Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with pecans, bacon, onion, dried cranberries, parmesan cheese and a simple balsamic vinaigrette. 

Looking for more ways to enjoy butternut squash?  We love it in this hearty butternut squash soup, or tossed in a Buddha Bowl. Or, simply enjoy it alongside roasted chicken and rice pilaf!

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with pecans, bacon, onion, craisins, parmesan cheese and a simple balsamic vinaigrette. | tastesbetterfromscratch.com

I’m a little obsessed with the flavor combination in this Butternut Squash Salad, including tender roasted squash, crunchy pecans, sweet Craisins, crispy bacon, red onion, and parmesan cheese.  I recently tried this salad with candied pecans and it was above and beyond delicious!

This salad is great for meal prepping. Throw all the ingredients in your lunch container with dressing on the side and you’re ready to go!  You can prep several containers of this squash salad, save them in your fridge and eat them all week!

Tips for Buying and Cutting Squash:

  • Buy ripe squash: look for butternut squash that is free from cuts, bruises and is even in color throughout and avoid squash that has green spots.  If buying pre-cut squash, make sure it looks firm and not mushy.
  • Use a sharp knife: A good knife is the key to cutting butternut squash.  After you peel it, you’ll want to cut it into cubes and a good knife makes all the difference!  If you haven’t invested in a quality knife set, you really should!
  • Prep ahead of time:  Save yourself some heartache and cut your squash first thing in the morning! The peeling and cutting of the squash is the time consuming part of this recipe, and it can be done anytime!

How to Make Butternut Squash Salad:

1. Roast the squash:  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spread butternut squash pieces into a single layer on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Toss gently to coat and then roast at 400 for 20-25 minutes, tossing once during cooking, until squash is tender.  Allow to cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Roasted butternut squash on a baking sheet.

2. Make the vinaigrette: whisk all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to use. This salad is one of my favorites parts of the recipe, but feel free to choose your favorite dressing.

Lettuce and layered with roasted butternut squash, bacon, onion, pecans, craisins and cheese.

3. Toss: Add kale and spinach to a large salad bowl and add remaining salad ingredients: Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss all of that goodness in a  Every bite is a little savory, a little sweet and completely delicious. It’s beautiful, healthy, and super filling, too.

Dressing being poured over Roasted Butternut Squash Salad.

Recipe variations:

  • Vary the greens: I love serving it over kale, a spring mix, or spinach. You could use a combination of any of those, or any other lettuce you love.
  • Add some grains: you can make this more of a “bowl” meal by adding quinoa or brown rice!
  • Choose your favorite dressing: the balsamic vinaigrette is fantastic but feel free to choose your favorite including ranch or thousand island.
  • Candied pecans: If you really want to take this salAd to the next level, add candied pecans!  You won’t regret it!
  • Vary the cheese:  Feel free to add your favorite crumbly cheese including feta, gorgonzola, or goat cheese!
  • Make it vegan: omit the cheese and bacon!

Consider trying these popular salad recipes:

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Recipe

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with pecans, bacon, onion, craisins, parmesan cheese and a simple balsamic vinaigrette. | tastesbetterfromscratch.com
Prep 15 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 40 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Video

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 pounds butternut squashes , peeled and chopped into 3/4-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3-4 heaping cups fresh kale , chops and ribs removed
  • 3-4 heaping cups fresh spinach leaves , chopped
  • 6 slices bacon , cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or craisins
  • 1/2 cup pecans , chopped (*see note below)
  • 1/4 red onion , thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

For the balsamic vinaigrette:

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste

Instructions
 

  • For the vinaigrette, whisk all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to use. 
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Spread butternut squash pieces into a single layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 
  • Toss gently to coat and then roast for 20-25 minutes, tossing once during cooking, until squash is tender. 
  • Allow to cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  • Add kale and spinach to a large salad bowl. 
  • Top with remaining salad ingredients Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss gently.

Notes

Consider using candied pecans!
Top with grilled chicken, to make it a meal.

Nutrition

Calories: 498kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 5gFat: 45gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 263mgPotassium: 102mgFiber: 1gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 145IUVitamin C: 2.1mgCalcium: 70mgIron: 0.7mg

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I originally shared this recipe September 2015. Updated September 2020.

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. I made exactly as written. And it wasn’t delicious. Thank you for the recipe. This dressing is a keeper for many other types of salads as well.

  2. 5 stars
    Beautiful salad! I have to admit I changed some things but kept the same flavors/concept, and, the dressing.

    I’m not a fan of kale so added a spring baby salad mix. I found a Stilton cheddar with cranberries so used that in place of the Parmesan and dried cranberries. Oh left out the bacon (THIS TIME).

  3. 5 stars
    Excellent salad…yummy! I used all spinach and did not find the need for an additional green. As others have stated the dressing was perfect for this salad.

  4. I made this, it was great. I used arugula and quinoa and a cut up pork chop and ate as a bowl. I definitely will make again.