Welcome Autumn with this healthy kale salad with butternut squash and turkey tossed with a simple honey Dijon vinaigrette and garnished with pumpkin seeds.
Autumn Salad with Butternut Squash, Turkey, and Kale
Today’s Autumn Salad with Butternut Squash, Turkey, and Kale would be a prefect addition to your weekday lunch meal prep plans.
Hate peeling and cooking butternut squash? No worries!
Using a couple of convenience items—deli turkey and fresh cubed butternut squash from your grocery store’s produce cooler—makes prepping this hearty salad super simple and easy.
Making homemade vinaigrette is easy
Yes, you could use a bottled vinaigrette, but making it fresh only takes five minutes and a few staple ingredients that you probably always have on hand—lemon juice, honey, Dijon mustard, and olive oil.
I buy olive oil in bulk and really love making my own salad dressings. They’re healthier—less fat and sodium—and always taste fresh.
I love butternut squash, but sometimes just don’t have the time it takes to prepare, so the convenience of cubed squash definitely works in my favor. If you do want to do this from scratch, this post by Tori Avey is very helpful.
To prep this salad for a week’s worth of lunches, start with a bunch of kale.
- Remove the stems from the kale and wash the leaves. Chop the leaves as small as you like and toss them into a salad spinner to remove the moisture.
- Once your greens are good and dry, divide the kale among four plastic lunch containers and top with equal amounts of the butternut squash and turkey.
- Finish by dividing up the Parmesan cheese and pumpkin seeds, and if you like add a few nuts—almonds or walnuts.
- Add the vinaigrette just before serving.
Love kale salads? Then you might also like these recipes:
- Kale Cabbage Chicken Salad with Thai Peanut Vinaigrette
- Chicken Kale Caesar Salad
- Harvest Chicken Salad
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped (about 7 cups)
- 8 oz. turkey, cubed
- 2 cups butternut squash, cubed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon lite salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
Honey Dijon Vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon lite salt
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a baking pan with cooking spray. Add butternut squash cubes to the pan and drizzle with one1tablespoon olive oil and the salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning once, or until the squash is tender.
- In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, honey, and salt. Slowly add in the olive oil, whisking until the dressing is emulsified. Set aside.
- Place the kale, cooked squash, and parmesan cheese into a large bowl. Pour the dressing on top and toss gently to combine. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and serve immediately.
Serving Size:1 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 408.1Saturated Fat: 5.5gCholesterol: 33.9mgSodium: 1098.8mgCarbohydrates: 31.8gProtein: 21.4g
Sheila Thigpen, author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook, is a recipe developer, food photographer, and food writer. She spent 20+ years as a business manager in the publishing industry before she retired in 2018 to focus on her passions — cooking, photography, and writing. Living near the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Sheila and her husband have two adult daughters and two fine sons-in-law, are active in their church, love to travel, and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. Follow Sheila on YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!