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Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Sauté

Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Sauté

Great side dish for the holidays! Roasted cubes of butternut squashed tossed with balsamic sautéed onions, kale, pecans, dried cranberries.

Photography Credit:Elise Bauer

Looking for a great holiday side? How about a drop dead delicious, healthy kale and squash sauté that is surprisingly easy to put together?

Roast cubes of butternut squash so they get tasty caramelized edges. While roasting the squash, prep the onions and kale and then sauté them with balsamic vinegar, adding the squash, pecans, and cranberries at the end. Simple. Beautiful. Packed with flavor and color.

The balsamic vinegar? It’s what makes all the difference. The sweet tartness just intensifies the flavors of the onions, squash and kale.

Oh yeah, it’s also vegan. It may even be paleo (if you swap out the sweetened dried cranberries with raisins).

Every year we try to come up with at least one sparkling holiday side that will wow your guests. This year this is it. I’m making it for our Thanksgiving dinner and hope you do too!

Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Sauté Recipe

Time saver: while the squash is roasting, prep the other ingredients.

To make ahead, roast the cubed squash and prep the ingredients, then do a quick sauté before serving.


  • 4 cups 3/4-inch cubes of butternut squash (from about 1 3/4 pound whole small butternut squash)
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Sprinkling of black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, quartered and sliced (about 2 cups of sliced red onions)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 6 cups thinly (3/4-inch) sliced kale (center ribs removed) (from about 1 bunch of kale)
  • 1/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • 1/2 cup slightly broken up pecans
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1 Roast cubed butternut squash: Preheat oven to 425°F. Place cubed butternut squash in a bowl and toss with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Spread out onto a lined baking sheet. Roast in oven for 25 minutes or until the squash is cooked through and browned on the edges.

2 Sauté onions and garlic: 15 minutes into roasting the butternut squash, start on the onions. Heat olive oil on medium high heat in a thick-bottomed 4 to 5 quart pot. Add the sliced red onion and toss to coat. Let cook for 7 to 8 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook a minute more.

3 Add balsamic and kale: Add the balsamic vinegar and the shredded kale. Stir until the kale is mixed well with the onions (it helps to use tongs to turn over the kale). Let cook for a minute or two until the kale is just wilted (don't overcook).

4 Add roasted squash, dried cranberries, pecans: Then stir in the roasted butternut squash, the dried sweetened cranberries, and pecans. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Roasted Butternut Squash & Kale

1. Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven preheat to 500°. Divide the squash and onions between two large rimmed baking sheets. Add 3 tbsp. oil and 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper to each sheet and toss season with salt. Roast until tender, about 30 minutes total. Halfway through cooking, rotate the sheets, switch them between racks and stir the vegetables.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the kale, garlic, the remaining 2 tbsp. oil and a pinch of salt. Remove the vegetables from the oven. Immediately divide the kale between the baking sheets toss until the kale wilts slightly. Let the sheets stand on wire racks until the vegetables cool, about 45 minutes.

3. Divide the squash-kale mixture among five 1-gallon freezer bags. Squeeze out the air.

And. Freeze: Stack the bags flat and freeze up to 3 months. When you’re ready to cook, scoop out the amount of vegetables needed for your recipe. If the vegetables clump together, rap the bag on the counter to break apart. To thaw, place vegetables in the fridge overnight, or microwave on defrost until thawed, 4 to 5 minutes.

There are So Many Ways to Cook Squash!

In the past I’ve kept it simple roasting cubed squash on a sheet pan and tossing it in everything bagel seasoning. You can’t go wrong with Everything on everything.

I’ve also used butternut squash in a no-stir oven-baked barley risotto.

This time I stayed on the stovetop making sauteed butternut squash and kale.

And I figured out a way to repurpose the leftovers.

Warm Kale Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This Warm Kale Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, balsamic vinaigrette, grilled chicken and sugared roasted pumpkin seeds is the best kind of comfort food perfect for cool autumn evenings!

This post is brought to you in partnership with Litehouse Foods! Although I’ve been compensated for my time, all opinions are 100% my own.

You all know I love my comfort food and that means good hearty and delicious meals. While we do make a lot of salads in my household, hubs is usually the salad guru and I am the grill master. However, when I do make a salad, I want it to stand out, I want it to be different from all other salads and I want it to fill me up and make me feel like I’m not really eating a salad, but something good, delicious, hearty and comforting. Which is what this crazy yummy salad delivers!

I made this incredible salad using Litehouse Organic Balsamic Vinaigrette which I used two ways. First I marinated my grilled chicken in the balsamic vinaigrette for about half hour, which basically tenderized it a bit before grilling it. I also used the balsamic vinaigrette for making the dressing for the salad which I mixed together with some sautéed shallots and garlic.

