Roasted delicata squash salad is a satisfying vegetarian main course or a hearty side which is perfect for a fall day! I love this mix of earthy, creamy, sweet, and crunchy and you totally need to try the lemony tahini dressing because it pulls everything together.
Hey, guess what? My anniversary is tomorrow! It’s been 22 wonderful years since we got married and nearly 30 since we met! Wow. As I do every year, I’m making my husband’s favorite – apple pie (with my best ever apple pie recipe!), and we’re going out for a romantic dinner too.
I was going to cook, but my husband thought a night to relax and have people serve us food was exactly what we needed. Can’t argue with that! I am going to make a nice, cozy, and special dinner at home on Saturday. Since more than one day without cooking feels weird…
I’m thinking something Mediterranean, not too heavy (maybe some healthy and tasty mezze dishes?), but still comforting and cozy. Like this salad! Nice segue, yes? 😉 Mediterranean flavors, not going to weigh you down, and full of healthy but comforting ingredients.
Oh, and the dressing? Yum! It’s creamy without cream, tart from the lemon, and with an amazing nutty and robust flavor. Even if you’re not a big fan of tahini, pick some up and make this dressing. You will not be sorry. (True story – not a big fan of tahini here, but I’ve been making this dressing for a few years now and it has completely changed my opinion.)
What do you need?
- Delicata Squash – Two mid-sized ones.
- Chickpeas – Two cans all tossed with a spice mix.
- Kale – About 6 cups, baby kale if you can find it. If you use regular kale, chop it and massage it with the dressing.
- Fun Extras – Pomegranate, feta, red onions, pepitas.
- Creamy Dressing – A basic lemon and olive dressing with tahini for creamy richness.
How to make this
To make a delicata squash salad, roast sliced squash the oven along with chickpeas then toss it with kale, feta, pomegranate arils, and pepitas. Top with a creamy tahini and lemon dressing.
- Seed and slice the squash.
- Roast it along with chickpeas in the oven.
- Prep the kale, pomegranate, red onion, pepitas, and feta.
- Whisk together the tahini and lemon dressing.
- Layer the vegetables in a bowl, top with the dressing, and toss together.
1. Locate the Ingredients
The first step here is to find some delicata squash. Luckily this has gotten much easier even in just the past few years. Starting in September and lasting until late November or December, I can now find a bin of delicata in the supermarket. You will also find the squash at many farm stands and farmers’ markets.
Tip: Can’t find it or it’s out of season? Switch to diced butternut squash. You’ll still have all the yummy, caramelized squash flavor and butternut are very widely available.
Once you have them, take two of them, slice them in half, and scoop out the seeds. Then slice them into ~1/2 inch slices and toss them with salt and olive oil.
Next, prep the chickpeas by draining, rinsing, and drying them well. (More dry = more crisp.) Toss the chickpeas with spices, salt, and olive oil.
Heat up the oven, spread the squash out on a tray and give it about 10 minutes. Spread out the chickpeas on another tray and put them in the oven. Use the upper middle and lower middle positions for the oven racks! Roast everything for 10 more minutes, then give everything a stir/turn and roast for 10 minutes more.
Tip: This recipe gives the chickpeas a crisp/tender texture. If you want them crisper, put them in at the same time you start the squash.
4. Finish Up
While everything is roasting, prep all the other salad ingredients. Slice the red onions, wash the kale (and chop it if you aren’t using baby kale), crumble the feta, and get out the pomegranates and pepitas.
Then whisk together the tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and water to make the dressing. Add more water if you want a thinner dressing.
Toss and massage the kale with some of the dressing. Add the roasted vegetables right to the bowl along with all the other salad ingredients. Drizzle over the rest of the tahini dressing.
If you try my recipe for Kale, Chickpea, and Delicata Squash Salad, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
Kale, Chickpea and Roasted Delicata Squash Salad
- 2 delicata squash
- 2 15-oz cans chickpeas
- olive oil, for tossing with the squash and chickpeas
- 6-8 cups baby kale, or large kale chopped
- 4 oz feta cheese
- 6 tbsp pepitas, hulled and roasted pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 6 tbsp pomegranate seeds
Chickpea Spice Mix
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp sumac
- 1 tsp coriander
- sprinkle kosher salt
Lemon Tahini Dressing
- 3 tbsp tahini
- 1 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced or shaved
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Arrange the oven racks to the upper middle and lower middle positions. Preheat oven to 425F.
- Cut the delicata squash in half the long way. Scoop out the seeds. Then slice each half in to 1/2 inch slices. Toss with olive oil and kosher salt.
- Spread out the squash on a baking sheet and put in the bottom rack in the oven and roast for 10 minutes.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Then dry them well with towels. (Drier chickpeas are crispier chickpeas.)
- Toss the chickpeas with the spice mix and some olive oil. Spread them out on a baking sheet and, once the oven timer is up, put it in the oven in upper position. Roast for 10 minutes.
- Turn over the squash. Switch the trays and roast for 10 minutes more.
- Prep the rest of the salad ingredients while the squash is roasting.
- Whisk together the dressing. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
- Toss the kale with a little of the dressing and massage it in. Add to a serving bowl. Top with the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle over the dressing.
- Squash: If delicata squash is unavailable or not in season, switch to diced butternut squash.
- Sumac: You can find sumac in many supermarkets, Middle Eastern/Greek specialty shops, or on the internet.
- Chickpeas: For crisper chickpeas, add them to the oven at the same time you add the squash. Switch the racks top to bottom at the 15 minute mark.
- Substitutions: You can switch the feta to goat cheese, use other seeds like sunflower, and use dried fruit like cranberry or cherries in place of the pomegranates.