Autumn Harvest Salad with Maple Cinnamon Vinaigrette

garnished salad in bowl on top of plate with fork on the plate

This Autumn Harvest Salad is my go to for an easy weekday lunch! Loaded with roasted Fall vegetables, sweet apples and a quick maple cinnamon dressing, it’s simple, delicious but packed with flavor!

Happy Friday, my friends! How’s everyone feeling the weekend before Thanksgiving? Excited? Nervous? Full of anticipation? I’m probably a little bit in all three of those categories. 

If you’re not sure what in the world you’re going to make yet, make sure and add this Autumn Harvest Salad on your menu! If you’re like me, while you adore all of the rich and decadent foods on the Thanksgiving table, a hearty salad like this one is always welcome! 

Plus, if you have salad on your plate, that means it cancels out the 3 pieces of pie, right? Ha! Juuuuust kidding 😉 

Why You’re Going to Love This Salad: 

I know, I know. Salads get kind of a bad rep. They can be bland and boring and tasteless. But, not this Autumn Harvest Salad, my friends! 

This salad is PACKED with ingredients that makes it incredibly hearty and packed with a punch of flavor. 

First off, you have two of my very favorite seasonal vegetables: butternut squash and brussel sprouts! We are roasting both of these, which adds caramelization and so much extra flavor! 

roasted brussel sprouts and butternut squash on a sheetpan

Another seasonal vegetable that serves as the main star of the show? Chopped kale! YES. Okay, please don’t turn away now – I am a recent kale convert and let me tell you, the kale in this salad is absolutely delicious. 

Wanna know why? It’s massaged with the most AMAZING Maple Cinnamon Vinaigrette. 

It adds a sweetness to the kale that completely takes away the normal bitterness of it. I literally wanted to drink the vinaigrette. It’s SO delicious – full of so much Fall flavor.

white bowl full of vinaigrette with black tsp dipping into the bowl

It has the perfect balance of oil to vinegar to sweetness to spice. It’s SO yummy. I promise by the time you finish this salad, you will be on the kale train forever and always. 

Next, tons of crunchy texture! Because what’s a salad without some crunch?! For this particular salad, I used pepitas (so salty and delicious) and pecans because they added a unique sweetness and nuttiness that was necessary in the salad. 

Lastly, speaking of crunchiness and sweetness – hello honeycrisp apples! My favorite apple of all time is featured in this salad because hello – it’s sweet as honey and SO crisp!! 

side view of the garnished salad with apple slices in the background

It is the perfect cherry on top of this salad and melds every single flavor together. I love it! It’s 100% Fall in a salad. 

So let’s get into what you need for this salad! 

Ingredients You Need: 

  • Diced butternut squash 
  • Brussel sprouts 
  • Chopped kale 
  • Honeycrisp apple 
  • Pecans 
  • Pepitas 
  • Maple syrup 
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Olive oil 
  • Cinnamon 
  • Pinch of salt 

Salad Making Tips: 

Alright – so I know that I said this above but I wanted to say it again because I can’t stress it enough – massage your kale! Yes, it may feel weird but I promise it will help infuse the flavor of the vinaigrette into the kale and make it taste like, not crazy bitter but crazy delicious!

However, don’t forget to save some of the dressing to go on top as well!  

I would recommend buying pre-cut butternut squash to save time. They always have some at my local grocery store for a pretty good price, in my opinion, totally worth it!

hand holding fork in the salad bowl, going to get a bite.

Speaking of the veggies, you can absolutely roast a HUGE batch of veggies at the beginning of the week that way you can meal prep all week. Woot!

Please feel free to add a protein on top of this dish – you could add chicken breast, salmon or even shrimp if you wanted to get crazy! 

close up of the side view of the salad with a fork in the bowl.

However you eat it – I hope that you love it! 

Did you enjoy this recipe? Here are a few others you might like: 

Berry Bliss Summer Salad 

Chopped Honey Mustard Chicken Salad 

Tortellini Pasta Salad 

Thank you so much for following along here, friends! Want to see more? Be sure to follow ourbalancedbowl on Instagram and tag me with your photo if you end up making a recipe! You can also post a photo of your recipe to the Our Balanced Bowl Facebook page! Like a recipe that you saw? Follow me on Pinterest here! I always love to see your re-creations! If you do make a recipe, it would make my whole day if you were to rate and comment so I can get your feedback! Lots of love! – Haylie

Autumn Harvest Salad

This Autumn Harvest Salad is my go to for an easy weekday lunch! Loaded with roasted Fall vegetables, sweet apples and a quick maple cinnamon dressing, it’s simple, delicious but packed with flavor!

Course Salad, Side, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword crunchy kale salad, fall salad, kale salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 people



  • 3-4 cups chopped kale
  • 1 small/medium butternut squash, diced (about 3 cups worth)
  • 1/2 lb brussel sprouts, diced in half
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans
  • 1 handful pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 medium honey crisp apple, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt + pepper

Maple Cinnamon Vinaigrette

  • 3 tbsp maple syrup 
  • 4 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Carefully slice your butternut squash into bite size pieces and brussel sprouts in halves. Slice your apple and roughly chop the pecans.

  2. Add the brussel sprouts and butternut squash on a sheet pan and drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil on top along with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Mix with your hands to make sure they're fully coated.

  3. Roast for 15 minutes. Remove and flip veggies and roast them for an additional 10 minutes 

  4. While they are roasting, whip up your dressing. In a bowl, combine the maple syrup, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Whisk to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Want it sweeter? Add more maple syrup? More tangy? Add a splash more vinegar. Set this aside.

  5. In a large bowl, add your kale. To this, add about 1-2 tbsp of the dressing. Using your hands, massage the dressing into the kale until it's coated. Evenly distribute the kale into two salad bowls.

  6. Time to assemble! Divide the veggies and apple slices between the two salad bowls. Add on the chopped pecans and a handful of pepitas. Add a generous amount of the vinaigrette as well as a pinch of flaky sea salt. Enjoy!

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