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 14 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. This delicata squash salad looks so…well…delectable! I have been himming and hawwing (spelling?) over what dish to use my delicata squash in that I bought last week. Decision made!

  2. Mahee Ferlini

    I love squash! Great idea!

  3. Dee Curtin

    A beautiful dish for fall! I’ve never eaten this squash — do you eat the outer skin, too?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Yes, it’s very thin, you can eat the outer skin!

  4. such a delicious recipe, we all loved it in the IndyChef kitchen – thank you.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  5. This salad looks delicious and healthy. The tahini sauce looks yum too. Could you use roasted pumpkin as an alternative to the squash sometimes or do you think it needs the squash for its particular flavor in this salad?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Erin! You could use roasted pumpkin, or even roasted sweet potatoes – either would be delicious!

  6. Beth

    This was so delicious! Loved the combination, a perfect and healthy Fall dinner.

  7. Sheri

    I wish I old save this recipe to one of my Pinterest folders

  8. Patty

    Just made this, and it is SO good! First time ever using delicate squash. Bumped it up to three cups of cooked farro, did not need all of the dressing, and topped with some lemon balsamic vinegar for added moisture without the added fat. Thanks for this winner!

    • Patty

      Make that delicata!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you liked it! Isn’t delicata so good? Store that extra dressing in the fridge, it’ll last awhile!

  9. Sara

    Looks amazing anything to sub instead of the Farro ? Gluten free ?

      • Sara Scott

        Sounds amazing !thanks

  10. Genny Konicke

    I have made this salad over and over again for holiday parties. It is a perfect fall and winter salad and SO YUMMY!!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so happy to hear that it’s been a hit!

  11. Hannah

    I just made this for the second time. Its amazing! I subbed quinoa for the farro both times and the 2nd time used pecans instead of pepitas. Also used an arugula mix instead of the kale. Endless delicious variations!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Hannah – I’m so glad you’re having fun mixing this one up!

  12. Julie

    Thank you so much for this recipe. It is exceptionally delicious! Perfectly balanced with great textures and color. Even my picky kids loved it. Amazing!

  13. Cindy

    I love a good kale salad. This looks delicious. I can’t wait to try that sauce, I think it would really make it incredible.

  14. Sweet D

    What’s the nutrition breakdown?

  15. Amanda

    Random question – any substitute ideas for the tahini? Our daughter is allergic. We may just need to try an alternate dressing, but just thought I would ask. Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Amanda, if nuts aren’t a problem, I think cashew butter could work. Or I would use the dressing that I put with this delicata squash recipe: it’s delicious! (you might want to double it since this recipe with the chickpeas and farro is a bit bigger). Hope that helps!

  16. Jessica Marasa

    Extremely random comment, but in November 2016 I made this as the first home-cooked meal for a cute, tall, goofy boy I was having a third date with. The meal was delicious, and here we are, over a year later and I’m still cooking him meals from your recipes. Soooo, thanks for the great-guy-landing meal 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      ha, omg, you’re welcome! Thank you for sharing such a sweet story 🙂

  17. Rutuja

    I really dislike kale and this Roasted Delicata Squash Kale Salad makes me like it! Great Recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Ha, I’m so glad to hear that!! 🙂

  18. Elissa

    I’m just discovering this yummy looking recipe. I’m curious – do you serve it when your roasted veggies are warm? or do you cool things down a lot first? Just trying to decide how much in advance of dinner I can make it and still have it turn out as you intended.


    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Elissa,

      Really, any temp is fine. If I’m roasting vegetables close to the time that I’m making the salad, I toss it all together warm. If I have leftover roasted veggies, I take them out of the fridge, let them cool to room temp and toss it together. Freshly roasted veggies are probably best, but they don’t have to be piping hot. Hope that helps!!

  19. Didi

    I made this and it was delicious. I love a good salad recipe. This one is a keeper. I couldn’t get my kids to eat it but that’s okay because they’re still young and not a big fan of salads. Anyway, I’ll keeping making it for me!

  20. 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!

  21. 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

  22. 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!

  23. Angela W Broyles

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

  24. 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?

  25. Lisa D.

    Absolutely delicious combination of flavors and textures!

  26. 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!

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.