with Chicken, Apples + Cheddar!

You’ll fall in love with this hearty salad full of seasonal ingredients like honeycrisp apples, juicy chicken, salty unexpected cheddar and sautéed squash ribbons!

This is a treasure hunt of a salad.

Every bite your fork finds will have a mix of sweet and salty, creamy and tart, crunchy and chewy! I am obsessed with the mix of flavors and textures.

First you’ll start with a couple big handfuls of kale with their ribs removed — so key! The ribs are way too fibrous and tough, so removing them makes for a much more pleasant salad-eating experience, lol. Another way to make kale even more attractive? A little massage action. Pour on the dressing, gently rub the leaves with your fingers and say hello to your new favorite leaves! Massaging helps to soften them as they absorb the dressing flavor.

This salad is comprised of:

  • curly kale
  • boneless, skinless chicken breasts seasoned with spicy grilling seasoning
  • honeycrisp apples
  • shredded Unexpected Cheddar from Trader Joe’s
  • pitted dates
  • maple roasted pumpkin seeds
  • sautéed butternut squash ribbons
  • red onion slices
  • dijon mustard vinaigrette

The juicy + seasoned chicken, chewy dates, crisp apples and maple roasted pumpkin seeds all add insane texture to the salad! The salty cheddar cheese and sharp red onions add balance to the sweetness from the dates and apples. I love when sweet and salty flavors can come together in every bite!

Here’s how you’ll make the Fall Harvest Kale Salad:

  1. Season and grill the chicken breasts on the stove top.
  2. Whisk together the dijon dressing.
  3. Sauté the butternut squash ribbons in the grill pan.
  4. Massage kale with dressing.
  5. Top with all ingredients!

I hope you enjoy this feast of flavors!

Thank you for being an amazing reader of The Savvy Spoon! If you loved this post, I would so appreciate you rating it below and/or leaving a comment! Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more recipes, twin mom and healthy lifestyle content!

Fall Harvest Kale Salad

You'll fall in love with this hearty salad full of seasonal ingredients like Honeycrisp apples, juicy chicken, salty Unexpected Cheddar and sautéed squash ribbons!
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 3


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbs. all purpose grilling seasoning
  • 4 cups chopped curly kale leaves removed from ribs
  • 1 honeycrisp apple diced
  • 6 dates pitted and halved
  • ½ red onion sliced thinly
  • 2 cups butternut squash ribbons or noodles
  • cup shredded Unexpected Cheddar from Trader Joe's can use white sharp cheddar instead; omit for Whole30 diet
  • ¼ cup roasted pumpkin seeds I used maple flavored
  • olive oil for sautéing sub avocado oil for Whole30

dijon dressing

  • 3 tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper ½
  • ½ cup good olive oil sub avocado oil for Whole30


  • Season chicken breasts on both sides with grilling seasoning, pressing it into each breast.
  • In a nonstick skillet, warm 2 tbs. olive oil over medium heat. When warm, add seasoned chicken breasts "pretty side" down first. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until golden, then flip over and cook another 4-5 minutes. Turn heat down to low and add ¼ cup water to the pan to create steam. Cover and let cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Whisk together all ingredients for the dijon dressing. Place kale into salad bowl, then drizzle on dressing. Massage with hands or kitchen tongs to soften leaves.
  • Dice all ingredients for salad, arranging on top of lettuce as you go.
  • In the same pan you cooked chicken, warm another 1 tbs. olive oil. When warm, add butternut squash ribbons and season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Place onto salad.
  • Slice the chicken breasts and arrange on top of salad. Top with pumpkin seeds and cheddar cheese.
  • Toss everything together and serve!
Keyword butternut squash, cheddar, chicken, dates, dijon, fall recipe, harvest, kale, pumpkin seeds, salad
Tried this recipe?Share with others how it was!


  1. 4 stars
    Subbed sweet and spicy pecans from TJ’s for the pumpkin seeds which was great! Goat cheese would work as well for this salad. My boyfriend loved it and it filled him up 🙂

    1. thesavvyspoonbycayla

      Thank you so much Lauren!

4 from 1 vote

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