This hearty sheet pan butternut squash salad with kale is filled with texture, coloration, and taste! It’s festive and excellent for holidays and for sharing, but it’s additionally stress-free to arrange. Candy roasted butternut squash, apples, and onions, crispy chickpeas, and tender marinated kale: this unconventional heat salad has all of it.
As we head into the busy vacation season, the simplicity and hands-off nature of a sheet pan meal couldn’t be extra interesting.
This specific sheet pan meal, which is a sheet pan butternut squash salad with kale, is so festive, so enjoyable, and so seasonal.
It has the entire autumnal issues: winter squash, roasted apples and onions, and an apple cider French dressing.
It’s additionally bought implausible texture within the type of crispy roasted chickpeas and tender marinated kale.
If these promoting factors aren’t sufficient, the butternut squash salad additionally has substance. It’s served heat and stuffed with hearty elements, so it gained’t really feel like a facet dish or an afterthought.
As an alternative, it is a salad that’s healthful and beneficiant sufficient to function a lightweight foremost dish, whether or not you’re feeding your self or gathering with family and friends.
What’s a sheet pan salad?
A sheet pan salad is a salad that’s combined on a sheet pan.
As far as I do know, sheet pan salads will all the time have heat or room-temperature parts, for the reason that complete perform of the sheet pan is baking or roasting.
Sheet pan salads problem us to suppose just a little in another way about salad.
They remind us, for instance, that every one salads don’t essentially must be inexperienced salads—although this salad does have a leafy inexperienced element within the type of kale.
Many greens can function a salad base. Radicchio, chicories, shaved Brussels sprouts, cabbage, shredded carrots, riced broccoli, complete grains, legumes, or roasted greens: these are just a few of the greens that may be become a stellar fall or winter salad.
Salads may be served crisp and chilly, at room temperature, or good and heat. There are not any guidelines, and mixing a salad on a scorching sheet pan slightly than in a mixing bowl is a reminder of that truth.
For this sheet pan salad, I roast the chickpeas, squash, onions, and apple. Then I add uncooked, marinated kale the sheet.
Different sheet pan salads would possibly name for wilting or crisping the greens within the oven for a bit. Right here, too, there are not any guidelines, however I’m personally a fan of the distinction of uncooked and cooked, scorching and funky elements.
The fantastic thing about butternut squash
The star of this butternut squash salad is, in fact, the squash.
It’s no massive secret that butternut squash is certainly one of my favourite elements.
This excellent winter squash is brimming with good vitamin, for one factor. It’s an exceptionally good supply of beta-carotene, which is transformed by our our bodies into Vitamin A.
Vitamin A, in flip, is a robust antioxidant. It performs a job in cell development, and Vitamin A adequacy is essential for eye, coronary heart, lung, and pores and skin well being.
Butternut squash can be a fantastic supply of one other antioxidant, Vitamin C, and the electrolytes magnesium and potassium.
As well as, butternut squash has loads of dietary fiber, which is essential for digestive well being. Fiber helps to maintain us full, which is a part of why this salad is so satisfying.
You’ll be able to learn extra about my love of butternut squash and browse a few of my favourite recipes that function it in my roundup of healthful vegan butternut squash recipes.
This salad options a few of my all-time favourite issues to eat.
Along with the squash, there’s marinated—or massaged—uncooked kale. That is my favourite solution to eat kale by far; I prefer it greater than sautéing, kale chips, steaming, or anything.
For plant protein, the butternut squash salad has roasted chickpeas.
What I function within the recipe is actually a shortcut model of the crispy roasted chickpeas which might be a go-to element in salads and soups in my residence.
Roasting chickpeas provides them taste—any seasoning you want—and an irresistable crunch.
Together with the butternut squash within the sheet pan salad, I roast apples and purple onion. These parts add a beautiful, deep candy and savory element. They add complexity to the salad.
Lastly, there’s a beautiful French dressing right here, which makes use of apple cider vinegar and white balsamic vinegar collectively. There’s one thing about this mixture that actually works, reaching simply the correct stage of sweetness and acidity.
Briefly, I couldn’t love the blueprint for this salad extra. And it occurs to be enjoyable to make.
How one can make butternut squash salad with kale
Step 1: Put together the chickpeas and greens for roasting
In the first step, you’ll drain and dry off your chickpeas. As odd because it sounds, patting them completely dry helps them to grow to be extra crispy throughout roasting.
You’ll season the chickpeas with onion salt (or onion powder combined with common salt), garlic powder, and pepper.
On a separate tray, you’ll prepare the butternut squash, onion, and apples for roasting. You’ll add some avocado oil to each the greens and chickpeas, and also you’ll switch them to the oven.
Step 2: Roast
One of many good issues about this recipe is that the entire parts roast on the identical time, and for roughly the identical period of time.
Hold each trays within the oven for 30-35 minutes, or till the chickpeas are crispy and browning and the squash is tender and browning on the edges.
