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Pecan Encrusted Delicata Squash Kale Salad with Creamy Maple-Garlic Tahini Dressing

  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 2 1x


This hearty fall salad is full of bold flavor and a variety of textures. Enjoy as an entree salad (serves two) or make four side salads for a dinner party.


  • For the Pecan Encrusted Delicata Squash
  • 1 delicata squash
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped raw pecans
  • For the Creamy Maple-Garlic Tahini Dressing
  • 2/3 cup raw tahini (make sure it is runny and oil is mixed in well)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • For the Salad
  • 4-6 handfuls kale, stems removed (You may want to shred the kale in your food processor. Romaine lettuce also works well in this recipe)
  • 1-2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 red onion, diced (or substitute shallot)
  • 1 avocado, diced (optional)
  • 1 cup raw pecans


  1. For the Pecan Encrusted Delicata Squash: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with non-bleach parchment paper and set aside. Slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Slice the seeded halves into 1/4-inch thick slices (half moons) and set aside. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the oil, arrowroot powder, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Place the sliced delicata squash in the mixing bowl and toss to fully coat. Place the squash on the two lined baking sheets leaving room between each slice. In a mini food processor, pulse the pecans until a course meal forms. Sprinkle the pecan crumbs generously over the delicata squash. Place both baking sheet in oven (center rack and bottom rack) and roast for 13-15 minutes until golden brown. The roasted squash will keep for up to three days in an airtight container in your refrigerator.
  2. For the Creamy Maple-Garlic Tahini Dressing: Blend all dressing ingredients (tahini, water, maple syrup, garlic salt and pepper) in a mini food processor until smooth and creamy. Taste and add more maple syrup, garlic, salt or pepper if desired. The consistency should be easily pourable and slightly runny. If it is too thick you can thin it out with more water. Dressing will keep in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to one week. Once stored in refrigerator it will thicken. Before using, add 1-2 tablespoons warm water and whisk vigorously until it is pourable again.
  3. For the Salad: To assemble the salad, place 2-3 handfuls of kale in two large bowls. Top each bowl with quinoa, dried cranberries, red onions, avocado, raw pecans and pecan encrusted delicata squash. The delicata squash should be warm when serving. Generously pour the Maple-Garlic Tahini Dressing on top of each salad and enjoy immediately. The recipe may make more dressing or squash than you need so feel free to use any extra for leftovers.
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Entree Salad