Roasted Butternut Squash Salad Recipe

If you are looking for a fresh and healthy salad that's a little outside of the box, we have the perfect recipe! This roasted butternut squash salad consists of greens, goat cheese, pumpkin seeds, and butternut squash, all of which is topped off with a honey Dijon vinaigrette. This salad would be great to serve at lunch or as a side at your next dinner party to accompany any protein. Plain and simple — we love how fresh and flavorful it is!

Recipe developer Molly Madigan Pisula of Vanilla Bean Cuisine came up with this fantastic recipe that offers a variety of flavors. "My favorite part about this recipe is how all the textures come together in one delicious bite: the tender squash, the creamy goat cheese, the crunchy pumpkin seeds, and that juicy pop from the pomegranate seeds," Pisula raves.

"As for inspiration, it's really all about that butternut squash. I love butternut squash in soup and just roasted by itself as a side dish, but I wanted to create a recipe that made it into a full meal on its own," Pisula states. "This salad is so filling, and would be great as a vegetarian main." Whether you enjoy this salad as a side dish or main course, there's no doubt that you'll revel in the fresh flavors and brilliant pops of color. 

Gather the ingredients for roasted butternut squash salad

For this salad, you will need butternut squash, olive oil, honey, salt, pumpkin seeds, freshly ground black pepper, baby kale or baby spinach, goat cheese, pomegranate seeds, sherry vinegar, and Dijon mustard.

Preheat the oven and prepare the squash

Since you will need to cook the butternut squash and pumpkin seeds in the oven, preheat your range to 375 F. Then, line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Grab your butternut squash and peel the skin off. Then, cut it in half. Scrap the seeds and cut the flesh into ¾-inch chunks.

Roast the pumpkin seeds

In a small bowl, whisk together ½ tablespoon of olive oil, honey, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Add the pumpkin seeds to the bowl and stir until well coated.

Spread the pumpkin seeds out into a thin layer on one of the parchment-lined baking sheets. Pop them into the oven and bake for eight to 10 minutes, until glazed and toasted. Remove the seeds from the oven and set them aside to cool, then break them into pieces. "Leftover candied pumpkin seeds can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature," Pisula notes.

Bake the butternut squash

Crank the temperature of your oven to 425 F. Add the chunks of butternut squash to the lined baking sheet and toss with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt, and black pepper.

Pop the squash into the oven for about 20 minutes and cook until tender — it should start to brown. "The butternut squash could take more or less time to roast depending on how big the squash chunks are," Pisula says. "Make sure to chop the squash into the same sized pieces so that they cook in the same amount of time."

Mix the dressing

While waiting for the squash to finish cooking, use another small bowl to mix the dressing. Whisk the sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey. Then, slowly add the olive oil while whisking constantly. "It's tempting to add the olive oil all at once and then whisk with the rest of the ingredients, but it is very important to add the olive oil while whisking at the same time," Pisula notes. "This will allow the dressing to emulsify and not separate, even after refrigerating."

Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste and set aside until you need it. "I'd describe it as having a light mustard flavor with a little bit of sweetness too," Pisula says of the dressing. "The sherry vinegar gives it a little more depth and complexity than a regular white wine vinaigrette — maybe a little nuttiness too." 

Remove the squash and fix the salad

Once the timer dings, remove the squash from the oven and allow it to cool. "Make sure the butternut squash and candied pumpkin seeds cool completely before putting the salad together — otherwise, they will wilt the greens," Pisula says.

Add the kale or spinach to a large bowl and toss in a few tablespoons of dressing. "Any kind of greens can be used for this salad: arugula would be lovely as well, or a combination of greens," Pisula says. 

Dress the salad up and serve

Top the salad with butternut squash, candied pumpkin seeds, and crumbled goat cheese. "Feta cheese would be a good substitution for goat cheese," Pisula shares. At this time, you can also add pomegranate seeds. "If you have a whole pomegranate, the least messy way to get the seeds out is to cut it in half and submerge into a bowl filled with water. Use your fingers to remove the seeds," Pisula says. "The seeds will sink, and the membranes will float, so you can pull those out to discard." Serve the salad with the remaining honey Dijon vinaigrette and enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad Recipe
5 from 29 ratings
Loaded with flavorful ingredients and bright colors, this roasted butternut squash salad will complement any meal.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
30
minutes
Servings
4
servings
butternut squash salad in bowl
Total time: 45 minutes
Ingredients
  • For the salad
  • 1 (1 ½ pound) butternut squash
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces baby kale or baby spinach
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • For the dressing
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoons honey
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Peel the butternut squash, then halve it. Scrape out and discard the seeds, then cut the flesh into ¾-inch chunks.
  3. Whisk together ½ tablespoon of olive oil, honey, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a small bowl.
  4. Add pumpkin seeds to the bowl and stir until well-coated.
  5. Spread pumpkin seeds in a thin layer onto one of the parchment-lined baking sheets.
  6. Put in oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until glazed and toasted. Remove and set aside to cool, then break into pieces.
  7. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Add butternut squash pieces to second lined baking sheet, and toss with remaining tablespoon of olive oil, remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt, and black pepper.
  9. Roast the squash for 20 minutes, until tender and beginning to brown.
  10. While the squash is roasting, whisk the sherry vinegar, mustard, and honey in a small bowl. Then, slowly add olive oil, whisking constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then set aside until ready to serve.
  11. When squash is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool.
  12. To serve the salad, add baby kale to a large salad bowl and toss with a few tablespoons of the dressing.
  13. Top with roasted butternut squash, candied pumpkin seeds, crumbled goat cheese, and pomegranate seeds.
  14. Serve with the remaining honey Dijon vinaigrette.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 515
Total Fat 40.0 g
Saturated Fat 9.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 13.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 32.4 g
Dietary Fiber 6.2 g
Total Sugars 13.5 g
Sodium 721.6 mg
Protein 13.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe