autumnal salad with maple vinaigrette

Today I am sharing the most perfect fall salad. I’m not a huge fan of sweet salads, and although by looking at the ingredients you would think this was super sweet, it’s not! The kale and goat cheese really balance out the sweeter ingredients of maple syrup, cranberries and even the butternut squash. This salad gives you the perfect taste of all things fall in one bite — the maple vinaigrette dressing gives the salad such a warm and inviting taste while the cranberries and pecans give the salad an added crunch. This is a quick dinner that is a must make before fall comes to a close! 

Autumnal Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

{what you will need}

1 small butternut squash, peeled & chopped
1 15.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
3 cups kale, destemmed
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 – 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
4-5 ounces cooked couscous {I used about half of this box}
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

For the Maple Vinaigrette Dressing:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup {plus a dash more!}
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Salt & pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss chopped butternut squash and chickpeas in about 3-4 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper and place on baking sheet in single layer; cook for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cook couscous according to package instructions {I only used about half of the box}. Allow the butternut squash and chickpea mixture to cool about 10 minutes before assembling the salad. To make the dressing: whisk olive oil, cider vinegar, maple syrup and Dijon together; season with salt and pepper. To assemble the salad: place kale in large bowl, followed by the cranberries and pecans; top with the crumbled goat cheese. Place the couscous and roasted butternut squash and chickpea mixture on top {I like to put the cheese on before the couscous and squash mixture because it is still warm and it starts to melt the cheese!}. Toss with the maple vinaigrette dressing and serve immediately!