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!
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.
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.
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.
- 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:
- Classic Wedge Salad
- Healthy Chicken Pasta Salad
- Creamy Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad
- Waldorf Salad
- Thai Quinoa Salad
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Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
- 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
- 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.
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I originally shared this recipe September 2015. Updated September 2020.
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Love the salad….I put Asian pears in slices in it and left the cranberries out due to husband having sugar issues. My dressing came out really bitter for some reason….. I used good olive oil and good balsamic…and local honey….don’t know if the mustard or the lemon juice made it bitter……I’m not sure how to fix it since I have a cruet half full of dressing. My husband ended up eating it with Ranch. I drizzled some of the recipe dressing; but it was bitter…..
One of my favourite salads! ( I don’t like kale so substitute any kind of lettuce I have in the fridge )
This is the best salad! Not a Hugh fan of kale, but it had so many other ingredients that that was all you tasted! And you needed the sturdiness of the kale.
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.
Loved this salad! It was delicious and beautiful too.
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.
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).
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.
Was!!! Was!!! Was!!! Delicious. Bad typo!!