Baked salad is salad’s cozier, cardigan-wearing cousin.

It’s getting super chilly outside which means all the foods I want to eat are warm and cozy. But what about salads!? I could never give up the crunch and variety of flavors and textures in salad. When it’s cold though, digging into a refreshing salad doesn’t have quite the same feels. Enter: baked salad. Just what is baked salad, you ask? Read on, my friend, and I’ll tell you everything you need to know.

Kale Salad |

What is baked salad?

Think of baked salad as salad’s cozier, cardigan-wearing cousin. Full of oven-roasted vegetables, oven-wilted kale and brussel sprouts, and an addictive toasted sesame-soy sauce dressing, baked salad is everything you want in a healthy, cozy dish. Really, all baked salad is, is a warm salad full of oven roasted vegetables. This particular salad is inspired by Justine Doiron’s baked salad because as she says, it’s baked salad season!

This kale and brussels sprouts baked salad is my all time favorite. I love how you can make it ahead of time, with dressing, and it just gets better and better. It’s the perfect meal prep. The kale and shredded Brussels sprouts stay hearty and hold up to the dressing and nothing wilts or gets limp and sad. The roasted delicata squash is sweet and tender, the apples are crunchy, the cucumbers are cool freshness, the carrots add color, and the sliced almonds are the nutty kiss on top. I almost always add roasted chicken breast for protein, but you can skip it or do tofu if you’re vegan. Honestly, this salad is one of my all time favorite things to make and eat.

Kale Salad |

How to make baked salad

  1. Prep the salad ingredients. Shred the kale and brussel sprouts, cube the delicata squash, shred the carrot, slice the cucumber, and cut the apple into matchsticks.
  2. Bake the items that need baking. Toss the kale, sprouts, and squash with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the squash in a 400°F oven for 20 minutes. Turn the heat up to 450°F and add the kale and sprouts to the baking sheet and continue to roast for another 10 minutes or until the kale and sprouts are warm and wilted and the squash is fork tender.
  3. Make the dressing. While everything is roasting, whisk together rice vinegar, soy sauce, mirin, neutral oil, sugar, and toasted sesame oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  4. Assemble. Toss together all the ingredients in a large bowl, but save some apples, cucumber, carrots, and almonds for garnish.
  5. Dress. Dress the salad according to taste – you might not need all the dressing. I tend to dress my salads on the lighter side, I usually make a half portion of dressing. This salad is all about you so dress accordingly!
  6. Garnish. Finish up by garnishing the top of the salad with the reserved toppings and enjoy!

Kale Salad |

Baked salad ingredients

  • kale and brussels sprouts – these guys are the bulk of the salad and they’re amazing because they’re full of nutrients and taste amazing when roasted. They become a little bit wilted, a little bit crisp, and a lot delicious.
  • delicata squash – delicata is my all time favorite fall squash and when you roast it, the flavor and texture can’t be beat. Finding little nuggets of delicata in this salad are like finding little nuggets of gold.
  • cucumber, apple, and carrots – these three items add freshness and crunch as a counter point to our warm greens.
  • sliced almonds – I love the flavor of slivered/sliced almonds. Somehow they’re flakier, crunchier, and have more flavor than regular almonds.
  • dressing – This dressing is a simple but addictive mix of Japanese rice vinegar, soy, mirin, sugar, and toasted sesame oil. It’s light and tangy and full of umami. It lets the salad ingredients shine while still bringing the flavor. If you don’t have mirin (a sweet Japanese rice wine that is readily available in the Asian aisle or online), you can leave it out or add more rice vinegar and a touch more sugar.

How to roast delicata squash

  1. Wash and dry the delicata then trim the stems.
  2. Cut the squash in half length-wise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp.
  3. Slice into 3/4 inch half moons then cut into chunks.
  4. Toss the squash with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Spread the squash pieces out on a parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 400°F. Give the squash a stir, then turn the heat up to 450°F and roast for another 5-10 minutes or until tender and slightly caramelized.

How to oven roast kale for salad

  1. Wash and throughly dry the kale.
  2. Cut out the center stems with a paring knife or tear the leaves off the stem. The stems are tough – you can discard them.
  3. Roll the leaves into a tight roll and slice into thin ribbons.
  4. Toss the kale with a bit of oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Spread out and bake on a parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet for 10 minutes at 450°F until wilted and warm.

Crispy Air Fryer Kale Chips |

How to roast brussels sprouts for salad

I love brussels sprouts in salad – they’re just like tiny cabbages. To shred sprouts: wash, trim the ends off, cut them in half, place them cut side down on the cutting board and thinly slice cross-wise. Toss them with oil, season with salt and pepper, then roast them on the same pan as the kale for 10 minute at 450°F until slightly wilted and warm.

What to serve with baked salad

I like this salad as a meal but it makes an excellent side dish for proteins such as:

Air Fryer Salmon |

happy baked salad season!
xoxo steph

Kale Salad |

Baked Salad

Baked salad is salad’s cozier, cardigan-wearing cousin.
Serves 6
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 1-2 small delicata squash seeded and chopped
  • 2 bunches kale dinosaur/lacinato preferred, thinly shredded, about 8 cups
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts shredded, about 6 cups
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 cucumber sliced
  • 1 apple fuji preferred, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 carrot shredded
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds


  • Heat your oven (or air fryer) to 400°F. Toss the cubes of delicata with a bit of oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread out on a large parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes then remove from the oven.
    air fried squash |
  • Turn the oven (or air fryer) up to 450°F. Toss the kale and sprouts in a bowl with a drizzle of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Push the delicata to one side of the baking sheet and add the kale and sprouts. Bake for 10 minutes or until the kale and sprouts are warm and wilted and the delicata is tender. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
    brussels sprouts in air fryer |
  • While the vegetables are roasting, make the dressing. In a liquid measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients, taste, and adjust.
    salad dressing |
  • In a large bowl, toss together the squash, kale, sprouts, cucumber, fuji apple, and carrots. Dress evenly to taste and top with sliced almonds. Enjoy!
    Kale Salad |


Optional: add chicken breast for extra protein.

Estimated Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Baked Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 231 Calories from Fat 83
% Daily Value*
Fat 9.2g14%
Saturated Fat 1.2g8%
Cholesterol 0.01mg0%
Sodium 410mg18%
Potassium 919mg26%
Carbohydrates 29.7g10%
Fiber 6.6g28%
Sugar 11.9g13%
Protein 7.4g15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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