Easy Fall Harvest Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
A delicious and nutritious Fall Harvest Salad made with kale, roasted butternut squash, roasted Brussels sprouts, sliced honey crisp apple, goat cheese, dried cranberries, pomegranate seeds, and pumpkin seeds. This autumn harvest salad is tossed in a maple apple cider vinaigrette, making it the ultimate Fall healthy salad.
This kale fall harvest salad is one the best healthy Fall salads that I’ve ever eaten. It’s hearty and full of texture and flavor. Which is exactly how salads should be.
It makes for a lovely main dish or side salad and can be easily customized to your dietary needs or personal taste.
Why I love this harvest salad recipe:
- It is super EASY to make. Seriously, in roughly 30 minutes you’ll have an impressive gourmet salad ready.
- It is incredibly tasty. Any salad with goat cheese is great in my opinion. But add in dried cranberries, sweet honey crisp apple, crunchy pumpkin seeds, and fresh pomegranate seeds and it takes things to a whole other level.
- The maple vinaigrette here is SO good. It’s got cinnamon and apple cider vinegar inside and is so delicious I could drink it!
- It is versatile. You can serve this salad as is or you can easily add some protein like hard boiled eggs or grilled chicken.
Ingredients needed for the salad:
- baby kale or spinach
- butternut squash
- brussels sprouts
- honey crisp apple
- goat cheese
- dried cranberries
- pomegranate seeds
- pumpkin seeds
This recipe would work with a wide variety of salad /greens as the base. I personally like baby kale (which is softer and easier to eat than regular kale) or spinach.
Ingredients needed for the maple vinaigrette:
- olive oil
- apple cider vinegar
- maple syrup
- salt and pepper
- rubbed sage or dried thyme
- ground cinnamon
I have tried making this dressing with both rubbed sage and dried thyme and loved them both.
I included both as an option so that you could use whatever you have on hand.
How to make the best autumn harvest salad:
This easy Fall harvest salad is made in three steps.
Step 1) Roast the butternut squash and Brussels sprouts.
Note: I bought a bag of pre-cut butternut squash, this made making this salad much easier and faster.
Step 2) Make the maple vinaigrette dressing.
Step 3) Put the salad together.
Now this step sounds simple enough but there are actually two ways in which you can put this salad together.
(1) Mix it all together.
You can add ALL of the Fall harvest salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Then you can top it in the maple vinaigrette and mix.
(2) Make individual plates. (My favorite way)
To do this, add the kale and carrots to a large bowl, along with some of the dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate seeds. Then add some of your dressing to the bowl and mix.
Then, add this kale salad to each individual plate as your base. Then, top each plate with some roasted butternut squash, roasted Brussels sprouts, apple slices, goat cheese, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate seeds.
After that, sprinkle a little more dressing on top of each individual plate.
I like plating my apple harvest salad like this because then you can evenly distribute all of the awesome ingredients in this salad. It’s also more visually appealing.
Modifications that can be made:
(1) Dietary tweaks
As I mentioned, this autumn harvest salad can easily be tweaked to fit your dietary needs.
For example) This salad can be made dairy-free and Vegan by removing the goat cheese.
If the goat cheese is removed, then this makes the recipe Paleo as well.
(2) Ingredient swaps
You can tweak the ingredients based on your tastes.
Some examples…you can use…
- pears instead of apples
- raisins instead of cranberries
- almonds instead of pumpkin seeds
- feta instead of goat cheese
- honey instead of maple syrup
The list could go on and on…
Other healthy Fall salads you may enjoy:
This Sautéed Cabbage Cobb Salad (Paleo, Whole30) is a fun take on the classic cobb, but made with sauteed cabbage instead. SO good!
I like this simple Pear, Pomegranate, and Almond Arugula Salad (Paleo, GF). It is fresh and great with added chicken or salmon.
This Roasted Sweet Potato Salad from Salted Plains. It is a wonderful vegetarian salad made with arugula, millet, chickpeas, cranberries, and pecans.
Easy Fall Harvest Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
Fall harvest salad ingredients:
- 5 ounces baby kale or spinach
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash (or a 12 ounce bag of pre-cut butternut squash)
- 2 cups halved Brussels sprouts
- 1 honey crisp apple sliced
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 5 ounces crumbled goat cheese
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
Maple Vinaigrette ingredients:
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp rubbed sage or thyme (whatever you have on hand or prefer)
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Put the butternut squash and Brussels sprouts onto a pan, spray with olive oil, add salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
- While the veggies roast, make the dressing. In a medium bowl, add the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, salt, pepper, rubbed sage or thyme, and cinnamon and mix until the mixture has thickened.
- Once the veggies are roasted, you can put the salad together in two ways. 1) Mixing it all together or 2) Making individual plates.
- Option 1) Mixing everything together. Put all of the Fall Harvest Salad ingredients into a bowl. Then add 3/4 of the dressing to the bowl and mix again. ( Taste and then add more dressing if you want or leave it)
- Option 2) Making individual plates. This is my favorite way of making this salad. Put the kale and shredded carrots into a large bowl. Then add about half of the dried cranberries, pomegranate seeds and pumpkin seeds to the bowl. Pour 3/4 of the dressing on top and mix. Then, add the kale salad mixture to individual plates. Top each plate with some butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, apple slices, goat cheese, dried cranberries, pomegranate sees, and pumpkin seeds. Then sprinkle a little more dressing on top of each plate.
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