This vegan butternut squash, apple, kale and quinoa salad is made with just a handful of healthy ingredients and is the perfect dish for late Summer and Fall.

Squash, apple, kale and quinoa salad on a white plate.


Here’s what you’ll need to make this lovely, simple and hearty salad:

  • Squash. I used butternut squash I cooked in my Instant Pot but you can also use acorn, kabocha or delicata or even roasted pumpkin. As far as cooking method, the squash can be steamed, roasted or pressure cooked. Check out this post for how to cook squash in an Instant Pot.
  • Quinoa. You can use red or white quinoa in this recipe. You will need 1 cup cooked, so half a cup dry. I’d recommend making 1 cup uncooked quinoa so you have extra to use in other recipes like my 5-minute Breakfast Quinoa, Lentil Quinoa Bowl or Avocado Quinoa Salad.
  • Apple. You’ll need one apple for the recipe – any kind works! My favourite varieties are Fuji and Honeycrisp.
  • Kale. Kale is one of the most nutrient-rich foods you can eat so I love using it in salads like this one. I recommend massaging the raw kale with a smidge of olive oil to help soften it up and improve its taste and digestibility.
  • Dressing. I kept the dressing very simple and just used maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. A little bit of lemon would be lovely if you want to add some.
Massaged, chopped kale in a large glass mixing bowl.
Chopped apple, cooked squash, quinoa and kale in a large glass mixing bowl.
Kale and squash quinoa salad on a white plate.

Depending on how you cook your squash, you’ll need anywhere from 15-45 minutes to make this recipe. Quinoa takes 15 minutes to cook, so unless you have some on hand, you’ll have to account for that.

I cooked the squash in an Instant Pot, which takes about 10 minutes total. To roast butternut squash, you’ll need 30-34 minutes. Once the quinoa and squash are ready, the rest of the salad takes just minutes to throw together.

More Healthy Vegan Salads

Leftover quinoa? Try this 5-minute breakfast quinoa!

clockclock iconcutlerycutlery iconflagflag iconfolderfolder iconinstagraminstagram iconpinterestpinterest iconfacebookfacebook iconprintprint iconsquaressquares iconheartheart iconheart solidheart solid icon
Kale and squash quinoa salad on a white plate.

Squash and Apple Quinoa Salad

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Oven, Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan
Save Recipe


You will love the sweet, crunchy apple paired with tender bites of squash in this hearty vegan salad.


  • 4 cups cubed, peeled butternut squash
  • 3 cups de-stemmed and chopped kale
  • 1/4 tsp olive oil for massaging kale
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 chopped apple, any variety
  • 1.5 tbsp apple cider vinegar 
  • 1.5 tbsp maple syrup
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • optional: 1/2 cup white beans


  1. Cook the butternut squash using your preferred method. It can be steamed, roasted, boiled or cooked in an Instant Pot
  2. Add the chopped kale to a bowl and massage with the olive oil until soft.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl, mix well and serve right away or store in the fridge for up to 4 days.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 176
  • Sugar: 13 g
  • Sodium: 16 mg
  • Fat: 1.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 39 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 4 g

Keywords: kale quinoa salad, easy, healthy, vegetarian, gluten-free, oil-free