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Butternut Squash Salad with Candied Pecans, Dried Fruit & Goat Cheese

  • Author: janearielkatz
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


  • 2 bunches of kale
  • ½ large butternut squash, or 1 small squash
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
  • ⅓ cup dried fruit: raisins, cranberries or cherries
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp regular or coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp maple syrup 
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped thyme or rosemary
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar (or your favorite vinegar)
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for roasting and for the dressing
  • kosher salt and pepper


  1. Preheat your oven to 400ºF
  2. Peel and clean squash, then cut into small cubes, approximately 1"x 1"
  3. Place squash on a parchment-lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 22-25 minutes, until tender.
  4. Prepare your candied pecans: in a medium bowl, combine pecans, sugar, vanilla extract, thyme, salt, and 1 tbsp maple syrup. Toss to combine well.
  5. Lay pecans onto parchment-lined baking sheet and spread them out evenly so there are no clumps.
  6. Set in the oven for 5 minutes (use a timer, it goes quickly!), then remove. Toss gently, then roast for 3 more minutes.
  7. Remove after 8 minutes total, and immediately remove the parchment piece from the baking sheet, so the pecans cool faster. 
  8. While the squash finishes roasting, de-stem and roughly chop your kale.
  9. Place chopped kale into a large bowl. Add 1 tsp olive oil and massage very thoroughly. You want to break down some of the kale fibers and make it more tender.
  10. Prepare the dressing. In a measuring cup, combine: shallot, 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tsp kosher salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp maple syrup, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar. Whisk until thick and creamy.
  11. Combine kale with 1/2 of your dressing, pecans, dried fruit, and squash when cooked. 
  12. Plate salad, then top with crumbled goat cheese and remaining dressing. 
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Salads
  • Method: Oven Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: salad, butternut squash, winter, winter salad, pecans, candied pecans, goat cheese, roasted squash