This gorgeous Roasted Butternut Squash and Blackberry Harvest Salad is a Fit Foodie Finds reader favorite that’s fall-inspired and so flavorful.
It’s made with roasted butternut squash, candied nuts, blackberries, and massaged kale with a homemade dressing!
Perfect Harvest Salad
Talk about the most perfect harvest salad you’ve ever seen. It’s sweet and savory at the same time and is made with the most delicious roasted butternut squash you’ve ever had.
I love me a good harvest salad because they’re packed with seasonal ingredients, are filling, and packed with so much good nutrition.
Components of this salad
Here’s a quick rundown of this harvest salad:
- Roasted Butternut Squash
- Massaged Kale
- Fresh Blackberries
- Candied Pecans
- Balsamic Dressing
- Goat Cheese
How to Massage Kale
Every great salad starts with a yummy green base. We love using kale in the fall/winter because it’s hearty and abundant at most grocery stores.
If you’re planning to use kale off the stalk (like this recipe), ALWAYS, and I mean always, massage the kale first. If you don’t, it’ll be hard to chew and might even give you a stomach ache.
We have an entire post on how to massage kale if you want to check that out, but I’ll give you a quick rundown.
- Wash kale under warm water and pat dry.
- Debone kale by ripping off the leafs. Discard the bone.
- Chop kale into large, bite-sized pieces and place it into a large bowl.
- Drizzle on olive oil and sprinkle on some salt.
- Massage the kale between your fingers. Do this for 3-5 minutes until the kale turns bright green and feels “wilted.”
How to Massage Kale
Massaged Kale Salads are all the rage right now. We love u003ca href=u0022https://fitfoodiefinds.com/best-kale-salad-recipes/u0022u003emassaged kale saladsu003c/au003e, but how do you massage kale? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with this super simple tutorial!
How to Roast Butternut Squash
Next up is the star ingredient of this harvest salad –> roasted butternut squash! Good news for you is that you can find pre-cubed butternuts squash these days to make this part of the salad super simple.
Butternut squash is one of my favorite vegetables (it’s actually a fruit!) because it’s hearty, slightly sweet, and so versatile. You can make butternut squash soup, butternut squash lasagna, you name it!
What You Need
Roasting butternut squash is simple and only requires a few ingredients. You’ll need cubed butternut squash, olive oil, salt, and pepper. That’s it!
How to Make It
- Place butternut squash on a baking sheet.
- Drizzle on olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss everything together
- Roast at 400ºF for 20-25 minutes.
Roasted Butternut Squash
Wondering how to cook butternut squash? Don’t be intimidated! It’s a lot easier to peel, cut and roast butternut squash than it seems! Learn how with step-by-step instructions here.
Favorite Balsamic Dressing
While you can use any store-bought balsamic dressing in this salad, we highly suggest whipping up your own homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
Here’s what you need:
- Dijon mustard
- Maple syrup
- Balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil
Place all of the ingredients into a jar and mix them together. Voila, you have an easy balsamic vinaigrette!
Harvest Salad Toppings
A salad isn’t a salad without the toppings. We’re going big because want to make sure this salad fills you up and fuels you for your day.
Roasted Butternut Squash: we’ve already oo-ed and aa-ed over roasted butternut squash multiple times in this post. We know you’ll love it.
Candied Pecans & Pumpkin Seeds: go the extra mile and candy your nuts and seeds with a little maple syrup and salt. Trust us.
Blackberries: blackberries add a pop of freshness to this salad. You can really use any berry you wish.
Goat Cheese: goat cheese is a mild cheese and goes so well with the flavors in this harvest salad recipe.
Balsamic Dressing: we always recommend making your own dressing, but you can use store-bought, too!
Dried Cranberries: dried cranberries are like the cherry on top. They’re sweet and easy to find at any grocery store.
Make this salad your own! Here are a few add-in or swap ideas:
Use roasted sweet potato or pumpkin instead of butternut squash.
Add shredded chicken or pan-seared chicken for a yummy protein source.
Use a different salad dressing such as honey mustard, poppyseed, or lemon vinaigrette.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Blackberry Harvest Salad
Roasted Butternut Squash
Candied Nuts and Seeds
- 1 cup raw pecans
- 1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1.5 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/8 sea salt
Other Salad Ingredients
- 12 oz. blackberries
- 1/4 cup goat cheese
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
For the Kale
- Place all ingredients for the kale in a large mixing bowl. Massage oil and salt into the kale with your hands for 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
For the Roasted Butternut Squash
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF and spray a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray.
