Kale and Butternut Squash Salad with Indian-Spiced Croutons

Kale and Butternut Squash Salad with Indian-Spiced Croutons | www.floatingkitchen.net
  • Kale and Butternut Squash Salad with Indian-Spiced Croutons
Posted on January 2, 2015

Happy January! Or what I like to fondly refer to as the month when the internet gets bombarded with recipes for salads and smoothies.

But let’s not get into a funk over the whole dieting thing. Which consequently has never really been my forte. I’m sure that doesn’t surprise anyone here.

Instead of depriving ourselves, let’s drink smoothies with chocolate in them (YES!) and eat big, hearty salads that don’t make us feel like we are eating rabbit food. Deal? Good.

Kale and Butternut Squash Salad with Indian-Spiced Croutons | www.floatingkitchen.net

So how does one construct a leafy green salad that doesn’t feel like rabbit food? Well, here is what I like to do. I start by choosing kale, not only for the nutritional benefits, but also because it has a big chew factor. All that chewing makes me feel like I’m eating something substantial. Then I add in roasted butternut squash for a hint of something sweet. And garlic and preserved lemon peel for a little zip. And because I’ll never give up on bread (can’t stop, won’t stop), I toss in some crunchy croutons. But not any old croutons. These are homemade spiced croutons and they are a million times better and more flavorful than any store-bought versions. Trust me. Oh and don’t forget about the dressing. Tahini paste makes a dressing that is so rich and creamy, it’s hard to believe it’s completely vegan. This stuff is magic.

I hope you give my Kale and Butternut Squash Salad with Indian-Spiced Croutons a try. It’s totally NOT rabbit food.



Kale and Butternut Squash Salad with Indian-Spiced Croutons

Serves 4

Kale and Butternut Squash Salad with Indian-Spiced Croutons


  • For the Salad
  • 4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 1 small shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder, divided
  • 4 cups cubed bread (a rustic loaf works best for this)
  • 1/4 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 large bunch of kale, thick stems removed and discarded
  • 2 tablespoons preserved lemon peels, diced

  • For the Dressing
  • 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons tahini paste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl toss the butternut squash, shallot and garlic with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1/4 tsp. each of the salt, pepper and curry powder. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and bake in your pre-heated oven for 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking time. The squash should be tender and starting to brown in a few places. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. Using the same bowl, toss the cubed bread with the garam masala, ginger and the remaining olive oil, salt, pepper and curry powder. Transfer to a second rimmed baking sheet and bake in your pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes, or until the bread is dry and slightly crisped. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, tear the kale leaves into bite sized pieces and toss them in a large bowl. Make the salad dressing by whisking together all of the ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.
  4. Assemble the salad. Toss the kale with the dressing until well coated. Gently fold in the roasted butternut squash mixture, the croutons and the preserved lemon peel. Serve and enjoy.


  • Liz, love this salad!!! January = the month when the internet gets bombarded with recipes for salads and smoothies!! HA, yes!!! and love the way you approach it. . it’s all about your mindset and how you look at things.. eating healthy can be great and doesn’t have to be a downer! I love this salad!!! and also posted something today with tahini 🙂 .. wishing you a fabulous 2015 filled with lots of salads and smoothies!!


    • Thank you, Alice! You are so right. It’s all about how you approach it. We should all vow to eat healthy without depriving ourselves. Happy 2015! Hugs!

  • This is totally my kind of salad! The Indian spiced croutons sound incredible, and anything with tahini wins for me. Happy 2015 Liz!


    • Thank you, Allie! Happy 2015! XO

  • HAPPY NEW YEARRRRR!!! I plan on contributing to the barrage of January salads and smoothies too. Someone’s gotta help clean out all the buttah 😉 LOVE this salad with butternut squash – I could eat it for dayz!!


    • Yeah, I thought of you Julia. This totally IS your kind of salad! XO

  • YES! Totally agree with you about the chew factor and kale in salads. LOVE the homemade croutons, too. I can just picture myself eating an entire fresh batch sans salad though. Clearly, I’m not in the dieting frame of mind.


    • Ha ha. I definitely had trouble not inhaling them all!

  • This is the perfect way to start the year of healthy … but tasty! Always a good combination 🙂


    • Exactly! Thanks, Jennifer!

  • This salad is perfect because I have tons of fresh kale in my garden right now! I love trying new combinations of salad and those indian spiced croutons sound amazing. Can’t wait to try this recipe!


    • Oh my gosh. I can’t believe that you still have a garden. So jealous. It’s freeeeezing here! Definitely nothing growing in the ground. 🙂

  • Yes to salads that don’t feel like salads and high five to Indian-spiced croutons! I’ll be joining you very soon with salads and smoothie recipes galore! 🙂


    • Yes, join me! Can’t wait to see what you create this year, Maryanne! XO

  • This salad looks perfect, Liz! Kale and squash seems like they were meant to be together. Such a great way to start out the new year by eating right! Pinned!


    • Thanks, Gayle. It’s a great way to start the year!

  • Those croutons are rockin’ my world!!!


    • Oh heck yeah! They are my favorite part of this salad!

  • I love the chew factor of kale too, Liz, and i agree…we need our healthy with a little side of sweet. Most likely chocolate!


    • This is why you and I are friends, Marcie! 🙂

  • Hi Liz,
    I was “floating” on internet and accidentally reached your shores. It’s wonderful here! 🙂 Thank you for sharing such a fresh recipe. I am known as a “rabbit” in my office, because I eat “rabbit food” for lunch. So glad to learn a new salad recipe that is flavorful and easy to make.
    No rabbit food for sure! Cheers!


    • That’s so awesome that you found me, Nancy! And glad you are enjoying the site. Thanks, fellow salad-lover!

  • This looks delicious! 3 cheers for no rabbit food! haha! My dad always teases me and says I eat twigs, leaves and berries….LIES! hahaha! Nutritional food can be delicious and satisfying!:) Like your recipe above! Looks like a good choice for me for lunch tomorrow!! 🙂 I hope you’re well! 🙂


    • Thanks, Erin! Let me know how you like it! And maybe serve some to your dad and see if you can convince him! 🙂

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  • This salad looks so delicious! Would make such a light lunch! 🙂 I love butternut squash so so much!


    • Thank you, Kerry! I hope you try it out!

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