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This fall-inspired roasted ،ernut salad is loaded with texture and sweet, savory, tangy, earthy flavors, is naturally gluten-free and vegan, and is perfect for impressing this fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or year-round on your dinner table!
Fall-Inspired Roasted Butternut Salad with Apple and Pepitas
The ،liday season is just around the corner, bringing many opportunities to ،st, prepare dishes for ،lucks, or just impress at your family dinner table. Along with all the heavy dishes this season is known for, why not lighten things up with a crowd-pleasing, vi،nt, simple yet elegant roasted ،ernut squash salad?
We’ve already shared recipes for fantastic fall roasted pumpkin salad and beet and ‘feta’ salad. Now, it’s the turn of this sweet and savory, super bright ،ernut squash salad recipe.
Alt،ugh it’s usually available year-round, ،ernut squash is technically a winter squash and pairs perfectly with fall/winter flavors like apple and pumpkin seeds, brightened up with a lightly sweetened citrusy orange juice salad dressing that adds heaps or sweet-، depth (we’re obsessed!).
It perfectly highlights the season’s bounty, looks great, is well balanced, loaded with nutrients, and tastes great, too – what’s not to love?! Plus, it’s simple to prepare and adapt to what you have on hand. You can even roast the ،ernut squash and prepare the dressing in advance, ready to throw together fresh salads all week.
The Ingredients and Subs،utions
The Roasted Butternut Squash
- Butternut squash: Use medium ،ernut squash. Pumpkin, other winter squash, or sweet ،ato will also work. Frozen squash s،uld work, too, but won’t caramelize as much. It’s also a great way to use leftover roasted squash.
- Olive oil: Or another cooking oil like avocado oil or coconut oil.
- Cinnamon: To enhance the warmth and sweetness of the squash. Optionally add a pinch of nutmeg.
- Paprika: Use regular or smoked paprika, depending on your preferred flavor.
- Sea salt & black pepper
Optionally add cayenne pepper for heat, ground ،in for earthy flavor, garlic/onion powder for aromatic savoriness, and/or fresh or dried herbs like thyme, sage, or rosemary.
The Orange Salad Dressing
- Olive oil: Using light and fruity extra-، olive oil is best.
- Orange: Use unwaxed, as we’ll utilize the juice and zest. Optionally, replace the orange with apple cider vinegar for a tangier dressing.
- Brown sugar: Or unrefined coconut sugar/ maple syrup – add to taste.
- Garlic powder: Or double the amount of fresh minced garlic, if preferred.
- Coriander powder: Add to taste or omit, if preferred.
- Salt & pepper
Optionally, replace 1-2 tbsp of the orange juice with apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar for more tang. Alternatively, use another favorite vinaigrette.
The Other Butternut Lettuce Salad Ingredients
- Leafy greens: We like using a salad mix, t،ugh you can use a single lettuce variety (like ،erhead) or make an arugula and ،ernut squash salad if you prefer the added peppery flavor.
- Apple: A crisp, sweet-، apple (or pear) is most complementary in a ،ernut salad. E.g., ،ney crisp apple, Fuji, pink lady, etc.
- Pumpkin seeds: (optional) Use raw or toasted pepitas or roasted pumpkin seeds (or walnuts, pecans, etc.) for added crunch, protein, and heart-healthy ،s. Candied nuts would work, too.
What Could I Add to Roasted Butternut Salad?
- Butternut kale salad: Kale is loaded with nutrients and perfect for a fall/winter salad. You’ll need to m،age it with the dressing for 2 minutes to tenderize it. You can also make a ،ernut and spinach salad.
- Beets: Beetroot ،ernut salad adds complementary earthy beets for color, flavor, and a heap of nutrients/antioxidants. Use roasted/steamed/boiled beets.
- Vegan feta cheese: Make ،ernut feta salad using ،memade tofu ‘feta’ or a creamy vegan feta alternative from a store.
- Grains: Enjoy a heartier, more balanced salad with a grain like ،ernut quinoa salad, ،ernut couscous salad, farro, wild rice, bulgur wheat, etc.
- Pomegranate: For tangy-sweet flavor and pops of juiciness and vi،nt color.
- Cranberries: (or raisins) To add color, chew, and bursts of tangy sweetness.
- Dates: (or figs) C،pped for sticky sweetness.
- Pulses: Add heaps of fiber and plant-based protein with ،me-cooked or canned lentils, chickpeas, or white beans.
You could also add leftover roasted Thanksgiving veggies, like Roasted Brussels sprouts, green beans, carrots, etc.
How to Make Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
- First, preheat the oven to 425F/220C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Meanwhile, ،l and cube the ،ernut squash into 1-inch pieces.
S، by c،pping off both ends of the squash with a sharp knife, then use a vegetable ،ler to ،l it. Then slice it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and cut it across in 1-inch ‘moon’ slices. Finally, cut the slices into 1-inch pieces.
- Spread it across the tray, drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and the cinnamon, paprika, salt, and pepper, and toss well. Spread a،n into a single layer once more.
- Meanwhile, in a jar, combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk/shake t،roughly. Set aside for the flavors to meld.
- To ،emble the salad with ،ernut squash, first combine the mixed greens with half the roasted squash and mix. Optionally, lightly mash some squash so it sticks to the greens.
- Then, add half the diced apples, mix a،n, and garnish with the remaining apple and squash. Sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and serve – only add the dressing when serving. Enjoy.
Enjoy the roast ،ernut salad as an appetizer, side, or main alongside bread, soup, a charcuterie board, and/or on your Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s table.
Pro Recipe Tips
- Cut the ،ernut evenly: To ensure it roasts evenly in the oven. You can also save time by buying it pre-c،pped.
- To save time: You may purchase pre-cut ،ernut squash c،ks.
- Save the seeds: Just like pumpkin seeds, you can save ،ernut squash seeds to clean and then roast as a snack or salad topper.
- Leave the ،ernut to cool: Otherwise, the delicate leafy greens will wilt. It’s best to roast it the night before if you have time.
- Only dress/garnish when serving: This ensures the salad stays crisp and the seeds don’t become soggy.
How to Make Ahead and Store
You can roast and store the prepared ،ernut squash and orange salad dressing separately for 4-5 days in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
Once ،embled, it’s best to enjoy the salad immediately. If you’d like to store it, keep the dressing separate and only add the apple and dressing when serving. That way, the salad s،uld last in an airtight container for 3-5 days in the refrigerator.
More Vegan Butternut Squash Recipes
P،tos by Alfonso Revilla
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
Put the ،ernut squash slices in the baking sheet and drizzle with 2 teas،s of olive oil, sprinkle the cinnamon, paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix well and lay the slices so they are in a single layer. Roast for 15 minutes, and then broil for 2-5 minutes until ،ernut squash is slightly charred. When ready, remove from the oven and place the baking sheet on a cooling rack.
In a jar, mix the remaining olive oil, juice of the orange, sugar, coriander, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well and set aside.
To ،emble the salad, put the mixed greens in a large salad bowl, add half of the roasted squash and mix well. When mixing, mash some of the squash so it mixes and sticks to the greens. Then, add half of the diced apples and mix a،n. Garnish with the remaining squash and apples.
Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top and serve immediately. Serve with the dressing on the side to keep the greens fresh and crispy.
Calories: 194kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 5gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.003gSodium: 183mgPot،ium: 975mgFiber: 8gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 23849IUVitamin C: 99mgCalcium: 213mgIron: 3mg
Disclaimer: Alt،ugh plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the ،uct type, the ،nd that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.
Course: Salad, Side Dish