If you’re looking for a new way to feature butternut squash in your menu, here you go! This rustic, healthy butternut squash salad recipe celebrates fall and winter seasonal produce—brightly colored winter squash, whole grain barley, dark green leafy greens, and crunchy hazelnuts—all in one hearty salad bowl. Simply cook up the barley grains and squash, then toss it with chopped kale, bell pepper, green onions, hazelnuts, hemp seeds and a flavorful tahini kale salad dressing, and you’re all set. I love to serve this yummy comforting butternut squash salad with lentil soup to make it a balanced meal.
This Butternut Squash Salad with Barley and Kale is perfect for a simple weeknight meal, potluck, tailgating party, or even your holiday table (the perfect Thanksgiving salad!). It’s also delicious meal prepped, as the butternut squash kale salad lasts a few days or more in the refrigerator without getting soggy. Packed with nutrition compliments of squash, whole grains, nuts, tahini, and bell pepper, you can feel so good about diving into this salad, which is also vegan.
You can also swap out butternut squash for any type of winter squash, such as delicata, carnival, and acorn squash. And make this recipe gluten-free by using a gluten-free grain instead of barley, such as quinoa, sorghum, or brown rice.
Learn how to make this recipe with my easy video here.
This hearty, delicious Butternut Squash Salad with Barley and Kale—tossed with a tahini dressing—is a perfect seasonal healthy salad recipe to celebrate winter squash, whole grains, leafy greens, and hazelnuts.
- Place barley and water in a medium pot, cover, and cook over medium heat for about 35 minutes, according to package directions, stirring occasionally, until barley is tender yet firm. Drain any remaining water and allow to cool slightly until warm but not hot.
- Meanwhile, place squash in a medium pot, cover with water, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, just squash is tender yet firm. Remove from heat, drain liquid, and cool slightly to warm but not hot.
- While barley and squash are cooking, prepare salad. Place chopped kale in a large bowl.
- Add bell pepper, green onions, hemp seeds, hazelnuts, and cranberries and toss.
- Make dressing by mixing together tahini, olive oil, ginger, agave (optional), lemon juice, smoked paprika, sea salt (optional), and black pepper in a small bowl with a whisk until smooth and creamy.
- Pour dressing over salad and toss into salad well to distribute ingredients.
- Add warm barley and squash and gently toss. Serve immediately while warm, or cool to serve later.
- Makes 4 servings, about 2 1/2 cups per serving.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Salad
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 329
- Sugar: 2 g
- Sodium: 26 mg
- Fat: 12 g
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 52 g
- Fiber: 12 g
- Protein: 10 g
Keywords: salad, kale, barley
Try a few of my other favorite plant-based salad recipes:
Pomegranate Avocado Quinoa Salad
Quinoa Apple Waldorf Salad
Mediterranean Persimmon White Bean Kale Salad
Jewel Winter Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
Blood Orange Salad with Kale and Hazelnuts
Sonoma Kale Salad with Red Grapes and Mushroom-Red Wine Vinaigrette
Mandarin Quinoa and Kale Bowl
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