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Kale Pumpkin Salad with Feta and Pesto Dressing

This Kale Pumpkin Salad with Feta and Pesto Dressing is easy-to-make, fast, healthy and delicious. It’s the perfect fall kale salad with squash and it comes together in less than 30 minutes.
Course Salad
Cuisine American, European
Keyword beetroot kale salad, fall salad, pumpkin kale salad, pumpkin salad, roasted pumpkin salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 449kcal
Cost $5


  • chef's knife
  • cutting board
  • baking tray
  • culinary scissors
  • mini food processor
  • salad spinner
  • olive pitter
  • rubber spatula


For the salad:

For the pesto dressing:

  • 1 cup or 70 g kale leaves chopped
  • 1/3 cup or 20 g fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons hard cheese grated
  • 5-6 tablespoons olive oil
  • water or more olive oil to adjust the consistency
  • salt
  • black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 180 ºC or 350 ºF. Remove seeds from pumpkin and dice one half with a sharp knife. Put the pumpkin chunks on a baking dish, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and black pepper and roast for 20-25 minutes. It should not be too soft.
  • Meanwhile, remove the ribs from kale leaves using kitchen scissors. Roughly chop kale and transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Massage kale for a minute until softened and dark.
  • Make the pesto dressing: combine kale, basil, garlic, pumpkin seeds, grated hard cheese, olive oil, salt and black pepper and blend until smooth using a food processor or immersion blender. Add water or more oil to adjust the consistency if needed.
  • Add the dressing to the kale and combine.
  • Dice Greek feta cheese in small cubes and add to the salad bowl together with cured black olives (pit them if necessary). When the pumpkin is ready, add it to the salad. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds to serve. Enjoy!
  • Another way to serve this salad is to distribute kale among 4 plates and top it with feta, pumpkin, olives and pumpkin seeds (see pictures).


Top Tips

  • This kale salad is perfect for your holiday table and for a quick on-the-go lunch.
  • Serve it with warm or cold pumpkin, because it tastes great either way.
  • To save time, instead of roasting the pumpkin, you can fry it in a pan like in this fall harvest salad.
  • If you have leftover steamed kale, you can use it in this salad.
  • Keep the salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three or four days. Even with the dressing, this salad won't get soggy.
  • If you have leftover kale, use it for this delicious kale smoothie, vegan casserole with sweet potatoes and kale, buddha bowl or vegan zuppa Toscana.

Recipe Variations

  • Any variety of kale and pumpkin or squash will work for this salad.
  • If you have leftover roasted sweet potatoes (for example, after you've made this sweet potato lentil soup), you can use them instead of pumpkin.
  • Use vegan feta and vegan pesto for a plant based version of this salad.
  • You can use buddha bowl dressing or roasted garlic dressing instead of pesto dressing. Consider adding roasted garlic to the salad to give it a nice kick of flavor.
  • Dried cured olives are preferred but regular olives would work here, too.


Calories: 449kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 666mg | Potassium: 1020mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 9556IU | Vitamin C: 96mg | Calcium: 361mg | Iron: 4mg