This tasty pasta salad is the perfect bridge between fall and winter or winter and spring. Delicious butternut squash and roasted kale are folded into orzo pasta and drizzled with a simple lemony dressing. Make ahead for a stress-free weeknight dinner!
For the Pasta Salad:
- 1 lb orzo pasta
- 12 oz cubed butternut squash, about 2 cups
- 4 cups packed kale
- olive oil
- black pepper
- 2 sprigs thyme
For the Dressing:
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp pine nuts, optional
- extra lemon zest to finish
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Cook the orzo according to package directions, then drain and rinse with cold water.
- Place the butternut squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with a bit (about 2 tsp) of olive oil. Sprinkle with a bit of salt, black pepper, and the leaves from the thyme sprig, then toss to distribute everything. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until fork-tender.
- While the butternut cooks, place the kale in a 9×13″ baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil (another ~2 tsp) and a bit of salt and pepper. Massage the oil into the kale with your hands until evenly distributed. Place this in the oven along with the butternut squash and cook for 10-15 minutes until wilted.
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a medium bowl, or in a mason jar like I like to do, and whisk or shake together.
- Toss the cooked butternut, kale, and pasta together in a large bowl. Add 2/3 of the dressing and toss. Taste and add extra dressing as necessary.*
- Let cool for a few hours,* then add the pine nuts and extra lemon zest before serving and enjoy!
– If you are planning on eating this as leftovers, reserve a bit of the dressing to refresh the leftovers as the dressing gets absorbed as it sits.
– You can eat this warm if you are making it the night of – it’s still delicius. I preferred it cold, though!
Keywords: butternut squash, kale, pasta salad