Kale Pomegranate Salad with Butternut Squash & Apple

Say hello to fresh fall and winter flavors! This super simple kale pomegranate salad is colorful, full of good-for-you nutrients and SO simple to throw together! And PS- If you’ve never peeled a pomegranate before I’ve shared my absolute favorite way to cut open a pomegranate in this post!

kale apple salad with butternut squash and apples

Why You’ll Love This Kale Pomegranate Salad

  • Even though it looks fancy, it’s super simple to throw together.
  • It’s absolutely packed with antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats for better health (1).
  • It’s festive enough to bring to your next holiday gathering, but easy enough to have on any old weeknight!
  • The dressing is super versatile and can be used for just about any salad recipe! You’re going to want to remember this one.

How To Peel A Pomegranate Without Making A Mess

The most labor intensive part about this salad is definitely getting the seeds out of the pomegranate. I’ve tried alllllll the hacks. This is hands down the cleanest and easiest way to peel and de-seed a pomegranate. If you don’t want a kitchen (and your clothes) covered in pomegranate juice, this is the way to do it!

Fill a large bowl with water

First, fill a large bowl of water that’s deep enough to submerge half of a pomegranate. We’re going to do this underwater so that there’s no pomegranate juice-splashing happening all over your kitchen.

Cut your pomegranate in half

Gently slice your pomegranate in half, and then break it up into 4-5 pieces using your hands (again, gently!).

Remove the pomegranate seeds

Carefully remove the pomegranate seeds UNDER WATER. Game changer. The seeds will float to the bottom, and all of the extra skin and flesh will float to the top- making clean up super easy. Drain the water and you’re done!

How Do You Massage Kale?

The base of this salad is kale, so we want to make sure it’s GOOD and not giving your mouth a workout just to chew it. The key to tender, salad-worthy kale is massage. Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil on to your bowl of kale, and massage it gently for about a minute. It helps to transform your kale from tough and chewy to tender and crunchy!

How To Make This Kale Pomegranate Salad Even Easier

  • Buy pre-cut butternut squash (I do!). Let’s be honest, peeling and cutting up an entire butternut squash from scratch is a pain. If you’re busy (and I’m sure you are!), that one’s a must.
  • Grab the pomegranate seeds that are already in a container for you. They’re not quite as good as fresh, but in a pinch they can work!
  • Get a bag of pre-washed, pre-cut kale to make your life just a little bit simpler. Grabbing “convenience” items like pre-washed greens and pre-prepped squash isn’t lazy, it’s realistic!
Kale apple salad ingredients

Kale Pomegranate Salad Steps

  1. In a small bowl, make the dressing. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, honey, and dijon mustard. Whisk well until combined and add salt to taste.
  2. In a large bowl, combine kale and olive oil. Give that kale a massage for ~1 minute! This step is super important and makes the kale tender enough for a salad.
  3. Add the pomegranate seeds, sliced apple and red onion to the bowl.
  4. Add the dressing to the bowl and combine gently.
  5. Add butternut squash and pecans right before serving.

Want to turn it into a perfectly complete and balanced meal? Add any protein on top! I love adding chicken to this one. Or, simply serve it on the side of any other recipe that you enjoy.

Other Salad Topping Ideas

  • Add a tangy cheese like feta, blue, or goat cheese.
  • Swap the butternut squash for roasted sweet potatoes.
  • Add walnuts or sunflower seeds instead of (or with) the pecans.
  • In the warmer months, swap the apples out for peaches and nectarines.

Loved this recipe? Make sure to tag me @the.balanced.nutritionist on Instagram.

kale pomegranate apple salad

Kale Pomegranate Salad with Butternut Squash and Apples

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch of kale, stems removed, chopped (or 12 oz bag)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large apple, sliced
  • 1 whole pomegranate, seeded
  • 1 cup butternut squash, roasted
  • pecans (optional)

Dressing

  • 1 medium lemon (juice)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, make the dressing. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, honey, and dijon mustard. Whisk well until combined and add salt to taste.
  • In a large bowl, combine kale and olive oil. Give that kale a massage for ~1 minute! This step is super important and makes the kale tender enough for a salad.
  • Add the pomegranate seeds, sliced apple and red onion to the bowl.
  • Add the dressing to the salad and gently combine well.
  • Add butternut squash and pecans right before serving.

Notes

If you’re making this to store in the fridge, I suggest keeping the pecans out and adding them in right before serving. Keeping them separate makes sure they don’t get soggy!
Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Apple, fall, kale, pomegranate

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It's me, Jamie!

I’m a Registered Dietitian dedicated to helping you break free of the all-or-nothing dieting with balanced and realistic healthy eating.

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Meet Jamie

I’m a Registered Dietitian and I’ve been exactly where you are, right now. The all or nothing dieting, the constant food guilt, the scale obsession, absolutely no balance with food…. Sound familiar?