I’ll admit that there are a few steps to this salad, but trust me when I tell you each and every step is totally worth it. Yes, you can skip the roasted butternut squash with brussels sprouts, or you can skip the chicken or roasted pumpkin seeds, but then you’d miss out on all the things that make this salad great.

I love roasted butternut squash and it’s so easy to make. If you hate peeling it and cutting it up, you can use the frozen one, or I know some grocery stores now carry it all cleaned up and cut into pieces. That will certainly save you some time. But I would totally go to the trouble of roasting it in all those great spices. I also added some brussels sprouts only because I love roasted brussels sprouts, but this is totally optional.

The roasted pumpkin seeds with brown sugar and butter are truly out of this world. While they’re amazing in this salad, I love to make these just on their own and snack on them. So. Good. Just try them, you’ll thank me.

I love adding some grilled chicken to this salad, and the chicken is so flavorful from being marinated in the balsamic vinaigrette, but it’s up to you if you add it. I actually grilled this on a grill pan on my stove top, so it was really easy, didn’t have to heat up the grill or anything. You could even just cook it in a skillet.

But let’s talk about kale for just a minute. I personally am not a huge kale fan mostly because whenever I eat it at a restaurant I feel like I’m choking on it. I have found out a way to make it so that I love to eat it and that is I give it a nice massage. I actually learned about this trick from my mother in law who makes a killer cabbage salad, and she massages the cabbage in some olive oil and salt until it’s nice and tender.

Which is why I now do the same to my kale, first I like to chop it really nice and small then give it a good massage for about a minute with some good olive oil and a bit of salt. You will end up with nice and tender kale. So worth it.

And lastly, all that’s left to do to this salad is assemble it all together and add some great feta cheese for saltiness and some craisins for a bit of sweetness. My husband who is quite the picky eater said that this was the best salad he’s ever had. Trust me, that was the biggest compliment I ever got. He couldn’t stop eating it, and those roasted pumpkin seeds were the bomb. Not only is this salad so incredibly delicious, it’s so filling, you will actually walk away from the table feeling like you ate a huge steak and potatoes. I think that’s a good thing.

If you try this recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment, rate it and tag a photo #jocooks on Instagram so we can see it. I always love to see what you guys come up with!


Here are some things you can do with the veggie mixture!

1. Serve it on a plate as is! You won&rsquot regret it.

2. Make Butternut Squash and Kale Quesadillas. Unbelievably glorious.

3. Put the mixture inside a panini or grilled cheese. Utter heaven.

4. Slice up a baguette, drizzle the pieces with olive oil, lightly toast them in the oven, then spread each slice with a little goat cheese or flavored cream cheese, spoon a little of the veggie mixture on each one, and serve them as an appetizer with cold white wine. Yum!

5. Puree the cooked squash in some chicken broth to make a soup, splash in a little cream, then throw in the kale after the soup is ready. Butternut Squash and Kale Soup!

6. Follow this risotto recipe, but include the kale to make it gorgeous and green.

6. Grill some chicken, put it inside pita bread, stuff it full with the squash/kale mixture, and spoon in a yogurt/herb mixture as a dressing. Yum! That just sounded good for some reason.

7. Make a simple skillet pasta dish:

Just dump some cooked bowtie pasta right into the skillet&hellip

Then drizzle in a little olive oil&hellip

Here&rsquos the handy dandy printable for the veggie mixture. Go have fun with it this weekend!

Roasted Butternut Squash with Wilted Kale, Mushrooms and Garlic for #SundaySupper

I really love cooking this time of year. Summer has lots of beautiful colors and fresh ingredients, but fall and winter are just so full of flavor. The #SundaySupper team really knows how to play up the seasons’ best foods. Each week keeps getting better and better! Today we are “Squashin’ Winter” with some of our best squash recipes. Thanks to Heather from girliechef for hosting!

I adapted this recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash with Wilted Kale, Mushrooms and Garlic from a recipe I learned at work. It’s probably one of my favorite side dishes ever. It was written by one of our chefs, Anthony, who is actually about to make his way out to Orlando to open up the newest Publix Aprons Cooking School and be the resident chef! (Shout out to Anthony – congratulations and good luck!). Thanks for everything you’ve taught me and all your inspirational and delicious recipes!

The original dish uses potatoes, but with butternut squash being in season I thought it would be an amazing substitute. Plus, it gives the dish a little more color and a lot of great flavor! If you’re still looking for recipes for your Thanksgiving dinner, Roasted Butternut Squash with Wilted Kale, Mushrooms and Garlic would be a great addition to your menu!

