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This winter harvest salad is made with kale, brussel sprouts, chickpea pasta, butternut squash and topped with pepitas and goat cheese, it’s my go-to lunch salad. I make a huge batch of it at the beginning of the week and eat it all week long because it’s great served warm or chilled. Tossed together with a balsamic dressing, this salad is a healthy and delicious meal or pairs well with any dinner.
This is my favorite salad and I can’t wait to share the recipe with you. It’s so simple to make and the combination of flavors and textures is so satisfying!
Kale is the perfect base for this salad. I love a salad you can make ahead of time and not worry about the greens getting all soggy and gross. Kale is a cruciferous vegetable, which basically means it has a tough, fibrous texture that when massaged with a salad dressing, breaks down and becomes easier to consume. Compared to an arugula or spinach that will wilt pretty quickly after being dressed, kale will last long in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Added bonus: kale has a ton of health benefits as it’s packed with vitamin A to support a strong immune system, and vitamin C which aids in chronic disease prevention. Not to mention it’s loaded with powerful antioxidants and fiber, aka it’s the ultimate superfood.
In addition to the hearty kale, brussel sprouts - a vegetable typically harvested in the winter time - are tossed into our winter harvest salad. In this recipe, we’re going to shave and roast the brussel sprouts in the oven before combining with the rest of our ingredients. The brussels are what gives this salad the crunch factor!
Chickpea pasta is what’s going to give this salad an extra dose of protein since we aren’t including a traditional source of protein like chicken, beef, or fish. I absolutely love all the Banza pastas, but any type of chickpea pasta you have will work.
We absolutely have to add a little bit of butternut squash to this salad, even though squash is more of a fall item - you can still find them at the grocery store during the winter and they add a nice comforting component to this winter harvest salad.
Lastly, we’re going to top this off with some goat cheese, dried cranberries, and pepitas! Mix it all together with a balsamic dressing, and viola we have the perfect winter harvest salad!
Ingredients in the Winter Harvest Salad
Kale: A dark leafy, green that will serve as the base to our salad. It holds the dressing nicely and packs in a ton of nutrients for a true superfood salad!
Brussel Sprouts: Shaved and roasted, this winter-harvested veggie adds a crunch factor to this recipe.
Butternut Squash: Cut and roasted butternut squash gives this salad the comforting and cozy vibes that we all need during the winter season. Pro-tip - purchase pre-cut squash if you can, will save you loads of time!
Chickpea Pasta: I love Banza pasta but there are plenty of other brands of chickpea pastas, grab a box of your favorite. The type of pasta doesn’t matter here, as long as it’s not a spaghetti or long noodle type.
Toppings: Goat cheese, pepitas, dried cranberries and a balsamic dressing make this salad over the top delicious.
Kitchen Tools Needed for this Recipe
- Baking tray
- Large bowl and spoon
How to Make a Winter Harvest Salad
Step One: Chop butternut squash into bite-sized pieces and slice/shred brussel sprouts. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Place cut butternut squash and shaved brussel sprouts on the baking tray and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with a dash of salt and pepper. Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned and brussel sprouts are crispy.
Step Two: In a medium saucepan, bring about 8 cups of water to a boil. Add in one box of pasta, return to a boil, and cook for 10 minutes. (Follow specific instructions on your pasta box). Drain pasta and set aside.
Step Three: In a large mixing bowl, add 6 cups of kale and ⅓ cup of balsamic dressing, 1 tbsp olive oil, and a dash of salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands - massaging the dressing into the kale.
Step Four: Add the goat cheese, pepitas, and dried cranberries. Add the cooked pasta, roasted brussel sprouts and butternut squash into the bowl with the kale. Mix until well combined.
Step Five: Serve immediately for a warm salad or store covered in the fridge for up to 4 days. Can be eaten warm or as a cold pasta salad.