Fall Harvest Salad with Delicata Squash, Pomegranate and Kale
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Fall harvest salad is made with delicata squash, pomegranate and kale. It’s a beautiful feast for the eyes. This salad is loaded with incredible flavors and perfect to serve for any Fall celebration. This salad is topped with a simple homemade apple cider vinegar dressing.
Squash Pomegranate Kale Salad
Isn’t this a beautiful salad? What a wonderful way to celebrate the new season. I like to think of this as a Fall harvest. Even the colors – oranges, dark reds, purples and greens remind me of the season. Not only is it beautiful (your guests will LOVE it) it’s also delicious! There are so many incredible flavors here – all coming together to create a salad that everyone will be complimenting you for.
This salad is put together in a few steps. If you do it all at once it will seem like alot. I like to cook the quinoa and roast the squash the day before. Then assembling the salad and dressing is much easier.
I’ll walk you through how to make this salad below. But for now, just know that it’s so good and the extra steps are worth it!
Squash Pomegranate Kale Salad Ingredients
- Delicata Squash – You’ll need 1 delicata squash. This kind of squash is a little unique – why? because you can eat the skin on this one. All other winter squashes have skin that is too tough to eat (think pumpkin, butternut, acorn, spaghetti squash etc.) But delicata squash has a softer skin that can be eaten after roasted. This makes it an easy squash to bake in the oven. Technically, delicata squash is a summer squash (like zucchini) but it’s harvested later in the season making it seem like winter squash. You can typically find it at local farmers markets or organic grocery stores during the Fall.
- Kale – You’ll need 1 bunch of kale. First, rip the leaves from the stem. Wash the leaves and then chop into small bite-size pieces.
- Quinoa – You’ll need 1 cup of cooked quinoa (about 1/2 cup uncooked raw quinoa). I recommend cooking a large batch the day before and saving the rest for other meals.
- Pomegranate – You’ll need 1 whole pomegranate for this salad. It adds the perfect sweetness to the recipe.
- Red Onion – 1/2 of a red onion is sliced into thin strips.
- Feta Cheese – I used goat feta cheese. You can also use regular feta cheese (made from cows milk)
- Salad Dressing – For the dresing you’ll need olive oil, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic, dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
How To Cut A Pomegranate
Opening a pomegranate can feel a little confusing at first. There are few different methods out there. Personally I prefer this method:
- Slice the top stem off enough so that you can see the white ridges / lines and the pomegranate seeds.
- Use a knife to gently slice along the white lines all the way down to the bottom. (No need to fully cut the pomegranate open). Repeat along all the white lines.
- Using your hands, break apart the sections. They will open up naturally.
- You can eat the pomegranate like this, or pick off the seeds and place in a bowl. Discard any white pieces.
Watch this quick video to see how to open a pomegranate.
How To Roast Delicata Squash
Want to learn how to bake delicata squash? The process is very easy. I’ll walk you through all the details in this post. For now, here are the basics:
- Slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out stringy insides with a metal spoon.
- Slice into thin u-shape pieces and place on a baking sheet.
- Drizzle with cooking oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Bake at 425°F for 30 minutes, flipping half way. The squash is done when it is soft and the edges are browning.
Steps To Assemble Fall Harvest Salad
There are a few steps to putting this salad together. Here’s a quick overview:
- PREP: Bake the squash (see instructions here), cook the quinoa, open the pomegranate and slice the red onion. Massage the kale using your hands for 2-3 minutes until it starts to break down.
- ASSEMBLE: Add the ingredients to a serving bowl. Start with kale, then add squash, quinoa, red onion, pomegranate and feta cheese. Drizzle salad dressing on top and toss everything together.
Time Saving Tip: If you’re making this salad, I highly recommend you do it in two major steps. First, roast the squash and cook the quinoa. I did this the night before serving and it made things so much easier. Both the squash and quinoa can be added to the salad cold. But if you want you can warm them up first, I reheated the squash in the oven on a baking sheet at 400°F for 10 minutes. Then I reheated the quinoa in the microwave for 1 minute.
More Salad Recipes To Try
- Chicken Bacon Avocado Salad with Maple Dijon Dressing – This recipe is a feast for the eyes – serve it on special days when you want a healthy filling salad at the table.
- Chickpea Lemon Tuna Salad – Simple, yet flavorful. A great salad to make for lunches.
- 6 Healthy Mason Jar Salad Recipes – Learn how to meal prep salads in mason jars for quick and easy lunch and dinner ideas.
- Ranch Taco Chicken Salad – This salad is very filling and can be eaten as a meal.
- Sweet Potato Kale Salad – Serve this beautiful salad on the side of your steak, pork or fish dishes.
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Fall Harvest Salad with Delicata Squash, Pomegranate and Kale
- 1 delicata squash - sliced, seeds removed and roasted
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 bunch of kale
- ½ red onion - sliced thin
- 1 pomegranate
- ½ cup feta cheese
Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing:
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 garlic clove - minced
- ½ Tbsp dijon mustard
- salt and pepper - to taste
- Cook the quinoa: In a medium pot, heat 1 cup of water along with ½ cup of quinoa. Bring water to a boil, then reduce and let simmer until quinoa absorbs all the water. Try not to stir during this process. Once quinoa is cooked, fluff with a fork.
- Cook the delicata squash: Slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out stringy insides with a metal spoon. Slice into thin u-shape pieces and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with cooking oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake at 425°F for 30 minutes, flipping half way. Squash is done when it's soft and edges are browning (see full instructions here)
- Make the salad dressing: In a mason jar or bowl, add the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic, dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Seal the lid and give it a good shake. Set aside for now.
- Pomegranate: Slice the top stem off. Use knife to make slits along the white ridges all the way to the bottom. Use hands to peel open sections. Pull the pomegranate seeds out and place in a bowl. Discard any white pieces before adding to the salad.
- Massage The Kale: Remove the kale from the stem and rip into small bite size pieces. Wash and dry the kale, then add to a large bowl. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt in to the bowl. Use your hands to squeeze the kale and "massage" it for 2-3 minutes. This will help to break down the kale and make it easier to digest.
- Assemble The Salad: Add the kale to the serving bowl. Top with roasted delicata squash, quinoa, pomegranate, sliced red onion and feta cheese. Drizzle the dressing overtop and toss everything together. Serve and enjoy!