I have found that I often experience the most joy from things that I don’t plan in my life. This blog is one of those things. Life tossed Keegan and I around and down to nothing, and in working our way back up, this food blog idea came out of no where. It wasn’t something we had planned to do. In fact, our plans were very different. Somehow, this blog found it’s way through, and I’m glad it did. Keegan and I have had so much fun working together on everything it comes with and don’t want to look back. This chicken salad wasn’t exactly planned either. We were sitting on our front steps, and I remember saying random ingredients I thought would go well in a chicken salad. It sounded good, so we went with it. We nailed it.
This salad is absolutely delightful. It leaves me feeling super satisfied and refreshed every time I eat it.
The ingredients work so perfectly together, you don’t even need a dressing. The residual olive oil used for cooking the chicken and squash is all this salad needs. We did, however, try it with a dressing and you can find the recipe for it in the notes. You could try it between some bread or wrapped in lettuce, but I think you’ll alright without that. Like what you see? Share the recipe! Click the links at the bottom of this post. When you make it, take a picture, and tag #nakedsunflower on Instagram. We’d love to see how yours turns out!
- 1 c butternut squash, chopped into 1" in cubes
- 7 oz (about 1 c) chicken, chopped small
- ⅓ c pecans, chopped
- 2 Tbs pepitas
- ¼ c dried cranberries
- 2½ c kale, chopped small and lightly packed
- 1 Tbs olive oil, divided
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Add pecans, cranberries, and pepitas to a medium skillet. Set over medium high heat and toast for about 5 minutes or until fragrant. Stir frequently. Remove from skillet and set aside in a bowl.
- Season the squash with salt and pepper. Put into skillet with ½ Tbs olive oil. Cook for about 5 minutes or just until tender. Stir frequently.
- Add the kale to skillet 2 minutes before the squash is done cooking. Once the squash is done and the kale is bright green and wilted, remove from skillet and set aside.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to skillet with remaining ½ Tbs oil. Cook it through, about 6 minutes.
- Add everything to the skillet over medium heat to warm and mix together.
- Spilt into 2 or 3 bowls and enjoy.