.

Right now, I'm using Artisana Organics' Raw Tahini.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Susie

    This is one of the best winter dinners EVER!
    Have made this several times, and everyone raves about it.

  2. Ameeta

    I would love to make this recipe, can I use millet or couscous instead of farro?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Ameeta, yep, you can!

  3. susan

    I was looking for a use for a bag of kale someone had left with me when I found this. I loved the fall flavors and the tahini dressing is definitely a keeper. I used brown rice that I had on hand instead of the farro but will try it next time with the farro.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  4. KK

    Made this last night and it was easier than I thought and even more delicious! Will be making it again for certain 👍

  5. Becca

    The maple tahini dressing is such a nice match with the roasted delicata. Love the simplicity and heartiness of this recipe!

  6. Merle

    Great recipe but farro isn’t gluten free since it’s a wheat product. I learned that the hard way after serving this salad at a dinner party with people who are coeliac.

    • Merle

      My bad, I was reading the side bar as opposed to the main bar. Can I delete my comment? Very embarrassed.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Merle, I could be missing it, but I don’t see where we mentioned or tagged this one as gluten free.

  7. Jen

    The whole family loved it! I’ll me adding to our rotation for sure.

  8. Jo

    Could you use frozen kale if you let it thaw and then massaged it in with the other ingredients?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Jo, fresh kale is best for this one and for the massaging technique. Or to incorporate frozen kale, I would let it thaw, squeeze out any excess moisture and sauté (loosely following this recipe with:

      Then add it to your bowls with the farro, squash, etc.

      I hope that helps!

  9. Vicki Nelson

    My husband and I LOVED this salad!! (He’s kind of picky) So delicious and tons of interesting flavors. We paired it with a delicious Spanish wine from a dear friend.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Aw, I’m so happy to hear it was a hit!

  10. Lisa D.

    Absolutely delicious combination of flavors and textures!

  11. Leenata Maddiwar

    I am hoping to make this today for Thanksgiving but cannot find delicata squash?
    What do you recommend as a substitute? How would the cooking prep and time change?

  12. Angela W Broyles

    I really love this recipe!! Tried it with pomegranate seeds in place of the cranberries- also delicious !

  13. Julie

    I make a grain salad most weeks to eat for lunches and made this one this week – it’s the best one I’ve made. Delicious! Thanks for a great recipe.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  14. Frances

    Wonderful salad. I love delicata squash and these recipes are great to give ideas of other ways to have it. I use them as a guide and if a bit lazy I use what I might have left over to put together something close. I had left over freekeh, so used that. I did roast the onion and chick peas and it is the first time those chick peas worked out for me and didn’t get too hard. I just used some misto olive oil spritz. Such a pretty salad. I like it with a dab of Oasis brand roasted red pepper hummus and skip the dressing. I have yet to appreciate tahini–I think I need to explore other brands as it always seems to bitter to me. I see you mentioned one to try. Thank you

  15. Angela W Broyles

    This was so delicious, we loved it! I used wheatberries instead of farro and left out the chickpeas. Super recipe!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Angie, I’m so glad you loved it!

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.