Roasted Winter Squash Bento Salad

This salad is a perfect take-to-go meal this time of year. Top off your bento box salad with a side of nuts, seeds, fermented pickles or fresh fruit. If you can't find kabocha in your area, try using butternut squash (halved and peeled) instead.

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Don’t miss Candice Kumai’s DIY Clean Green Bento Box.

Candice Kumai: Chef, healthy-lifestyle expert and best-selling author of five cookbooks including Clean Green Eats (Harper Wave, 2015). Kumai has appeared as a judge on Iron Chef America and is a regular contributor on The Dr. Oz Show and E! News.



  • 1 kabocha squash, quartered, 
seeds removed and thinly sliced 
into ½-inch wedges (skin-on)
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked and cooled brown rice, freekeh, quinoa or your favorite leftover whole grain
  • 2 cups curly kale leaves, tough stems removed, chopped
  • 1/2 avocado, diced, optional
  • 1 Fuji, Gala or Braeburn apple, cored and sliced into ¾-inch pieces, optional
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds, optional
  • Apple Cider Honey Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp raw honey or manuka honey
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375̊F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. In a large bowl, toss squash slices with oil until well coated. Spread squash in an even layer across prepared baking sheet, making sure each piece is touching the surface of the pan to ensure even browning. Sprinkle with salt. Roast for about 20 minutes. Flip squash and roast for another 20 minutes until fork-tender. Set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients.
  4. To a large bowl, add grains and kale and drizzle with vinaigrette (as little or as much as you like – you can save any leftover for future use). Toss gently to coat. Add cooled squash and, if using, avocado, apple and seeds. Toss well to coat, place in your bento box and cover. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1/6 of recipe
  • Calories 273
  • Carbohydrate Content 36 g
  • Cholesterol Content 0 mg
  • Fat Content 13 g
  • Fiber Content 45 g
  • Protein Content 5 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 2 g
  • Sodium Content 223 mg
  • Sugar Content 12 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 2 g