Roasted Squash Salad
on Oct 28, 2013, Updated Nov 08, 2023
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You can use pretty much any kind of winter squash in this roasted squash salad. With varieties like acorn squash, you don’t even have to peel them. This salad is colorful with a base of mixed greens and has crunchy and sweet bites including pumpkin seeds, pecans and pomegranate seeds. Enjoy this salad for Thanksgiving or another holiday.
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
You can use any kind of winter squash. You’ll see in the photos that I like acorn squash. That’s because of its shape and that you don’t have to peel it. You can turn this into a roasted butternut squash salad too. All instructions are included in the recipe card below.
A great salad has something different in each bite. Here that mix has soft roasted squash, creamy goat cheese crumbles, sweet pomegranate seeds and crunchy walnuts and pumpkin seeds. There is so much happening with savory, sweet and salty flavors.
You can serve this salad for Thanksgiving or any day for lunch or dinner. You can’t beat the color of this vibrant salad. It will look beautiful on your holiday table and taste fantastic. But don’t forget about it for weekdays, weekends and non-holidays.
Ingredients & Substitutions
This is what you need:
- Squash: As mentioned, you can take your pick with winter squash for this salad. You will need a medium squash that’s about 2 pounds before you cut it. For acorn squash, red kuri squash and other similar bumpy varieties, you can leave the peel on. It will soften as it roasts. I love that additional texture in the salad. If you use butternut squash, peel it and dice it.
- Lettuce: You can use any salad mix you want such as baby arugula & spinach, spring greens or romaine. It is up to you.
- Red onion: Thinly sliced, they add a nice sharpness to the lettuce and the rest of the ingredients.
- Pomegranate seeds add fresh sweetness. They are juicy and tart. You can substitute with dried cranberries. Just pull them apart before you toss them into the salad because they tend to stick together in the package.
- Pumpkin seeds: You can use either roasted or raw. It doesn’t matter.
- Pecans are wonderful in fall salads, but you can substitute with chopped walnuts or almonds.
- Goat cheese: You can toss in these crumbles or feta cheese if you want something more salty.
- Parsley: I like to finish the salad with chopped fresh herbs.
- Apple cider vinaigrette: The dressing has a touch of sweetness from maple syrup to go with the garlic, whole grain mustard, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Olive oil: Besides the vinaigrette, you will also need oil for roasting the squash.
- Salt & pepper: You should season the squash before roasting it.
Cutting Squash for This Salad Recipe
I put squash into 2 categories for the recipe:
- Squash you don’t peel
- Squash that do peel
For the non-peeling winter squash, such as acorn squash, red kuri squash, delicata squash and kobacha squash, slice them in half and scoop out the seeds. Then cut them into 1/2-inch thick slices. After that, you can cut the slices into pieces that are about 1 inch wide. It doesn’t have to be perfect since hopefully the thickness is consistent. For butternut squash, peel it and cut it into a 1/2-inch dice.
How To Make This Squash Salad
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
1. Toss the squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. You can do this directly on the baking sheet. Then spread the squash into a single layer.
2. Roast the squash. Give it 25-30 minutes to brown on the edges and become tender in the middle. Flip it over a little more than halfway through roasting.
3. Make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, stir the minced the garlic, mustard, maple syrup, salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar and oil.
4. Assemble the salad. Use a big bowl to combine the lettuce, roasted squash, onions, pomegranate seeds, goat cheese, pumpkin seeds, pecans and fresh parsley. Then drizzle in the vinaigrette and toss to combine.
Because of the roasted turkey and all the side dishes, it’s easy to forget about a salad, but this would be a good choice for Thanksgiving. I always like having a fresh salad at big holiday meals. Put it on a serving platter or a large serving bowl that’s shallow, so the squash, seeds and nuts don’t sink to the bottom.
You can also enjoy this salad for a main dish lunch or dinner. Depending on your dietary preferences, you can add a protein such as chicken, salmon or tofu if you want to make it more filling.
Leftovers & Storage
It’s best to plan ahead if you think you’re going to end up with leftover salad or if you are doing meal prep. Do not toss all the vinaigrette into the salad. Then you can save it up to 3 days in an airtight container. If the lettuce is dressed, it will wilt and be soggy. Keep the vinaigrette in a separate mason jar or another container.
You can roast the squash up to 2 days in advance. Keep it in the fridge in an airtight container. Then put it out at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before you plan to eat it in the salad, so it isn’t as cold as when you first take it out of the refrigerator.
You can make the vinaigrette up to 3 days ahead of time. Keep it in the refrigerator in a jar. Take it out of the fridge 15 minutes before you’re going to drizzle it in the salad. Oil hardens and solidifies in cold temperatures. Also, give it a good stir, so it is well combined again.
Yes, as written, the recipe does not contain gluten.
Just omit the cheese or use a plant-based substitute.
You can roast sweet potatoes instead. Just peel them and cut them into 1/2-inch cubes.
More Fall Salad Recipes
Kale Apple Salad
Apple Cabbage Salad
Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
Moroccan Carrot Salad
Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad
Sweet Potato Kale Salad
Fig Arugula Salad
Kale Fingerling Potato Salad
Chopped Autumn Salad
Fall Harvest Salad
Roasted Squash Salad
- For squash
- 1 medium acorn squash,* (halved, seeds scooped out, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices and then cut into 1-inch wide pieces)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- For vinaigrette
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- For salad
- 5 ounces mixed baby greens
- 1 cup mixed greens (such as spring mix, baby arugula & spinach)
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- On a sheet pan, toss the squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread it out in a single layer. Roast the squash until it is golden brown and tender, tossing just over halfway through roasting, about 25-30 minutes.
- For the vinaigrette, whisk the garlic, mustard, maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup olive oil in a small bowl.
- Combine the lettuce, roasted squash, onions, pomegranate seeds, goat cheese, pumpkin seeds, pecans and fresh parsley in a large bowl.
- Drizzle the vinaigrette into the salad. Toss to combine.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.