Sweet, spicy, smoky, and earthy is the best way to describe this butternut squash and smoky black bean kale salad.
butternut squash and smoky black bean kale salad

My boss told me something about himself last week that is so disturbing to me, that I’m not sure our relationship will ever be the same again.

Are you sitting down?

Okay, breathe.



The man doesn’t believe in kale.

Cue unanimous gasp.


Normally, I would think he just hasn’t had it prepared the right way, but we have the SAME FAVORITE RESTAURANT where they pretty much make the best kale salad on the face of this earth.

I mean, it’s objectively the best. Not even kidding.

Now I just don’t know whether to distrust every opinion he’s ever relayed to me about anything ever or shove as much kale into his face as possible until he concedes defeat.

Somehow the latter just seems like the better option. You know, for my professional future.

Let’s get salading.


I really can’t imagine anyone disliking this salad with it’s sweet smoky spicy (VERY spicy) earthy notes. With every bite you pretty much activate all your taste buds, which just keeps you wanting more and more and more and more.

Until you realize you’re a kale lover. Plain and simple.

(And butternut squash, smoky black beans, and goat cheese are pretty dang okay too.)

Butternut Squash and Smoky Black Bean Kale Salad
Sweet, spicy, smoky, and earthy is the best way to describe this butternut squash salad with smoky black beans.
Yield: 4 servings
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed (1/2-inch pieces)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp adobo sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 large bunch lacinato kale, stemmed and cut into thin slices
  • ½ cup goat cheese, crumbled
  1. Heat oven to 400. In a large bowl, toss together the butternut squash, 1 tbsp olive oil, and salt and black pepper to taste. Spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes, or until tender. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together ½ tsp salt, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, adobo sauce, garlic cloves, and ¼ tsp black pepper. Taste for seasoning. Set aside.
  3. When the squash is done roasting, toss it with the kale, black beans, and dressing. Serve topped with crumbled goat cheese.
Adapted from Cooking Light


Butternut squash and kale are a match made in food heaven! Check out these:

miso-harissa roasted carrot, squash and two-potato salad

Miso-Harissa Roasted Carrot, Squash, and Two-Potato Salad

butternut squash and kale strata

Butternut Squash and Kale Strata

penne with butternut squash, kale and goat cheese

Penne with Butternut Squash, Kale and Goat Cheese

From Around the Web:

Kale and Butternut Squash Minestrone from Yummy Supper

Pappardelle with Butternut Squash, Walnuts and Baby Kale from Saveur

Roasted Acorn Squash and Apples with Quinoa, Kale and Tahini Maple Dressing from Edible Perspective

Kale and Delicata Squash Salad with Citrus-Maple Vinaigrette from Oh My Veggies

Brown Butter Spaghetti with Baby Kale and Roasted Butternut Squash from Cook Here, Eat This


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78 Responses to Butternut Squash and Smoky Black Bean Kale Salad

  1. My mom just doesn’t “love” kale and I completely don’t get it. Kale salads (especially at restaurants where they are loaded with delicious dressing) are just so good. This salad could go on repeat in my kitchen.

  2. This looks amazing! I have only JUST tried making things with kale. Like…1 week ago. I am a newbie, but have made many a kale salad this week trying to make up for it..

  3. You always have the best salad ingredient combinations. This one screams fall, and I’m lovin’ it!

  4. Josh doesn’t like kale either. I’m on a never ending quest to get him to like it. Also, when I had my parents over for dinner on Sunday, I asked my dad what vegetables he’d actually eat and his response was, “literally anything but leaves. especially not kale”

  5. Doesn’t like kale?! Sheesh…kale is my best friend! Pinned!

  6. Joanne, you are hilarious. . I’m so happy we got to meet! yes, your boss is whack. End of story. 🙂 and this salad is freaking beautiful. Love!

  7. Um, can you force feed him this salad? Obviously, he’s got a screw loose so proceed with caution 😉

  8. This is the osrt of dish that I can see myself making A LOT. I love the smoky element here.

  9. HA! Some people are just strange and they hear about a popular food and think it’s bogus. But we all know that kale rocks. I do a kale slaw with a tahini dressing and it usually turns non-believers around. I think some people just don’t get why kale is so great… because, unlike lettuce, it holds up. Love that you loaded your salad with all that deliciousness. Some of my favorite ingredients right there. In fact, I have a butternut squash waiting to be used.

