Celebrate the flavors of fall with this delicious wild rice delicata squash kale salad made with easy maple roasted delicata squash and a simple maple dijon dressing. It's a beautiful, healthy Thanksgiving side dish or holiday salad that can be made ahead or served warm. (vegan, gluten-free)
I always gravitate toward kale salads in the fall and winter. I don’t know why. Just give me all the kale salads, please!
I feel like kale is more of wintergreen. And it is much more hardy and able to stand up to more substantial add-ins, like roasted squash and wild rice. Which is why it's perfect for this wild rice delicata squash kale salad. Leave the delicate wimpy greens for light summer salads, and bring on the kale for this yummy fall salad!
I had actually never tried delicata squash before I made this salad, but I'd seen it before and always wanted to try it. As soon as I saw the winter squash pop up at the grocery store, I bought one right away!
It didn't disappoint! Delicata squash is great because it's easier to cut than other winter squash varieties, and you can eat the skin, so you don't have to peel anything (and there's less food waste!). It's safe to say I'll be buying plenty more delicata squash in the near future!
While the easy maple roasted delicata squash is a great fall side dish by itself, it makes a pretty addition to cold-weather salads when it's served still warm so the kale wilts just a bit. It makes a green salad feel more special and comforting for cold nights.
Add some cooked wild rice, pomegranate arils, and toasted walnuts, and you've got a lovely kale salad that has beautiful jewel colors, lots of different textures and delicious flavors. This wild rice delicata squash kale salad would be so pretty on your Thanksgiving table or as a holiday side dish, or you can make it on a weekend for some healthy, seasonal meal prep!
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Wild Rice Delicata Squash Kale Salad
Celebrate the flavors of fall with this delicious wild rice delicata squash kale salad with a simple maple dijon dressing. It's a beautiful, healthy Thanksgiving side dish or holiday salad that can be made ahead or served warm. (vegan, gluten-free)
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
- Category: salad
- Method: baked
- Cuisine: American
For the maple roasted delicata squash:
- 1 delicata squash
- 1 tbsp avocado or olive oil
- ½ tbsp pure maple syrup
For the salad:
- 1 bunch lacinato (dinosaur) kale, roughly chopped
- 2 cups cooked wild rice
- ⅔ cup pomegranate arils
- ¼ cup hazelnuts
- Maple Dijon Dressing
- Heat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking sheet.
- Cut delicata squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out seeds. Slice squash into ½-inch thick half moons. Toss with oil and maple syrup and spread onto baking sheet. Roast 35-40 minutes, flipping halfway through. During the last 5-10 minutes of cooking, add the hazelnuts to the baking sheet to toast.
- Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the salad.
- Whisk together dressing ingredients. Toss with the kale (I usually start with half of the dressing and add more as needed). Gently stir in wild rice and pomegranate arils.
- When squash is done, add squash and hazelnuts to the salad gently stir. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Keywords: squash and kale salad, kale salad, squash salad, wild rice salad