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Kale & Pumpkin Salad with Cider Herb Dressing

October 6, 2020

Kale & Pumpkin Salad with Cider Herb Dressing


As we’re coming up to Thanksgiving in this very strange year, I know a lot of people who are celebrating differently. In our house, that means just the two of us. With only two people eating it can seem like a lot of excess work and food to do up a full Thanksgiving meal. So this week, I’ve decided to share some really great menu options for having a lovely and special meal for only two people. While still enjoying the food, and of course, having leftovers. I’ve got a whole menu planned out with easy and delicious recipes. We have already started with a Simple Charcuterie Board for Two for nibblies through the day. Now it’s time for some tasty Kale Salad.

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Alongside your Thanksgiving meal, this Pumpkin & Kale Salad is the perfect match. Bring some freshness to the table, and some pumpkin flare.

Eat Your Greens (Kale!)

Next up on our Thanksgiving for Two Menu is the salad course! When I was growing up we didn’t always have salads at the Thanksgiving table, but when we did I was a little extra thankful. It can be a lot to digest without a crisp and tasty pile of greens to assist.

Kale & Pumpkin Salad

This kale salad really screams autumn to me. It’s hearty and filling, and full of seasonal flavours. If you’re looking for a good meal on it’s own either double the portions or add a little grilled chicken. I actually used to eat a very similar salad to this one when I lived in a tiny apartment on my own. It made me feel fancy when I didn’t have much to feel fancy about. 

Support Local Growers

A lot of small businesses, farmers, and markets are having a hard time through the pandemic. Dishes like this one give us a good chance to support our local growers. If you have a farmers market that’s able to be open near where you are, try to shop there. You should be able to find almost all the ingredients at a farmers market. If you’re in the Ottawa area and looking to get yourself any lovely serving dishes while also supporting local, Maker House is a really great spot to look. They bring in all kinds of homewares, art, bath products, and food from local creators. 

Kale & Pumpkin Salad

If you need to change up a couple ingredients based on what growers have available, do so! Pie pumpkin can be replaced with Acorn Squash or Butternut Squash. Red onions can be replaced with Shallots. And Feta can be replaced with any crumbly cheese. Blue cheeses are great with this salad, as are some crumbly goat cheeses.

Prepare Some Things Early

On Thanksgiving when you’re preparing your meal, the pumpkin can be roasted first thing, and simply set aside until you’re ready. Secondly, toasting the pepitas and chopping the kale can be done ahead of time too. Kale is a very sturdy green and will hold up fine rinsed, chopped, and covered in the fridge for a couple hours. If you prepare the dressing by shaking it up in a jar, it too can be set aside on the counter until dinner. (Don’t put a dressing with olive oil into the fridge on the day of serving in case the oil hardens)

Kale & Pumpkin Salad

If you haven’t yet, go check out my post on how to put together a Simple Charcuterie Board for Two. And stay tuned through the week for the rest of the menu for our Thanksgiving for Two. 

Pumpkin & Kale Salad

The perfect Autumn salad to keep your Thanksgiving dinner from getting too heavy.
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people (with Leftovers)


  • 2 cups Pie Pumpkin Peeled, seeded and Cubed
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Oregano
  • 2 tsp Thyme
  • 1 tsp Chili Flakes
  • 1/2 tsp each, Salt & Pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Pepitas
  • 4 cups Chopped Green Kale
  • 3/4 cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/3 cup Red Onion Thinly Sliced
  • 1/4 cup Feta Or other crumbly cheese

Cider Herb Dressing

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 clove Garlic Finely Diced, or Crushed
  • 1 tsp Each, Margoram, Oregano
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste


  • Heat oven to 375F. Line two trays with parchment paper.
  • Combine the cubed pumpkin, cinnamon, oregano, thyme, chili flakes, salt, pepper and olive oil in a bowl. Toss to coat all the pumpkin pieces. Transfer to one of the trays, spread out evenly. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until browning on the edges and soft when pierced. Remove from the oven and set aside until ready to toss the salad.
  • Spread the pepitas onto the other lined tray and toast in the oven for 4-6 minutes. Stir part way through. Set aside until ready to toss the salad.


  • Combine all the dressing ingredients, except the salt and pepper in a mason jar. Close the jar lid and shake well to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking.


  • Add the kale, cranberries, red onion, and feta in a large bowl. Top with pumpkin and pepitas. Toss well to fully combine.
  • Right before serving, toss the salad with the dressing. Or, put the dressing on the table and dress salads individually.


Pumpkin and Pepitas can be prepared in advance. Pumpkin can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days. Pepitas can be stored in a sealed container in the pantry for up to 2 months. 
Keyword kale, Kale Salad, pumpkin, salad, Thanksgiving

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