Skip to main content

Roasted Buttercup Squash and Kale Salad with Tart Cherries

The following recipe and photography were provided courtesy of local cookbook author and chef, Carla Snyder. Learn more about Carla and discover her recipes at or in her cookbook, One Pan Whole Family.

Buttercup squash is very similar to kabocha or turban squashes and all are interchangeable in this colorful, fall-inspired salad.

It’s that easy: Massaging the kale with lemon juice softens it and makes the chewy greens more pleasant to munch. If your kale is especially tough, allow it to sit in the lemon juice a few extra minutes.

Roasted Buttercup Squash and Kale Salad with Tart Cherries
Roasted Buttercup Squash and Kale Salad with Tart Cherries



  • 1 large buttercup squash, cut into ½-inch thick wedges
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, plus more if needed
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and cut into 1/2-in strips
  • 1 cup radicchio, cut into thin strips


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cut the squash in half. Cut one of the halves into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange the squash on a parchment-lined sheet pan and drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, salt and a few grinds of pepper. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until tender. While the squash bakes, brown the nuts in the oven for 5 minutes.
  3. While the squash roasts, combine the cherries, vinegar, honey, a pinch of salt and cayenne pepper in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and allow to rest until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  4. Slice the onion and cover with ice water for 10 minutes. (This step will make the onion less strong and crunchier).
  5. Stem the tough ends and ribs from the kale and slice it down into strips. Transfer the kale to a bowl and sprinkle with the lemon juice and 1/4 tsp. salt. Toss the kale with your fingers so that the lemon juice penetrates and softens it. Toss in the radicchio and remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Taste and season with more salt or lemon juice, if needed.
  6. Arrange the squash on four plates and top with dressed kale, cherries, onion and walnuts. Drizzle with more olive oil if desired. Serve warm.

In the glass: A crisp Sauvignon Blanc from Kim Crawford would be perfect with this zippy fall salad.

Roasted Buttercup Squash and Kale Salad with Tart Cherries

Carla Snyder in her kitchen
By Carla Snyder
Carla has spent the past 30 years in the food world as a caterer, artisan baker, cooking school teacher, food writer and author of 6 cook books including the James Beard nominated Big Book of Appetizers. Her passion is sharing fresh, cooked-from-scratch weeknight meals that cut prep time and practically eliminate that nightly sink full of dishes.

Be the first to leave a review!

Your name will be displayed if entered. Email address will not be published.
Required fields are marked *

This site is not optimized for your current browser (Internet Explorer 11).

Please switch to one of the following browsers for a complete viewing experience:

Chrome Logo Chrome Firefox Logo Firefox Edge Logo Edge