- Spread butternut squash out on the baking sheet. Add olive oil, salt, and pepper to the butternut squash and toss until squash is evenly coated.
- Place the baking sheet into the oven for 20-25 minutes.
For the Candied Nuts and Seeds
- Prepare a baking sheet by spraying with olive oil cooking spray.
- Place all ingredients for nuts into a medium mixing bowl. Toss until nuts are evenly coated and then spread out evenly onto the baking sheet.
- Roast for 8-10 minutes at 400ºF. You can roast the nuts in the oven with the squash.
For the Balsamic Dressing
- Add all of the ingredients for the dressing into a mason jar. Tightly cover the mason jar and shake the jar to combine ingredients.
For the Salad
- Add blackberries, goat cheese, cranberries, kale, nuts, and butternut squash into a large salad bowl. Pour dressing over the salad. Toss and enjoy!
This post is sponsored by Driscoll’s. I was compensated and all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Fit Foodie Finds and making this website possible!
Delicious, will definitely make again!
So happy to hear it!
Favorite salad of the fall and probably of all time!!
I use quite a bit less olive oil, especially in the dressing, and I don’t end up using all the dressing on the salad anyways. I store the ingredients separately in the fridge and enjoy it for many days! LMK if anyone knows where to get raw pumpkin seeds! That was a struggle for me in the fall and I ended up skipping that. Tried to use the seeds from the butternut squash which tasted good but wasn’t worth the extra work.
This recipe is a 10/10! I made it for a holiday party and people kept saying “I don’t like kale but I loved this salad”. I used feta cheese out of preference, and but otherwise followed the recipe and it is one of the best salads I’ve ever had. It was a crowd pleaser and there were no leftovers.
This looks delish! Do you think dried cherries would be a good sub for the dried cranberries?
Thank you so much!!
I borderline live on this salad in the winter and use this salad dressing for all other salads too! I especially love the pumpkins seed, pecan and maple syrup combo, makes the house smell amazing!
I 100% feel the same way. This is the best salad.
This salad is so delicious and cozy! I took some liberties as I normally do, but they were minimal. I omitted the craisins and the pumpkin seeds. For the pecans, I added only a spritz of olive oil and a teaspoon of dark brown sugar before baking. I was too busy/hungry to make the dressing proper so I dashed some red wine vinegar over it since the kale was already massaged with olive oil. This is definitely going to be on my standard lunch rotation. Thank you!
So easy to make and amazingly delicious!!
Hi, there’s a pic in this article and it has some of the ingredients in lil prep bowls. There’s a tin on the right, round, with what looks like mint however I do not see any fresh herbs in this salad so was wondering about that. Thank you!
I am also wondering this! Sage, maybe?
Really wonderful! We made it without the blackberries because they bother my stomach. My husband really liked it!
This looks delicious! We happen to have kale, blackberries, and butternut squash in the garden. Can’t wait to make this. Yum!
Wow! Home grown…I love that!
This was delicious! Thanks for the share =)
I love this. Tried it this past weekend, and than made it again the next day. All the flavors and the dressing go together so well. Sad that I’ll be finishing the leftovers at lunchtime…but can’t wait till lunchtime!
Literally my favorite fall salad!
Is the caloric count overall or per serving?
Can you make this ahead of time as long as you don’t put the salad dressing on?
Wow looks yummy. Will surely try this. Thanks for sharing this post. Thanks for sharing.
Well, I may have changed this a little more than I initially intended to. I added some farro (a grain), I had some romaine and Brussels sprouts in the fridge, so I added it to the kale. I’m allergic to cranberries, so I switched them out with golden raisins. I had a lot of walnuts on hand, so that took the place of the pecans. I stuck with the roasted cubed butternut squash, blackberries, goat cheese and the dressing as it’s written. I’m bringing it to our annual cribbage potluck tonight… I’m excited.
Your additions sound amazing!
I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit! Decided to do it again last night as an entrée salad with a piece of broiled salmon on top…SO GOOD! This one’s a keeper!
Ohhhh broiled salmon would be SO GOOD on this!!! Glad you loved it <3
I was looking for a salad to take to a party and saw this one on Pinterest and it looked amazing! Then I noticed your name and blog. I used to work for your dad and remember meeting you some years ago. The recipe is great and so is your site! I miss seeing your parents. They are awesome people. Please give them my very best wishes! I think of them often.
What a small world!! I will for sure tell them you say hello 🙂