  10. Mira says:

    The combination of flavors is unique, just “my type”. This salad looks beautiful, and I’m inspired to try it, since fall is usually the time, when I cook with butternut squash! Sometimes I get tired of seeing some boring kale recipes on the web, but this one is just amazing! Pinned!

  11. Cassie says:

    Doesn’t believe in KALE? Come on! I think kale is here to stay! Love this, Joanne!

  12. Zainab says:

    You won’t have to force me to enjoy this salad. You had me at spicy but the. Butternut squash closed the deal!!

  13. One of my favorite salads has roasted butternut squash on it. I need to try this.

  14. Well, if the latter plan doesn’t work out (because, agreed, the former is probably not a viable option), just send him to the comment section of this post, where dozens of people he’s never met are calling him nuts. Because, let’s get real, anonymous web surfers are always right.

    Pretty stoked about the adobo dressing! (and the kale, too, of course)

  15. Love all of these flavors! I’ve been adding roasted butternut squash to as many meals as possible lately!

  16. SallyBR says:

    Are you positive you can trust this person with advising you on your important research? I don’t know, maybe you should think hard about this.

    evidently, he’s got issues and serious flaws in evaluation of reality.

  17. Woah this is a lovely mesh of flavors, sweet, bitter etc. The colors are also gorgeous!

  18. Yesss….the Northern Spy kale salad is the best ever! No question. Love that restaurant! I foresee this salad in my lunch line up in the very near future!

  19. Oh my word, who doesn’t LOVE kale?! Your boss needs some of this salad. STAT. Any leftovers you can send on over my way. 😉

  20. Oh yes please. I love everything about this salad.

  21. Love the sweet/spicy of the butternut with adobo! And the black beans & goat just take it to another level. Gorgeous!

  22. you boss needs some (kale)-tervention. Have you introduced him to this salad yet?

  23. Gurl, this salad is calling my name. Kale! Squash! Beans! Cheese! It’s basically got all of the food groups represented in one delicious looking plate of goodness. And your boss is legit crazy. Definitely don’t trust him now.

  24. I have a bunch of kale in my fridge that would be perfect for this! Great minds…Plus, I have a friend who hates kale, too. It’s blasphemy, I know.

  25. My mom’s not the biggest kale fan, but she will eat it. I, on the other hand, can’t get enough. This looks fab!

  26. chloe says:

    Okay, I am making the minestrone verde tomorrow and this asap after that … too delicious and PERFECT for fall.

  27. Kelly says:

    Um say what??? Clearly we need to sit your boss down and have a kale intervention. Or better yet, pile on as much of this gorgeous salad on his plate. How could he refuse with all that roasted butternut squash and adobo sauce? And if he still doesn’t touch it – can I have it instead?? 😉

  28. Tina says:

    Sneak it into a salad you bring him. Wait for the response of, “Oh I love this salad. Thank you, Joanne” and then you spring it on him. You just ate kale! Triumphant dance 🙂

  29. What a gorgeous salad, I really like the colourful squash in the middle of the beans! And I love the idea of a smoky salad 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  30. Hotly Spiced says:

    I’m sure if you gave your boss a bowl of this salad he would change his mind – he probably has not had it well prepared. I love the combination of squash with the beans and the kale – very tasty! xx

  31. Juliana says:

    This is such a pretty and tasty salad Joanne, I love the butternut squash paired with kale…
    Enjoy your week 😀

  32. the goat cheese crumbled on top just does it for me:)) too good

  33. grace says:

    i’m loving the colors here! it’s a little bit halloweeny and very much delicious. 🙂

  34. Julia says:

    Gasp! A non-kale lover in your midst? Heresy! Okay, I really do know a lot of kale naysayers, and I always think it’s a dern shame, too…cause there’s just so much to love about the leafy green. Sister, you nailed this salad like a freaking tree fort! I want all of it in my face! <3

  35. What!? Doesn’t like kale! Insane 🙂 I love the bns and beans combined…OH and feta! yum!

  36. This a one hearty salad without being heavy. Leaves lots of room for dessert or lots of room for feeling healthy. I am with the people in sneaking the kale in. Most of the time people just think they dislike something based on one single situation.

