This post is sponsored by the California Table Grape Commission. All thoughts and ideas are my own.
We all have our favorite fall recipes, and mine is definitely this hearty fall harvest salad!
Fall is the perfect time to enjoy a good harvest salad. They’re so perfect for lunch or dinner, and once you see how easy it is to throw together, you’ll want to make it all the time!
Yes, autumn salad is a thing…
We hear fall food and I think many people immediately go to pumpkin, baked goods, and coffee. But, a harvest salad should totally be in there too! A truly great fall salad highlights some of the season’s best produce options, and is a truly hearty, filling salad.
What’s in a harvest salad?
A harvest green salad will have multiple forms of produce, some nuts and seeds, and a base of nutrient dense greens. We’ve opted for kale in this recipe, but you can use another type if you prefer.
The best fall salad dressing
The dressing we make for this recipe is so delicious! Slightly spicy and slightly sweet and pairs perfectly with our butternut squash, pecans, and California grapes! And I think if you think about it, a really good dressing is also an essential part of a delicious harvest salad.
Maple apple cider vinaigrette
The dressing for this salad comes together so easily. You can whisk it together in a bowl or add it to some sort of mason jar and shake it up. Simply add your apple cider vinegar, avocado oil, water, maple syrup, and seasonings to the bowl or jar and mix/shake. Yes, that’s really all it is! So easy, and so good!
My harvest salad recipe
As I mentioned above, the stars of my harvest salad recipe are seasonal produce. I picked two of my favorites for this recipe: butternut squash and California grapes!
Pretty sure a fall harvest salad recipe wouldn’t be complete without butternut squash so let’s look at a few fun details about this seasonal starchy veggie.
How to cook butternut squash for a fall harvest salad
I prefer to roast butternut squash for salad for added flavor and the perfect texture. And it’s really easy to do while you’re prepping your other ingredients.
Butternut squash nutrition
One cup of butternut squash cubes contains 16g carbohydrate and 3g fiber.
Grape nutrition facts
Fresh California grapes are delicious and offer potassium, vitamin K, and a super convenient source of hydration. Red grapes pair perfectly with the other ingredients in this salad for an ideal balance of fat, fiber and protein.
And remember, all colors of grapes– red, green, and black – are a natural source of antioxidants and other polyphenols… so if you want to use green or black grapes in this recipe instead of red, that’s totally fine!
If you want to read more about how I use California grapes and why it’s a-ok and encouraged for people with diabetes to eat grapes, check out my Homemade Uncrustables Recipe where we make simple 1-ingredient grape jam!
Healthy fall salads
If you love this fall harvest salad, make sure to check out these other great salad options…
- Easy Chicken Salad with Grapes and Walnuts
- Mediterranean Veggie Pasta Salad (you can serve this one warm instead of cold!)
- Kale Salad with Grapes and Pine Nuts
Fall Harvest Salad with Grapes, Squash & Maple Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ Tbsp avocado oil
- 1 Tbsp water
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 cup cubed butternut squash
- ¼ cup pecan halves
- 1 cup red seedless California grapes
- 2 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
- 2 oz. crumbled goat cheese
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
- Place your chopped kale in 2 serving bowls and set them aside.
- Now, combine the apple cider vinegar, avocado oil, water, maple syrup, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk thoroughly until fully combined.
- Pour half of the dressing (1 fl oz. total) over the kale leaves in their bowls and gently massage the dressing into the leaves for a few minutes. Then, we’ll let the kale sit until we’re ready to top our salad.
- Next, place your butternut squash and pecan halves in a bowl and pour the remaining dressing (1 fl oz.) over them. Stir/toss until fully coated. (You can also do this in a plastic bag or other container of your choice and just shake them up.) Spread the marinated butternut squash and pecans onto the parchment lined pan and place them in the oven for about 15 minutes until the butternut squash is slightly browned and fork tender.
- Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside to cool.
- By now, your kale should be good to go, and we can add the red grapes on top of each salad. Then, add the butternut squash and pecans to your salads, followed by the pumpkin seeds and goat cheese.
- Toss it all together as desired, and enjoy!