I served this alongside tangerine-ginger marinated salmon and cous cous. Whenever I have the chance to cook dinner for my roommates, I really want to make it something special. Nothing is ever boring and I don’t usually make the same thing twice, but with a side this good, it may be making another appearance on the dinner table again very soon.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Wilted Kale, Mushrooms and Garlic
Serves 4-6

1 medium butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
10-12 garlic cloves
olive oil
1 8 oz. package of wild mushrooms
1 15 oz. bag of kale
goat cheese (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the cut-up butternut squash onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Roast for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the garlic cloves in a small saucepot and pour in enough olive oil so they are completely submerged. Cook on high for about 15 minutes. The garlic will turn a deep shade of tan and smell absolutely amazing.

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour about 2 tbsp of the garlic oil. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add remaining garlic oil, as well as the garlic cloves, and add the kale. Cook until kale has wilted.

Add the roasted squash to the mushrooms and kale. Sauté until you see char marks on the squash. Sprinkle goat cheese on top if desired.

Craving more yummy squash recipes? Look no further – the #SundaySupper team has plenty for you!

Breakfasts and Breads

Appetizers, Starters, and Condiments

Soups, Sandwiches, and Salads

  • Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili from Supper for a Steal
  • Black Bean Pumpkin Soup from What Smells So Good?
  • Butternut Squash and Bacon Grilled Cheese from Ruffles & Truffles
  • Butternut Squash Soup from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
  • Hearty Quinoa Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash from Citronlimette
  • Roasted Buttercup Squash and Black Bean Soup (Dairy free) from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
  • Roasted Butternut Squash and Vegetable Soup from Kudos Kitchen By Renee
  • Roasted Squash and Mexican Black Bean Salad from Peanut Butter and Peppers
  • Roasted Squash and Sesame Noodle Salad from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
  • Butternut Squash and Spinach Quesadillas from The Dinner-Mom
  • Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Balsamic Brown Butter from Crazy Foodie Stunts
  • Butternut Squash Lasagna from Hip Foodie Mom
  • Butternut Squash-Sage Cream Sauce with Sausage Spaghetti from Daily Dish Recipes
  • Carnival Squash with Maple Sausage Stuffing from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
  • Chorizo-Stuffed Acorn Squash from Small Wallet Big Appetite
  • Butternut Squash with Spicy Wild Rice and Queso Fresco from Vintage Kitchen Notes
  • Pumpkin Alfredo from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
  • Pumpkin Enchiladas from La Cocina de Leslie
  • Pumpkin Risotto with Bacon, Goat Cheese, and Pecans from The Weekend Gourmet
  • Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprout Pizza from Curious Cuisiniere
  • Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash from The Messy Baker
  • Spaghetti Squash in a Creamy Sausage Sauce from Cookin’ Mimi
  • Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Scampi from Pescetarian Journal
  • Acorn Squash with Cinnamon and Cranberries from Noshing With The Nolands
  • Butternut Squash and Apple Crumble from The Wimpy Vegetarian
  • Butternut Squash Gratin with Sage Pesto & Gorgonzola from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
  • Chorizo and Craisin Stuffed Acorn Squash from Family Foodie
  • Parmesan-Roasted Acorn Squash from The Urban Mrs
  • Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese from Big Bear’s Wife
  • Roasted Butternut Squash with Balsamic Vinegar Honey Butter from Food Lust People Love
  • Roasted Butternut Squash with Wilted Kale, Mushrooms and Garlic from Take a Bite Out of Boca
  • Skillet Buttercup Squash with Bacon from Magnolia Days
  • Slow Cooker Squash and Apples from Mama’s Blissful Bites
  • Sweet N Spicy Baked Chipotle Butternut Squash Fries from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
  • Twice Baked Pumpkin Stuffed Sweet Potatoes from Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen

Wine Pairing Recommendations for Squashin’ Winter #SundaySupper from Enofylz Wine Blog

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Kale and Almond Pecan Parmesan

Sketchie agrees, after a fun (but tiring) visit with his two furry cat friends. Luckily, grandpa put up with his antics yet again. I won’t go into the multiple accidents he had, but I’ll just tell you that I have an amazing, patient, and kind father-in-law. He deserves many of his favourite baked goods when we visit over Thanksgiving in a couple weeks. And possibly a 6-week spa getaway.

After a few rants and raves once home, Sketchie finally settled into his old digs, but unfortunately didn’t get the memo that we’re still on Pacific time. I have no idea how much coffee I consumed this weekend, but let’s just say my old friend, Bodum, is back to stay!