  37. What a cool looking salad! So easy and so flavourful 😉

  38. Eileen says:

    Yes! Beans, squash and greens! It’s the ultimate fall meal combination. 🙂

  39. This looks phenomenal! I love all the flavors here, and your butternut squash penne totally caught my eye. Yum 🙂

  40. Hahhahah! I would have reacted the same way if some one said that they don’t like kale.. hehe.. this salad is so so gorgeous and delicious!! love it ..:)

  41. Yummy salad and yes lets get salading! We are loving kale in salads and this one sounds delicious!

  42. I will eat all of the kale left behind by your boss. Specifically in this salad form because YUM.

  43. One gorgeous salad..and perfect for Fall!

  44. Jeanette says:

    I love kale but I know people who think it’s too strong flavored. Love the fall touch to this kale salad!

  45. Kate says:

    I mean, he believes in kale right? He doesn’t think it’s an imaginary vegetable?

  46. I can’t imagine not liking any salad as good as this sounds!

  47. Joanne, are you sitting down. i don’t care for kale much either BUT if you put it with chilli and squash then I will eat it and even tell you how much I like it.

  48. This salad looks BOMB. I believe in kale and I want to eat this!

  49. Well I like kale, so can I have his serving if he’s not eating any?!

  50. Looks lovely! I’ll be having this for lunch tomorrow 🙂

    I’ve included this post in our Best in Food Blogging This Week post over on our website, if you want to check it out, here’s a link: https://www.corrchilled.co.uk/index.php?route=pavblog/blog&id=107

  51. I don’t know who would not love this salad. I love the colors and the flavor has to be wonderful.

  52. Reeni says:

    Hello beautiful! I will gladly eat any and all shares of his salad! I haven’t been eating much kale since my market stopped carrying my favorite brand. I know that sounds strange but it comes bagged like lettuce and has the best flavor. Boo on them. I want this.

  53. This salad looks insanely good, and I love the combination of flavours. To be honest, kale is not often available here, so I’ve only ever had it a couple of times, but I’m pinning this one for the next time I come across kale at the market.

  54. definitely don’t trust kale haters…or at least can’t connect with them!

    you and i are DEFINITELY on the same page with this salad–pinning!

  55. I love coming across new salad recipes to recreate for my dinner during the week so you definitely can consider that I will be recreating this squash salad Joanne! It looks incredibly delicious. Pinned!

  56. Rose says:

    What a gorgeous autumn salad. I made something similar for lunch, but with delicata squash.

  57. V says:

    I love kale so I’m equally shocked at how your boss couldn’t adore the stuff. In fact, I just had a baby kale salad for lunch with avocado, cucumbers, and a honey soy grilled salmon. This salad sounds like a great warm Fall salad. I’ll definitely have to try this out! Butternut squash just might be one of the best warm salad toppings 🙂

  58. […] always forget how much I love butternut squash. This butternut squash & smoky black bean kale salad from Eats Well With Others seems like a great way to bring the fall vegetable back into my […]

  59. […] Butternut Squash with Smoky Black Bean Kale Salad from Joanne Eats Well With Others […]

  60. This salad is so gorgeous! Love the color combo. And I must try that restaurant. I’ll be sure to order all of the kale. 😉

  61. Meghan says:

    O. M. G. Made this tonight and it is one of THE BEST salads I have ever had/made. The Mister loved it, too! In fact, he wanted to make sure I left a comment on your site saying how awesome this salad is. We made with baby kale, and substituted a bit of smoked paprika for the adobo (we didn’t have any on hand) and it rocked. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

    Meghan xo

  62. […] butternut squash and black bean salad […]

  63. Kelly says:

    Is the adobo sauce just the sauce that’s in the little can of chipotle’s in adobo?

  64. […] Butternut Squash and Smoky Black Bean Kale Salad  via Eats Well With Others […]

  65. Laura says:

    Making it right now! YES! Sorry, quick question, but where are the other 2 tbsp of olive oil supposed to go? I see 1 tbsp for the squash, but am worried I’m leaving the other 2 out of something?

  66. […] Friday: Butternut Squash and Chicken Kale Salad […]

  67. I just wanted to say that I pinned this recipe a few months ago and it has since become my boyfriend and my go-to dinner recipe. We’ve made it about 4-6 times already, usually with delicata squash. Thank you for a great recipe!

  68. Barb says:

    Can this be made ahead and refrigerated over night

  69. Emily says:

    Hello! Does the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil go in the dressing?

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