Salad/ Thanksgiving

Butternut Squash Salad

1 October 2022 By Aleksandra

This butternut squash salad is a must-try fall recipe. It features sweet and well-spiced roasted butternut squash, sweet and tangy dressing, honey cinnamon candied walnuts, crunchy pomegranate, salty feta, and peppery arugula. It really hits all the spots – sweet, sour, fresh, well-spiced – it’s the perfect autumn salad.

Butternut Squash Salad on a white plate.

Ingredients

Below you will find information about the ingredients and how to prepare the recipe. For the measurements and detailed instructions scroll down to the printable recipe card.

Here’s what you need to make this delicious salad:

Labeled ingredients for Butternut Squash Salad.
  • Butternut squash – alternatively, you could also pumpkin or even sweet potatoes, baking time will be similar. Butternut squash pairs perfectly with warm spices such as cumin and cinnamon. Sweet maple syrup brings out even more sweet notes of butternut squash.
  • Arugula – is perfect for this salad but other soft types of lettuce will also do (butter lettuce, lamb’s lettuce).
  • Pomegranate seeds – alternatively, you could use dried cranberries.
  • Feta cheese – goat cheese would also be great in this salad.
  • Maple dijon dressing – finger-licking good!
  • Honey candied walnuts – you can also use pecans. If you don’t want to coat the nuts in honey, you could just toast them in a dry pan until lightly browned and fragrant.
  • Instead of making this salad with lettuce, you could serve it with quinoa, farro, or pearl barley.

How to make butternut squash salad step by step

Diced butternut squash salad with spices on a baking sheet. Roasted butternut squash on a baking sheet.

STEP 1+2: Bake butternut squash:

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

Peel butternut squash, remove the seeds and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, add maple syrup, olive oil, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, season with salt and pepper. Toss until evenly coated.

Bake for about 17-20 minutes or until fork-tender. If the spices have not burned at the baking sheet, toss the baked butternut squash with the reamaining sauce/spices on the parchment paper.

Honey candied walnuts in a pot and on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

STEP 3+4: Make candied walnuts:

Melt butter in a medium pot. When it’s bubbling add honey, cinnamon and a pinch of salt, stir to combine. Add walnuts, stir to coat, and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce is thickened and coats the walnuts.

Transfer walnuts to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, make sure all the walnuts are laying apart (or they will stick to each other). Leave to dry.

Maple Dijon vinaigrette in a jar. Roasted butternut squash salad is being poured with dressing.

STEP 5: Make the dressing:

Add all the ingredients for the dressing into a medium jar. Close the lid and shake intensely until all the ingredients are well-combined.

STEP 6: Assemble the salad:

Wash and spin dry arugula (preferably in a salad spinner), arrange on two plates. Place roasted butternut squash and candied walnuts on top. Sprinkle with pomegrante seeds and crumbled feta. Pour over the dressing.

TIP: I have a separate post with a video showing the best way to open and deseed a pomegranate.

Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Salad on a white plate with gold fork on the side.

Storage

You can keep roasted butternut squash in the fridge for up to 4 days. Bring to room temperature before serving. Assemble the salad just before serving.

Pomegranate seeds will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Keep candied walnuts in the fridge for up to a week. The dressing will keep in the fridge for up to 2-3 days, shake intensely before using.

I don’t recommend storing assembled salad – the lettuce will be wilted.

More delicious butternut squash recipes

If you have more butternut squash than 1 pound needed for this recipe, you can roast more and use it in these recipes. Make sure to roast it in batches though so that it can properly roast. If it’s overcrowded it will steam and won’t get brown and caramelized.

How to serve it

This salad is perfect to serve for lunch. It tastes good warm and at room temperature. A piece of garlic bread would be perfect to serve with it.

For us, it’s also filling enough serve it for dinner without any sides. Baked and pan-fried chicken breast would be a great addition if you’d like it to be even more filling.

This salad is easy enough to make during week but also impressive enough you could serve it as a side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

A close-up photo of Butternut Squash Salad on a white plate.

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

Butternut Squash Salad

This butternut squash salad is a must-try fall recipe. It features sweet and well-spiced roasted butternut squash, sweet and tangy dressing, honey cinnamon candied walnuts, crunchy pomegranate, salty feta, and peppery arugula. It really hits all the spots – sweet, sour, fresh, well-spiced – it’s the perfect autumn salad.
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Toasted butternut squash salad on a white plate.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 636kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

for the butternut squash:

  • 1 lb (500g) butternut squash (peeled and deseeded) which is 4 cups raw butternut squash cubes
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

cinnamon honey candied walnuts:

  • 1/2 cup (50g) walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

for the salad:

  • 2 handfuls arugula
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 1/2 ounces (45g) feta cheese

Instructions

  • Bake butternut squash:
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Peel butternut squash, remove the seeds and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, add maple syrup, olive oil, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, season with salt and pepper. Toss until evenly coated.
  • Bake for about 17-20 minutes or until fork-tender. If the spices have not burned at the baking sheet, toss the baked butternut squash with the remaining sauce/spices on the parchment paper.
  • Make candied walnuts: Melt butter in a medium pot. When it's bubbling add honey, cinnamon and a pinch of salt, stir to combine. Add walnuts, stir to coat, and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce is thickened and coats the walnuts. Transfer walnuts to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, make sure all the walnuts are laying apart (or they will stick to each other). Leave to dry.
  • Make the dressing: add all the ingredients for the dressing into a medium jar. Close the lid and shake intensely until all the ingredients are well-combined.
  • Assemble the salad: wash and spin dry arugula (preferably in a salad spinner), arrange on two plates. Place roasted butternut squash and candied walnuts on top. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and crumbled feta. Pour over the dressing.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Course Salad
Cuisine American
Diet Vegetarian
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