Indulge in this delicious Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with gorgonzola cheese, pecans, and pomegranate seeds tonight ... it's an easy seasonal recipe that makes a delightful addition to your holiday table or any fall meal!
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Growing up, there was one vegetable I wouldn't touch ... squash. Every fall, my mom would roast squash with brown sugar and butter. She and my dad loved it, but they couldn't even convince me to try it.
How times have changed! These days, I can't get enough squash. I think it's the combination of sweet and savory flavors that have me hooked.
My absolute favorite variety is butternut squash. I add it to all my go to fall dishes ... it's so delicious in everything from enchiladas to mac and cheese.
This Roasted Butternut Squash Salad recipe is one of the best ways to use this tasty squash. It's bursting with amazing seasonal flavors, plus it's so easy to make!
About the Recipe
This salad is the perfect combination of sweet, tangy, salty, crunchy, and savory flavors. Even my husband, who isn't the biggest squash fan, loved it!
Plus, it's just so colorful and pretty. Which makes it ideal for all your fall and winter meals, not to mention special occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The centerpiece of this mouthwatering salad is the maple roasted butternut squash. It's prepared with simple ingredients that work together to create a delicious caramelized result.
Forget the salad ... you're going to want to eat the roasted squash all on its own!
This easy Butternut Squash Salad is made with simple, flavor-packed ingredients you can find in any grocery store. Here's what you'll need:
For the Squash
- Butternut Squash - Feel free to substitute other varieties of winter squash, such as acorn, pumpkin, or kabocha ... you could even use sweet potatoes.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Maple Syrup
For the Salad
- Mixed Greens - Use your favorite bagged salad mix (mesclun), or use one green (such as arugula) instead.
- Blue Cheese - I used Gorgonzola Cheese here, but any type of blue cheese will work. Not a fan of blue cheese? Try using feta or goat cheese instead. You could even skip the cheese altogether, which would make this vegetarian salad vegan.
- Nuts - The pecans halves I used taste delicious and look special, but other nuts (like walnuts or even pistachios) would work, too.
- Pomegranate Seeds - These sweet, colorful seeds make this salad feel so festive! Swap in dried fruit (such as cranberries), if you prefer.
For the Dressing
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Maple Syrup
- Salt and Pepper - I prefer to use Kosher salt, and fresh cracked pepper is a must.
This easy Maple - Apple Cider Vinaigrette dressing is the perfect finishing touch to this autumn salad. It takes minutes to make and pulls all the flavors together.
How to Make Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
Ready to get started? You won't believe how easy this Butternut Squash Blue Cheese Salad is to make!
You'll begin by roasting the butternut squash. Cut the squash into cubes, then toss it with olive oil, maple syrup, and salt and pepper. Then, bake it until it's caramelized and tender, flipping it a couple times as it cooks.
While the squash roasts, combine the diced shallot with the apple cider vinegar. This will lightly pickle the shallot, turning it a pretty pink color and taking away its bite. Then, right before serving the salad, whisk the pickled shallot with the olive oil, maple syrup, and salt and pepper to make the tangy, sweet Maple - Apple Cider dressing.
To finish the salad, toss the mixed greens with the vinaigrette. Then, top the greens with the roasted butternut squash, toasted pecan halves, gorgonzola cheese, and pomegranate seeds. And that's all there is to it ... your beautiful salad is ready to eat!
Tip: note sure how to remove pomegranate seeds from the whole fruit? Check out this easy tutorial for cutting and de-seeding a pomegranate.
I especially love serving this gorgeous salad with fall and holiday meals though. For a special occasion, try it paired with my Mushroom Wellington, Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Shells, or my Vegetable Pie with Phyllo Crust for a show-stopping seasonal meal!
Tip: if you're preparing the salad for a special occasion, you can prep the dressing, toast the pecans, de-seed the pomegranate, and even roast the butternut in advance. That way, all you need to do is assemble the salad right before serving.
Looking for more butternut squash ideas? Then, you'll love these recipes, too:
- Butternut Squash Lasagna
- Easy Pumpkin Curry
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- Black Bean and Butternut Squash Enchiladas
- Butternut and Gorgonzola Pizzas
- Roasted Fall Vegetable Pizza
Roasted Butternut Squash and Gorgonzola Salad
- nonstick cooking spray
For Butternut Squash:
- 4 cups cubed butternut squash (about ½ a large squash)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 medium shallot, finely diced
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- kosher salt
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 8 ounces mixed salad greens
- 1 pomegranate, seeds removed
- 4 ounces gorgonzola or other blue cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
Prepare Butternut Squash:
- Mix squash, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 tablespoon maple syrup in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer squash to baking sheet, then roast for 30 minutes (or until tender and caramelized), flipping every 10 minutes. Remove from oven, then set aside to cool slightly before assembling salad.
- While squash roasts, combine shallot and vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside to pickle.
- When salad is ready to assemble, whisk 4 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon maple syrup into shallot - vinegar mixture. Season dressing generously to taste with salt and pepper.
- While squash cooks, place pecan halves in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until pecans are toasted (watch closely). Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
- To assemble salad, pour dressing over mixed greens, then toss to coat. Top greens with roasted squash, pecans, pomegranate seeds, and gorgonzola.
- Serve salad immediately. Enjoy!
More Seasonal Recipes
My Roasted Butternut Squash Salad is just one of the Thanksgiving recipes I'm sharing this week as part of Blogsgiving Dinner! Since Thanksgiving is all about family, friends, and delicious food, I've joined with 20 awesome bloggers to bring you 52 amazing recipes!
The idea is based on the old-fashioned progressive dinner party, in which you’d eat each course at a different guest’s home. On Monday, we shared recipes for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and soups, including my Creamy Wild Rice Soup. And on Friday, we shared recipes for desserts, after dinner drinks, and ideas for using up leftovers, including my Cheesy Potato Croquettes.
Today’s recipes are a wonderful mix of entrees, salads, and side dishes ... yum. Make sure to visit each blog to check them out!
- The Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey from My Cooking Spot
- Roasted Turducken from The Speckled Palate
- Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Orange-Cranberry Reduction from Home at Six
- Beer Brined Turkey with Bacon Gravy from Cake ‘n’ Knife
- Smoked Mushroom Steaks with Herbed Bread Crumbs (Vegan) from Betty Becca
- Turkey, Apple & Sweet Potato Pot Pies from Love & Flour
- Creamy Pumpkin Apple Pasta from My Cooking Spot
- Mushroom Spinach Farro from Think Fruitful
- Bacon and Cornbread Stuffing from Chez CateyLou
- Sweet Potato Crunch from I Cook. I Eat. It’s Life.
- Blue Cheese & Bacon Mashed Potatoes from A Savory Feast
- Sausage Stuffing from the Wetherills Say I Do
- Butternut Squash Grits from Homespun Seasonal Living
- Thanksgiving Wine Pairings from Twin Stripe
I hope you found a few new holiday recipes to try ... let me know which one you're going to make first!