Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Sauté

Time saver: while the squash is roasting, prep the other ingredients.

To make ahead, roast the cubed squash and prep the ingredients, then do a quick sauté before serving.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 4 cups 3/4-inch cubes of butternut squash (from about 1 3/4 pound whole small butternut squash)
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Sprinkling of black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, quartered and sliced (about 2 cups of sliced red onions)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 6 cups thinly (3/4-inch) sliced kale (center ribs removed) (from about 1 bunch of kale)
  • 1/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • 1/2 cup slightly broken up pecans
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1 Roast cubed butternut squash: Preheat oven to 425°F. Place cubed butternut squash in a bowl and toss with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Spread out onto a lined baking sheet. Roast in oven for 25 minutes or until the squash is cooked through and browned on the edges.

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2 Sauté onions and garlic: 15 minutes into roasting the butternut squash, start on the onions. Heat olive oil on medium high heat in a thick-bottomed 4 to 5 quart pot. Add the sliced red onion and toss to coat. Let cook for 7 to 8 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook a minute more.


3 Add balsamic and kale: Add the balsamic vinegar and the shredded kale. Stir until the kale is mixed well with the onions (it helps to use tongs to turn over the kale). Let cook for a minute or two until the kale is just wilted (don't overcook).

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4 Add roasted squash, dried cranberries, pecans: Then stir in the roasted butternut squash, the dried sweetened cranberries, and pecans. Add salt and pepper to taste.


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  • Cheryl

    Made this and substituted candied walnuts for the cranberries and pecans bc that’s what i had on hand. Really good.Thank you for telling us when to start the onions. Perfect timing.


  • Megan Knight

    Hello! I love your recipes! I actually made this on a night that I was making pork tacos. I ended up leaving out the balsamic and the pecans. My meat wasnt ready by dinner time so I subbed this mixture into tacos. It was delicious and now I make it just to eat as a taco filling :). Thank you!


  • Lauren

    This was a really good recipe. Next time I’m going to dice the onions rather than leave them long though. I like the taste of onions but not necessarily the texture of them. I eat mostly vegetables so this was my main meal and I had this with a tiny piece of steak :-) perfect match.

  • Michelle

    Delicious! I used spinach and fresh cranberries… went back for seconds, so good!


  • Jean

    This was delicious. I am always looking for a better recipes to prepare vegetables and this will be added to my favorite list.


  • Andrea C.

    This ended up being quite versatile! We had whole pumpkins to use up, so I subbed that for the butternut squash (same roasting time + technique). I used golden raisins instead of the dried cranberries. I tripled the recipe and ended up with a lot of leftovers. Half ended up in a creamy soup (I simmered everything in chicken stock + olive oil then pureed in blender). The other half went into a savory tart (sheet of puff pastry, veggies, sheet of puff pastry, bake 40 minutes @ 400). The leftovers were even better than the original recipe, because of the added savory aspect that worked better for my family’s palate. The pecans made both the pastry and the soup so good!

  • Lesley

    I made this for Thanksgiving and it was great! Even the 3 people who didn’t like kale like it! It was colorful, flavorful and a healthy holiday side. It will be a regular dish, anytime!


  • Minnie

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I also made this for Thanksgiving dinner and everyone loved it. I took out the dried cranberries and pecans but still people loved it.


  • ash

    Thank you for this recipe! I made it for Thanksgiving dinner last night and it was a hit for everyone especially for the health conscious people!


  • Caitlin W

    Hi Elise! Caitlin from Salon Cabochon here! I made this for a side like I said I would and it was amazing! Even for the challenged newbie chef like me! Great instructions and loved the pictures! I think this may be my Thanksgiving dish I’m told to bring every year now! Thanks for sharing it with me…I’m excited to try other recipes as well! Happy Thanksgiving dear!


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Caitlin, I’m so glad you liked it! I made it for our Thanksgiving dinner this year too. My favorite side hands down. See you at the salon!

  • Natasha FC

    This sounds delicious as is, but Do you suppose this would work with Brussels sprouts in place of the kale (just because I have them in the fridge right now)? If I roasted it along with the butternut squash with the balsalmic vinegar?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Natasha, I think Brussels sprouts would work great in place of the kale!

  • J-Mom

    This was great ! Even my husband who is not a fan of kale was happy with it.


  • CK

    This was absolutely delicious! And a beautiful dish as well. I subbed spinach because that’s what I had but kept everything else to the recipe, though my squash took about 45 minutes to get brown on the edges.

    Thank you for a perfect recipe all around.


  • TexasDeb

    Made this in stages – it turned out great. Will be perfect for busy-kitchen situations (like Thanksgiving) as it can be prepped a bit at a time. I used toasted pecans – it gave the dish a little extra crunch and another layer of flavor. I’ll be making this again and again!


  • Brewnette

    I made this last night and very much enjoyed it. My kids are not fans though, lol.


  • Ana Luz Perez Duran

    Made this tonight and am looking forward to having some for lunch tomorrow. I know this dish will light up the winter months ahead!

  • Hattie Stewart

    The recipe looks delicious. Can it be made the day before ? Is it served warm?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Hattie, you could easily make the roasted squash the day before and then sauté everything right before serving. Yes, you serve it warm.

  • Jenny Ackroyd

    Could the pecans be switched out for roasted pine nuts?

  • Alanna Kellogg

    Gorgeous! I used a mix of Russian kale and beet gardens from the garden, thought they’d take much longer to cook than they did: cutting the greens really thin is key to that! This is so substantial, it’s a definite candidate for Meatless Monday. I love it when you take on vegetables!


  • Karen Gaylin

    Thank you, Elise for this recipe. It is definitely gracing my Thanksgiving table this year along with that killer broccoli cheddar casserole. I am afraid the turkey will feel upstaged by such delicious sides. BTW, I am a long time reader and fan of your blog.

  • Laura ~ Raise Your Garden

    I’m with Renee on the pecans, I think they are delightful and scream Southern holidays to me. This is why I love the cranberries in here, not only for the lovely, eye popping red color (and the red onions contribute here too!) but the sweetness they add. I have so much kale right now in my garden, I hardly know what to do with it. And I grew lots of red onions and butternut squash, so it’s a homegrown side dish here. You get some bragging rights when you bring something like this to the party and can say you grew most of it too! Exciting. Isn’t it the little things in life that are so inspiring?

  • Renee

    Yummy way to serve kale and squash! Love the addition of pecans!!

  • Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures

    What a hearty, yummy dish!