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Fall Kale Salad with Pesto Chicken

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 42 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 2 minutes
Servings 4
Author my Bottomless Boyfriend


  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • 1 pound chicken breast*
  • 1 medium butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2x1/2" cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces sliced baby bella or button mushrooms**
  • 5 ounces kale I used baby kale -- it's more tender
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 4 ounces goat cheese crumbled
  • dressing of choice I used Marie's Basil Pesto Vinaigrette


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Spread the raw chicken breasts evenly with pesto and refrigerate at least 6 hours.
  3. Toss the squash only with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper as desired. Evenly spread out in a 9x13" cookie sheet. Roast for 15 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, toss mushrooms with remaining olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper as desired. When the timer goes off, mix the mushrooms with the squash and roast for 15 more minutes or until tender and beginning to brown.
  5. In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat the chicken until cooked through, about 6 minutes per side. There is no need to add olive oil to the skillet as the pesto has sufficient fat to properly sear the chicken.
  6. In a large bowl, toss the kale, squash and mushroom mix, pumpkin seeds, goat cheese, and dressing to combine. Top with cooked chicken and serve.

Recipe Notes

*I marinated the chicken and roasted the butternut squash and mushrooms the night before for quick assembly the next evening.
**This makes a lot of roasted vegetables. Use what you want in the salad and refrigerate the rest for a healthy side dish later in the week.