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What could be more delectable than this roasted butternut squash salad for fall? Oven-roasted butternut squash, juicy slices of apples, crumbled blue cheese creaminess, crunchy candied walnuts, tangy pomegranate seeds, and a homemade honey dijon vinaigrette all come together to create the ultimate harvest experience. This easy-to-make dish will definitely become an autumn favorite!
Why this butternut squash salad recipe works
Of all the winter squashes, my favorite is butternut squash. It’s so diverse in its uses; I make a scrumptious soup with it and also love roasting it for an easy side dish.
After having a batch of soup, I like to use one of the smaller butternut squashes and dice it up to turn it into this roasted butternut squash salad.
The roasted butternut squash and apples provide a warm and sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with the pomegranate and blue cheese. The candied walnuts add a delightful crunch to the salad.
And, The homemade honey dijon vinaigrette brings it all together for a delicious dressing that won’t overpower the roasted vegetables.
You will not be disappointed with this roasted butternut squash salad. Not only is it easy to make, but it also looks stunning on the plate.
Make it for your next fall party!
Ingredients needed to make fall harvest salad
- Butternut squash
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Mixed greens
- Honeycrisp apple
- Blue cheese crumbles
- Candied nuts (pecans or walnuts)
- Pomegranate seeds
- Olive oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
If you don’t have the time or the ingredients to make the vinaigrette, store-bought honey dijon dressing works great too.
How to prep butternut squash
This part takes the longest, but once you’ve got the butternut squash all roasted, the rest of this fall salad comes together super quickly.
Here’s everything you need to do to prep the butternut squash to roast:
- Start preparing the squash by taking a sharp chef’s knife and slicing it in half.
- Next, use your spoon to scrape out all of the seeds and pulp from inside the bulb before cutting off both ends.
- Now you’re ready for peeling! Utilize a vegetable peeler to remove every bit of skin until no traces remain.
- Finally, cut into even strips, then cube them up – make sure to repeat this same process with any remaining butternut squashes that need prepping!
To protect yourself from any slicing accidents, use a dish towel to get a secure grip on your butternut squash. It can be tricky to handle both when unpeeled and peeled!
Roast the butternut squash
- Drizzle diced butternut squash with olive oil, sprinkle it generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, then arrange the pieces on a sheet pan.
- Make sure to space them out evenly so they can roast perfectly.
- Finally, bake in an oven for 25-30 minutes at 400°F – flipping halfway through using a spatula until your squash is golden brown!
Make honey dijon vinaigrette
While the butternut squash is cooling down, this would be a great time to put together the homemade honey dijon vinaigrette.
I wanted to keep the salad dressing simple since there are so many flavors in this salad. Thinking in terms of a meat and cheese board, I love having apples and cheese paired with honey!
I drew inspiration from my lemon dijon vinaigrette, which is my favorite salad dressing to make.
For the vinegar component of this vinaigrette, I used apple cider vinegar. I still wanted some more acid, so I added fresh lemon juice. Dijon mustard is a great addition to a salad dressing as a creamy component.
The honey rounds out the vinaigrette with a subtle sweetness that pairs so well with the salad ingredients.
Here’s how to make it:
- In a small bowl, add all of the vinaigrette ingredients and whisk until fully combined.
- Taste and adjust if needed!
- Place in refrigerator until ready to serve and whisk again prior to serving.
To find the perfect balance, add a touch more honey if it tastes too acidic.
How to assemble the fall harvest salad
After browsing through several cheese boards, I found myself inspired to create this roasted butternut squash salad. Utilizing my favorite flavor combinations, I was ready to craft something delicious!
- Cheese: This salad is taken to the next level with blue cheese. The creaminess and zesty notes blend perfectly with butternut squash and apples, creating a savory flavor combination. If you’re not into blue cheese, goat cheese makes an excellent substitution that brings its own unique flavor profile to the recipe!
- Apple: I chose honey crisp apples to use thinly sliced, however, you can always substitute with whichever type of apple appeals most to your taste buds.
- Nuts: Although this salad was traditionally made with regular pecans, I personally found that candied pecans and walnuts could be even more delicious. Whichever nut you choose will certainly make for an amazing salad.
- Pomegranate seeds: Thanks to the pomegranate seeds, this butternut squash salad has some great texture and tartness. To make things easier, I used store-bought seeds that were already taken out of the fruit.
Here’s how to make it:
For a delicious and nutritious meal, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
- Start with mixed greens, followed by butternut squash slices that have been roasted to perfection.
- Top it off with sliced apples, blue cheese crumbles, pecans, and pomegranate seeds for extra flavor and texture.
- As the finishing touch, drizzle some honey dijon vinaigrette over your salad before serving!
How to serve
This roasted butternut squash salad is great for a light lunch or dinner but could also make an excellent side dish. Serve on its own with some cast iron cornbread and butter, or pair it with roasted tarragon chicken, steak, or salmon.
Whenever you serve the salad, you can either dress the greens beforehand or serve the honey dijon vinaigrette on the side.
How to store
To store leftovers, carefully place the roasted butternut squash salad in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to four days. You can also freeze roasted butternut squash in a sealed baggie for up to three months.
When you’re ready to enjoy it again, defrosting should be easy!
If you are making the roasted butternut squash salad ahead of time, wait to dress the salad, or else the leaves will wilt.
To keep the apples nice and fresh, I would wait to cut the apples right before serving so they do not brown.
Looking for more salad recipes?
- Fried Goat Cheese And Roasted Beet Salad
- Kale Caesar Salad With Chickpea Croutons
- Grilled Peach Salad With Basil Vinaigrette
- Crispy Eggplant Caprese Stack Salad
- Asian Salad With Spicy Peanut Dressing
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Honey Dijon Vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups diced butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Pinch Kosher salt
- Pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 5 ounces mixed greens
- 1 large honeycrisp apple (stems/seeds removed, thinly sliced)
- 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
- 1/4 cup candied pecans or walnuts (roughly chopped (see note))
- 3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds (one pomegranate fruit, or you can purchase already deseeded)
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- Preheat oven to 400F degrees. In a small bowl toss together the diced butternut squash, 2 tbsp olive oil, and pinch of kosher salt and ground black pepper. On a baking sheet, evenly spread the diced butternut squash. Roast for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until they are golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
- While the butternut squash is roasting, in a small bowl add all of the vinaigrette ingredients and whisk until fully combined. Taste and adjust if needed, if too acidic, add more honey. Place in refrigerator until ready to serve, whisk again prior to serving.
- In a large serving bowl, add in the mixed greens, followed by the roasted butternut squash, sliced apples, blue cheese crumbles, pecans, pomegranate seeds. When ready to serve, drizzle with the honey dijon vinaigrette.
- Cheese: For this recipe I used blue cheese. The creaminess and slight funk gives the salad so much flavor and pairs well with the squash and apples. Not a fan of blue cheese? I would sub goat cheese if you need.
- Apple: I used honey crisp apples sliced thin. You can substitute your favorite type of apple.
- Nuts: Originally this salad was made with regular pecans. Then I tried candied pecans and walnuts and found both to be amazing. You can use either type of nut.
- Pomegranate seeds: great texture and tartness for the salad. I used store bought seeds that were already taken out of the fruit.
- When serving the salad you can dress the greens or serve on the side. If you are making ahead of time, wait to dress the salad or else the leaves will wilt. I would also advise cutting the apples right before serving, so they do not brown.