You’ll stir as soon as midway via roasting.
It’s possible you’ll be questioning whether or not you possibly can simply roast every thing collectively, or on two sides of a single sheet.
I didn’t have success once I made the recipe that method; a single sheet pan wasn’t sufficient for the entire elements to roast with out crowding. Crowding compromises crispy texture in roasting.
Additionally, I discover that the chickpeas retain extra nice crunch after they roast on a sheet of their very own (simply as gnocchi roasts extra successfully by itself tray in my favourite vegan sheet pan gnocchi recipe).
Step 3: Make the French dressing and put together the kale
Whereas the greens are roasting, you may flip to the kale.
First, whisk collectively the French dressing for the butternut squash salad: oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, garlic, and salt.
You’ll wish to add about half of the dressing to the kale, which ought to be piled in a pleasant, roomy mixing bowl.
Use your palms—it have to be your palms!—to firmly work the dressing into the kale, squeezing as you go. The kale will nearly immediately grow to be extra tender.
The remaining dressing ought to be reserved for drizzling on the completed salad.
Step 4: Combine
As soon as the squash combination and chickpeas have all roasted for lengthy sufficient, it’s time to mix elements.
First, switch the chickpeas to the identical sheet because the squash.
Then, add the massaged kale. Combine every thing nicely on the sheet, then drizzle the remaining dressing—or as a lot of it as you want—over the butternut squash salad.
Step 5: Serve
At this level, you may go forward and serve your colourful, heat, satisfying sheet pan salad.
However you do you!
Embrace the enjoyment of consuming home made meals day by day with the hearty and healthful recipes in The Vegan Week.
Meal prep & storage
In the event you’d wish to get a head begin on the butternut squash salad, that’s simple to do.
You’ll be able to roast the squash, onion, apples, and chickpeas and retailer them for as much as two days earlier than mixing. The kale may be ready a full day forward of blending as nicely.
The dressing may be whisked collectively per week earlier than you set the salad collectively.
As soon as combined, the salad will preserve in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as three complete days. It’s that rarest of issues: a salad that does very nicely in leftover kind.
Sheet Pan Butternut Squash Salad with Kale
Yields: 4 servings
Butternut squash salad with kale:
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (240g, or one 15-ounce / 425g can)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon onion salt (substitute 1/2 teaspoon nice salt + 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, or just substitute 1/2 teaspoon nice salt)
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Freshly floor black pepper
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and lower into 1-inch / 2.5cm cubes (about 1 1/4 kilos / 570g after preparation)
- 1 massive apple, lower into 1-inch / 2.5cm cubes
- 1 medium purple onion, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise
- Freshly floor black pepper
- 1 bunch curly kale, stemmed and torn or chopped into bite-sized items
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment or foil, or use rimmed, nonstick baking sheets.
Rinse the chickpeas in a small colander or via a sieve. Drain them nicely. Switch the chickpeas to 1 rimmed baking sheet and use tea towels or paper towels to roll them round and pat them as dry as you presumably can. The extra dry the chickpeas grow to be, the crispier they will be! Be certain that there is no additional liquid left on the baking sheet when you’re executed drying the beans; when you see any, use the towels to wipe it off.
Drizzle the chickpeas with 1 tablespoon of the avocado oil and use your palms or a spoon to coat them evenly. Sprinkle them with the onion salt, garlic powder, and some turns of black pepper. Combine once more.
Switch the lower butternut squash, apple, and onion to the opposite baking sheet. Drizzle with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil, then sprinkle with salt and some turns of black pepper. Combine the greens on the sheet to coat them evenly.
Switch each baking sheets to the oven. Roast for 30-35 minutes, or till the chickpeas are crispy and browning and the squash is tender and browning on the edges. Stir the entire elements on their baking sheets as soon as midway via the baking time.
When you roast the squash and chickpeas, whisk collectively all French dressing elements till they’re emulsified. Switch the kale to a big mixing bowl. Add half of the French dressing to the kale, reserving the remaining; you may use it for drizzling if you serve the salad. Use your palms to “therapeutic massage” the French dressing into the kale, till the kale is well-coated and tenderized.
When the squash is prepared, add the dressed kale and roasted chickpeas to the sheet pan with the squash and onions. Combine every thing nicely. Style the combination and regulate salt and pepper as wanted. You’ll be able to add additional dressing right here, too; in any other case, you may serve the remaining dressing desk facet, so that every individual having fun with the salad can add just a little to style.
Serve the salad or retailer it in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as 3 days.
In the event you’ve been hoping to discover a vacation recipe that’s festive, nutritious, and gained’t value you hours and hours within the kitchen, then maybe this shall be it?
I’ve been having fun with it a lot this November, and I do know that I’ll be maintaining it within the rotation as we transfer into winter. I’m blissful to share it with you on this week of giving and sharing our thanks.