Forget boring salad recipes with this delicious roasted pumpkin, kale and walnut salad. Made with a tangy and zesty orange dressing and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and goats cheese, this roasted pumpkin salad is easy to whip together and will guarantee no leftovers! So, why settle for the ordinary when you can indulge in this sensational creation? It’s a delightful journey for your taste buds—a celebration of flavours, textures, and vibrant ingredients that will make every bite a moment to savour.
Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Walnut & Kale
This roasted pumpkin salad with walnut and kale is the furthest from a boring salad! Full of sweet, zesty, creamy and tangy flavours, this will send you to foodie heaven. But here’s the best part—it’s not just incredibly delicious, it’s also incredibly nutritious! Jam-packing it with wholesome ingredients makes this salad a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Nourishing your body will always make you feel amazing inside and out!
Jazzing up the kale!
This kale is drizzled with a beautiful tangy dressing that is then massaged into the leaves. It will leave the kale soft and tender. The pumpkin is roasted to caramelised perfection and seasoned with cinnamon, cumin and a touch of honey. I can guarantee that whenever this salad is brought to a party or placed on the dinner table, there will be zero leftovers.
The real star of this show is the pumpkin! I absolutely love roasting pumpkin – and doing it correctly! Firstly, we need to season it well. I like to use a mix of spices such as cumin and cinnamon. As they are quite strong flavours, not much else is needed! Secondly, for that perfect caramelisation to the pumpkin skin drizzle it with a little honey. And lastly, always season with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake until soft and tender. Eating the pumpkin on its own is perfect, but this salad is even better.
What you need for this pumpkin salad recipe
Make this salad to your own personal taste! This is how I like it.
I must admit, I used to have a bit of a love-hate relationship with kale myself. This was, of course, before I learnt how to cook with it correctly. The key to transforming kale from a tough, bitter green to a tender and soft delight lies in the art of massaging. Yes, you heard that right! Give your kale a little TLC by massaging it. Then, give it a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or a delectable salad dressing. Think of it like a mini spa session for the leaves, tenderising them and infusing them with flavour. And, if you’ve been a kale hater like I once was, trust me on this one – it’s a game-changer that will make you fall head over heels for this vibrant and nutrient-packed green.
You can use any seed or nut you like for that crunchy element, but walnuts are my top pick for pumpkin salad recipes like this. These little wonders possess a unique combination of buttery richness and earthy undertones that perfectly complement the other ingredients in this salad. Their smooth, creamy texture provides a lovely contrast to the crispness of the greens and the creaminess of the dressing. And let’s not forget about their nutritional benefits – walnuts are packed with heart-healthy fats, essential minerals, and antioxidants, making them a wholesome addition to any meal.
The dressing is like a magical elixir that brings all the flavours of this pumpkin salad recipe together in perfect harmony. In this recipe, I’ve used a delicious salad dressing that complements the vibrant ingredients and elevates the taste to new heights. Zesty, tangy, and with sweet notes, this dressing adds a burst of flavour that dances on your taste buds.
Pumpkin (or Butternut Squash)
This vibrant and versatile vegetable takes centre stage in this salad, showcasing its natural sweetness and earthy flavour. But remember – the key to pumpkin perfection lies in seasoning and roasting it just right.
While they look absolutely stunning in pumpkin salad recipes, they also add the perfect tart and fresh component. The pomegranate seeds create a striking visual contrast against the vibrant green kale and the warm hues of the roasted pumpkin. Firstly, it’s like a masterpiece on your plate, an edible work of art. And it’s not just that, but it satisfies your palate as well as delights your eyes!
This is the ingredient that brings everything together! Soft goats cheese adds a luxurious and indulgent element to the pumpkin salad. Creamy texture and slightly tangy flavour, it creates a delightful contrast to the other ingredients. Overall, goat’s cheese enhances flavours and brings a melt-in-your-mouth richness to each bite.
Check out my other salad recipes at Daen’s Kitchen:
If you have any questions or would like to leave a review, please do so here! I always love answering your food and recipe related questions and hearing your feedback on these delicious recipes!
Roasted Pumpkin, Kale & Walnut Salad
- 4 tbsp salad dressing
- 1/2 pumpkin sliced into wedges and skin removed
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey
- 1 bunch kale destemmed and leaves removed
- 1 pomegranate seeds removed
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 50 g goats cheese
- flakey sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
Alternative Salad Dressing
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celsius.
- Place the pumpkin onto a pre lined baking tray and sprinkle the cumin and cinnamon powder and a pinch of salt and pepper all over. Drizzle with the honey and olive oil and massage into the pumpkin. Roast for 20 - 25 minutes until soft and slightly caramalised.
- In a large bowl, add the kale and drizzle with 3 tbsp of the blood orange and fig dressing. Massage the dressing into the kale and leave to sit for 5 minutes.
- Add the roasted pumpkin, pomegranate seeds, walnuts and goats cheese to the bowl with the kale. Finish off by drizzling 1 tbsp of the dressing and all over. Serve immediately.
Alternative Salad Dressing
- Combine all ingredients into a jar and shake well until well combined.
How do I ensure that the pumpkin roasts evenly?
To ensure even roasting, it’s crucial to cut uniform-sized pumpkin pieces. This allows them to cook at the same rate, preventing some pieces from becoming overcooked while others remain underdone. Aim for evenly sized pumpkin cubes or wedges to achieve perfectly roasted pumpkin.
Can I make the roasted pumpkin salad ahead of time?
While the roast pumpkin salad is best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare some elements in advance to save time. You can roast the pumpkin ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use. The dressing can also be made in advance and stored in the fridge. However, it’s recommended to assemble the salad just before serving to maintain the texture and freshness of the ingredients.
Can I substitute any ingredients in the roasted pumpkin salad?
The beauty of salads is their versatility. Feel free to customise the salad to your liking. You can swap the walnuts with your favourite seeds or nuts such as toasted pine nuts, use different varieties of pumpkin or butternut squash, and experiment with different types of cheese, such as feta cheese. You might even want to add additional vegetables such as sweet potato or baby spinach. The salad dressing can also be adjusted to your taste preferences.
Can I adjust the seasoning in the roasted pumpkin salad?
Yes, you can adjust the seasoning in the roasted pumpkin salad recipe according to your taste preferences. If you prefer more or less spice, feel free to adjust the amount of cumin and cinnamon used to season the pumpkin. Similarly, you can adjust the amount of honey, salt, and pepper to suit your desired level of sweetness and seasoning.