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This Fall Harvest Salad is a festive, nutritious and delicious salad that you can make for an easy weeknight meal or include as part of a larger holiday spread. It’s full of many colors, textures and tastes, so you’ll never find eating a salad boring again! And because I use seasonal items, it means the produce is at its peak flavors (and price 😉 )
This fall salad with kale isn’t just a side dish – it could be the main event on a chilly day! It brings together the best of fall’s fresh produce and takes it up a notch with a creamy and tangy tahini dressing. Plus, besides fresh kale, traditional Feta cheese, Brussel sprouts and beets, I added sweet potatoes to the list of ingredients. Some people leave them out but in my opinion, a fall inspired salad isn’t complete without some sweet spuds – they are the right match! If you want to know how to roast them to perfection for this recipe, here is my take on Roasted Sweet Potatoes.
Table of Contents
Recipe at a glance
Cuisine Inspiration: American
Primary Cooking Method: Oven
Dietary Info: Gluten Free
Key Flavor: Sweet, Savory, Fresh
Skill Level: Easy
- Protein-Packed: With quinoa and feta in the mix, this salad is more than just greens – it’s a satisfying meal that keeps you full.
- Naturally Gluten-Free: This sweet potato beet salad is all about fresh produce and wholesome ingredients, making it a great choice for gluten-sensitive guests.
- Easy to Prepare: You just have to roast the sweet potatoes, toss all the ingredients together, and drizzle them with the dressing. No chef skills needed.
- Colorful Presentation: With vibrant beets, kale, and sweet potatoes, this dish is highly visually appealing. Perfect for when you want to impress with minimal effort.
Ingredients to make a Fall harvest salad
The best way to know what to include in a fall harvest salad is to browse your market or grocery store and see what fruits and vegetables they’re featuring in large quantities. Usually they will be cheaper given their abundance. For this salad, I included the following:
- Kale: De-stemmed and cut into bite sized pieces.
- Sweet Potatoes: Peeled, cut into large chunks and roasted in the oven. Sub for roasted acorn squash.
- Brussel Sprouts: Thinly sliced or shaved. You can achieve this using a knife or a food processor. You can also buy the Brussel sprouts shaved in bags.
- Beets: You can buy them fresh or pre-cooked. If you buy them fresh, feel free to roast them with the sweet potatoes or boil them until fork tender.
- Pecans: Very popular during the fall. Candied walnuts would be a deliciously sweet crunch.
- Feta Cheese: Because it’s my favorite cheese to go on salads all year long.
- Quinoa: Not pictured below but it adds protein and heart-healthy grains.
- Tahini Sauce: This is my authentic Lebanese sauce and I water it down slightly to use as a dressing.
You can check out my list of seasonal fall fruits and vegetables for most examples and inspiration for what you can include in your own fall harvest salad.
How to Make a Fall Harvest Salad
There’s not much to putting together this fall harvest salad. But I would recommend massaging the kale with half the dressing to make it more tender and easier to chew. I always do this with a kale salad recipe. Leave the other half of the dressing for serving.
Next place all the items on top of the massaged kale, except for the beets. The beets will likely stain the other ingredients with their strong red hue. So I like adding them at the end for best presentation.
Now give everything a good toss, and you can top the fall harvest salad off with those previously excluded beets and enjoy!
However, if I’m serving this for a gathering or as part of a holiday dinner, I like to use half the ingredients for tossing and save the other half for topping. The presentation is just so much better this way when you can see all the colorful seasonal produce on top.
Tips for Making a the best harvest salad
- Massage the kale separately with the dressing. This works with any type of dressing you’re using. But the oil from the dressing helps to soften the tough kale leaves to tenderize them and darken their green hue. It makes it much easier to eat the kale this way, and it’s ready in just a couple minutes.
- Rinse the quinoa before cooking. This helps get rid of any bitterness. I rinse it about three times under running water in a fine mesh strainer.
- Make ahead all the ingredients and toss before serving. This fall harvest salad is a great make-ahead dish for the holidays, so feel free to prep everything separately and toss together when ready to serve.
- Add protein to make this a full meal. This salad lends itself very well to be served with roasted chicken or grilled chicken. If you wanted to keep it vegetarian, there’s plenty of protein from the quinoa, kale and feta cheese.
- Reserve the beets for topping the salad only. This is the case for any fruits you’re using (like apples, pears or pomegranate), but also cheese in many cases. Reserve them for topping, not tossing, and it will preserve their color and make for an overall better presentation.
Popular substitutions & additions
- Add more protein to make this a full meal. If you want to keep it vegetarian, there’s plenty of protein from the quinoa, kale and feta cheese. However, this salad lends itself very well to be served with roasted chicken or grilled chicken.
- Try a balsamic vinegar vinaigrette. If you don’t like tahini dressing, swap it for a classic, homemade balsamic vinegar vinaigrette. It goes very well with the savory flavors of this harvest salad.
- Swap the sweet potatoes for butternut squash. For a slightly different taste and texture, switch out sweet potatoes with roasted butternut squash chunks. It’s still savory but less sweet.
- Add apples. Toss in some sliced apples for an added crunchy sweetness. Honeycrisp, Fuji, or your favorite one!
How to store this Fall Harvest Salad
After you’ve enjoyed your salad, simply transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and store it in the fridge. Try to keep the dressing separate and add it just before you eat to avoid making the salad soggy if you know you will have leftovers.
How long will this fall harvest salad last in the fridge?
Your salad should stay fresh and delicious in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you’ve kept the dressing on a separate container, it might even last a bit longer.
Frequently asked questions
Of course! While kale gives a hearty texture, you can swap it out for spinach, arugula, or mixed greens. Just remember, softer greens like spinach might wilt faster with the dressing.
Yes, you can! Simply skip the feta cheese or replace it with a vegan alternative like tofu cheese. The rest of the ingredients are already vegan-friendly.
When they’re fork-tender and have a slight golden edge, they’re good to go. But don’t over-roast them, or they might become too soft for the salad.
Whether you’re making it for a weeknight dinner or a festive gathering, this Fall Harvest Salad is sure to impress! It has the perfect blend of autumn flavors and hearty ingredients. And the creamy, tangy tahini dressing? It’s the cherry on top. It’s a beautifully-made salad that can cross from casual weeknight meal to a fancy dinner gathering.
For more fall-inspired salads:
- Autumn Pear Salad
- Brussel Sprout Salad Recipe
- Asian Noodle Salad
- Brussels Sprout Salad
- Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Fall Harvest Salad recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
Fall Harvest Salad
- 1/2 cup quinoa uncooked
- 8 ounces kale de-stemmed and chopped, about 6 cups
- 1/2 pound Brussel sprouts thinly sliced, about 3 cups
- 2 sweet potatoes peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 4 beets cooked, chopped
- ¼ cup feta cheese
- 1/2 cup tahini paste
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup water
- Cook quinoa according to directions on package and cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway through. Set aside to cool.
- While quinoa and sweet potatoes are cooling, whisk together the tahini dressing.
- Add kale to a salad bowl. Pour dressing over kale and toss until kale is evenly coated.
- Toss in the cooled quinoa, sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts. Add beets and feta cheese on top and serve.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.