This salad is full of nutrient-dense ingredients and especially wonderful in the autumn time with the great fall flavors. It’s based on a mix of finely chopped kale and cabbage, which is a great blend since it stays crunchy, even after a sit in the fridge. It has a wonderful mix of both flavors and textures including savory roasted butternut squash, tangy feta, crunchy pepitas, soft and sweet golden raisins (or craisens), and some crisp fresh apple. If you’d like to add protein, chopped chicken is a great addition! I have 3 great dressing options for this salad, linked below!
- Cabbage – I use standard green cabbage, but red cabbage would be fine as well.
- Kale – I recommend buying a bunch of kale (as opposed to a bag of pre-chopped, because it will be much easier to cut the stems out and leave the leaves you need.
- Butternut Squash – To simplify, I like to buy a bag of pre-chopped butternut squash, but you could certainly buy a whole squash and roast, if you like.
- Pepitas – Purchase these near the nuts and seeds or in the health food aisle! You could also sub any other favorite nut or seed. Toasted walnuts, pecans, or sunflower seeds would also be great.
- Feta – salty tangy feta adds great flavor here.
- Golden Raisins – I use golden raisins for some sweet chew, but craisins are also a great choice. In fact, in this batch I photographed, I used half and half!
- Apple – I prefer a super crisp, sweet apple variety here. Honeycrisp, Cosmic Crisp, and Sugarbees are a few of my favorite varieties, but feel free to use whatever!
- Dressing – I have 3 great dressing options. My Honey Cider Vinaigrette, or my Maple Dijon Vinaigrette, or for something really quick and easy, my favorite Cranberry Pear White Balsamic (Use my affiliate code, OURBESTBITES for a discount) plus olive oil and salt and pepper.
- Wash and pat dry kale leaves, use a knife to cut leaves right off of stems. Chop both kale and cabbage into fine pieces.
- Add all toppings
- Toss with dressing, season with salt and pepper if needed, and eat!
You can easily add a protein to this salad- I love grilled chicken or steak or for a quick option, just pull apart a rotisserie chicken. It makes a great main dish, or side dish!
Frequently Asked Questions
- What can I prep ahead of time? I often roast the squash ahead of time. It can just go in the fridge. It will be softer than the slight crunch you get fresh out of the oven, but everything softens once the dressing is poured anyway so no worries! You can also chop the kale and cabbage up to a day ahead of time, it stores great in an airtight container in the fridge.
- 4 cups finely chopped green cabbage (about 1 medium head cabbage)
- 4 cups finely chopped kale leaves, stems removed (4–6 large kale leaves)
- 16 oz roasted butternut squash, cooled to room temp
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 large apple, chopped
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- handful of fresh parsley, optional (about 1/4-1/2 cup)
Honey Cider Vinaigrette
1/3 cup Apple Cider (not apple juice)
1/3 cup honey
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or a vegetable oil, like canola)
- To prepare dressing, place apple cider, honey, vinegar, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until honey is incorporated into mixture (you may need to scrape the bottom of the blender.)
With lid on and blender speed running on low, slowly drizzle in the oil in a small steady stream until fully incorporated. If desired, add additional salt and pepper to taste.
To prepare Salad: Combine chopped cabbage and kale in a large salad bowl. Note: To prepare kale, use a knife to cut the greens off from the stem and discard stems. Bunch leaves tightly together with one hand and finely chop.
- Add squash, raisins, pepitas, apple, feta and parsley. Mix well.
- Drizzle with dressing and toss to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.