Couscous, Squash and Kale Salad with a Maple Vinaigrette

Couscous, Squash and Kale Salad with a Maple Vinaigrette

Do you need to bring a dish to your Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, or holiday celebrations but, don’t have the ability to use an oven or reheat? I feel like this is always the case. I find these awesome recipe ideas but, then there’s no way to cook them without my own kitchen space at the event? I created today’s recipe for Couscous, Squash and Kale Salad with a Maple Vinaigrette with that exact scenario in mind.

I had an early holiday work potluck to celebrate Thanksgiving earlier this week. Of course I was combing through all my favorite holiday recipes for the right one to bring. But, then it hit me. Almost all of my recipes needed to be cooked and served immediately or reheated. With no oven in our work kitchen, neither of those were an option. So that’s when I realized this was a great opportunity for some recipe development. I also realized there are most likely people out there like me who need a recipe just like this for their occasions.

Caramelized butternut squash blends with tiny pearls of couscous, crunchy kale and pecans and a burst of dried cranberries for a harmonized seasonal salad. While all of these flavors alone are enough to induce some cravings, the simply sweet and savory dressing is the perfect top off. Make this salad the night before your event and that’s it, it’s ready to serve.

Your friends and family will appreciate you for not begging for oven space. They’ll also love you for the salad itself. It’s unique but, still incorporates the essence of harvest flavors.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

…all for the love of the dish

Couscous, Squash and Kale Salad with a Maple Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6-8 Servings


  • For the Salad
  • 2 cups peeled, diced butternut squash
  • 2 cups, chopped kale
  • 1 cup uncooked (unflavored) couscous
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup raw, unsalted pecans
  • ½ cup dried cranberries (I use the reduced sugar variation)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp each salt and pepper
  • For the Dressing
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ tsp each salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel and dice your butternut squash. Pour the squash onto a foil lined sheet pan. Toss with 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp maple syrup and ½ tsp each salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes or until edges are caramelized and squash of soft to a bite.
  2. Meanwhile, bring 1 cup of water and 1 tbsp olive oil to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, add 1 cup couscous, stir, cover and remove from heat. Let sit for 12-15 minutes.
  3. Wash and chop your Kale.
  4. Create your dressing. Mix together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper in a closed container. Shake well.
  5. Add squash, couscous, kale, craisins and pecans into your serving bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat.
  6. Cover the salad and refrigerate until use. Preferably the next day but will stay for 2-3 days.
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