Back in Ontario, it’s clear that summer has come to an end. Trees are starting to change colour and my robe and slippers have appeared for the first time in months. I was so acclimatized to the amazing heat we had in B.C., I temporarily forgot all about this fall stuff. With bronzed skin for the first time all summer, I came home only to cover it up with sweaters and pants. The summer clothes are in a rejected, useless heap in front of the washing machine.

Since the weather was fitting, I consoled myself with grocery shopping and a healthy dose of fall produce. It’s good to be back in the kitchen, if anything!

This weekend was all about squash…and cookies…and coffee beans. Actually, cookies were the first thing I made, not that that should come as a surprise to anyone. You’d think I’d be aiming for healthier fare after vacation, but I had one thing on my mind: recreating the amazing cookie as big as my head. That recipe will be coming soon, but since it’s Monday and we’re probably trying to eat a bit healthier, I have a vegetable recipe for you today. Don’t worry though, I don’t do boring vegetables.

This recipe is inspired by the roasted butternut squash recipe I made back in 2009. It’s incredibly simple to make using only about 15-20 minutes of prep while the oven does the rest. This time, I made an almond pecan parmesan “cheese” and added Lacinato kale for green power. The result is a comforting fall side dish that will warm you to the bone.


  • Melt 3 Tbs. of the butter in a 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the butternut squash and a large pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally at first and then more frequently as the squash browns, until the squash is tender and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Push the squash to one side of the pan and add the remaining Tbs. of butter to the clear space. When the butter melts, add the ginger, garlic, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook the aromatics in the melted butter, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan until they are softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne into the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir the flavorings into the squash, adjust the salt to taste before serving, and garnish with the cilantro, if using.

Recipe Notes

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Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

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In this rustic, cold-weather salad, cubes of roasted butternut squash combine with roasted red onion, kale, and toasted pine nuts, in a zesty lemon and tahini dressing. It’s substantial enough to serve as an entrée, with crusty bread and a cup of tomato soup.


  1. 1 Put the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and a pinch of salt into a small jar with a tightfitting lid. Close the jar and shake vigorously.
  2. 2 Add the extra-virgin olive oil and shake again. Thin with a little water, if necessary, to yield a dressing with a pourable consistency. Set aside.

To make the salad:

  1. 1 Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss together the squash, red onion, olive oil, a big pinch of salt, and black pepper to taste. Spread into an even layer. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender and slightly caramelized, about 30 minutes. (If the onions start to get too brown, remove them and set aside.) Set aside to cool completely, about 1 hour.
  2. 2 Strip the kale leaves off the stalks and discard the stalks. Stack the kale leaves and cut into fine strips. Add them to a large, shallow salad bowl.
  3. 3 Sprinkle the kale with a little salt and massage the leaves with your hands just to soften them slightly. Add the cooled squash mixture. Drizzle with some of the dressing, enough to moisten the salad. Toss and taste. Add more dressing, salt, and/or black pepper as needed. Scatter the pine nuts over the salad and serve.

Reviews ( 4 )

Tasty, though I used spinach as the store did not have kale.

Just made this and it was delish! I've never tried butternut squash or kale, and they were both a pleasant surprise. I forgot the sage leaves, so I just used some sage seasoning, and pre-minced garlic, rather than slicing it fresh. The kale was very flavorful, but a bit strong, similar to bok choy. The squash was a wonderful compliment to the porkchops (and I added a little pork rub to chops for extra flavor). All in all, very good and a pretty healthy meal.

Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale, and Lemon Soup Recipe

I have something of an aversion to blended soups, mostly because the homogeneous texture gets boring after a while. Instead, I love brothy soups—ones with all kinds of things floating in the bowl for me to scoop out. But who says you can't add things into a blended soup to get the best of both worlds?

I decided to tackle that fall staple, butternut squash soup. Most recipes begin by peeling, cubing, and then simmering the gourd in a liquid until tender. But I wanted something a bit more assertive, so I hit upon the idea of roasting the cubed pieces until they were nicely browned and tender. And since I already had the oven on, why not cook everything in there?

To add a bit of color, I added red bell peppers and kale to the pan. The leaves don't get quite as crispy as full-on kale chips, but that's okay since they're tossed in the soup anyway. I also added some lemon wedges on top, which lent the kale a much-needed shot of acidity. Those same lemons are then squeezed into the soup, freshening up every spoonful.

Though this might sound a bit finicky, because it's all tossed in a couple pans and roasted, it's actually pretty easy. Plus, every bite is has a savory, roasted character that I found really appealing.