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Roasted butternut squash and spinach salad recipe

Roasted butternut squash and spinach salad recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Salad
  • Green salad
  • Spinach salad

Roasted butternut squash and onions are tossed with spinach, dried cranberries and nuts for a colourful warm salad.

48 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 175g chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 85g fresh spinach, stems removed and leaves torn in bite-size pieces
  • 40g dried cranberries
  • 40g chopped pecans (optional)

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:25min ›Ready in:40min

  1. Preheat oven to 230 C / Gas 8. Lightly grease a baking tray.
  2. Slice butternut squash cross-wise into 2cm slices; peel and clean each slice, removing and discarding seeds and stringy pulp from the centre. Cut cleaned slices into 2cm cubes.
  3. Toss butternut squash cubes, onion and olive oil together in a bowl until coated; transfer to the prepared baking tray.
  4. Roast in the preheated oven until butternut squash is tender and starting to brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
  5. Toss squash mixture, spinach, dried cranberries and pecans together in a serving bowl and serve warm.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(48)

Reviews in English (36)

by Christina

Very good! I had some leftover butternut squash, so they weren't exactly the size specified, so they cooked a bit faster, but that was fine. I also added a bit of garlic powder, salt and pepper, and those were great additions. I didn't have any pecans this time, but I can't wait to try this w/ them added. Sweet, tart and savory...a great combination! Thanks for sharing.-09 Sep 2014

by nycmom

Brought it to my in-laws for Thanksgiving. Was a hit.Healthy, tasty, and easy! No dressing needed at all.Tip#1: To make peeling/cutting the butternut squash easier, poke holes in surface of the squash with a fork a few times, then microwave for 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool. Peel, cut and roast as directed.Tip#2: Can be made ahead - Roasted the butternut squash and onions the night before, then refrigerated. Just before serving the next day, I microwaved the squash/onions for a few minutes and mixed them with the spinach/nuts/cranberries. Tasted good the following day too!-02 Dec 2015

by Karen Murray

Just saw this today, I've been making this recipe for months after having it at a local deli vegetarian bar. I love it! Thanks for putting the recipe out there....-15 Dec 2013

I always know if a recipe that I make is good based on Devin’s reaction. There are only a handful of vegetables that he likes so I really have to use my creativity when making vegetable based dishes. But this roasted butternut squash & spinach salad hit the spot! Devin immediately asked if I could make it everyday. That’s how I know it’s a winner!

Sometimes the best recipes just come from using the ingredients sitting in your fridge without an end goal. That’s exactly what happened when I created this recipe. I knew I wanted to make some sort of salad with butternut squash, because I had a squash in my fridge & then I also had spinach that needed to be used up too. I’m all about using everything I can in my refrigerator because nothing infuriates me more than throwing food away.

And aside from roasting the squash, it took mere minutes to throw the rest of this salad together. It has a subtle spice & a little sweetness to it, making it the perfect side dish to virtually any dinner. I served it as a side with a creamy (vegan) cauliflower soup recipe that I have been obsessed with lately from Blissful Basil.

If you missed my last post, I talked about my decision to follow an intuitively plant based diet. It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a while now. I’m about 2 months in…so I’ve really been experimenting with different combinations of foods & recipes to still keep meals fun & tasting good, of course!

And Devin, being a trooper as always, is fully on board with me in regards to this new plant based lifestyle. His basketball team is still in season so he is still consuming a little meat but other than that, he wants a plate of veggies & I’m 100% okay with that! It’s honestly rather exciting, because in relation to many things in life, you can’t make someone do something they don’t want to do. I would never push my beliefs onto someone else, so it’s nice that he is making an effort to do this with me!

On the topic of plant based food options, I think there is a misconception that all plant based meals consist of steamed broccoli & raw carrots. While that might seem a little dramatic, I feel like many people don’t see the full potential of vegetables! The options for creativity are endless! Which is another reason I want to share more plant based recipes.

Like I mentioned earlier, this recipe is so easy to throw together. The thing that takes the most time is prepping the butternut squash. But it’s so worth it. I personally like to leave it in the oven a little longer after it’s done roasting so that the edges of the cubes almost become caramelized. Seriously tastes like candy!

For this butternut squash & spinach salad, I used fresh spinach but feel free to use any green of choice! This salad would also be excellent with a handful of sautéed mushrooms, onions, or some fresh garlic. I didn’t add any mushrooms or onions when I made this because Devin despises the two, but I think they would be a delicious add in!


Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. In a roasting tray, toss together the squash, fresh chillies, cumin, chilli flakes, salt and pepper and all but one tablespoon of the oil. Roast for 30 minutes, turning halfway through, until the squash has caramelised. Leave to cool slightly.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and lightly wilt the pak choi for a minute or so, then put it in a serving dish to cool slightly.

To make the dressing, whisk the vinegar and oil together in a bowl, then add the spring onions and season with salt and pepper.

Scatter the squash, baby spinach and olives over the pak choi, mix, then scatter over the goats’ cheese (if using) and drizzle the dressing on top.

You are probably going to want to volunteer to bring salad to Thanksgiving this year because this salad is make ahead, stress free perfection. I loved this Roasted Butternut Squash Salad recipe so much it was gone within 24 hours – and I was the only one home.

Its true. Patrick was camping in Zion this past weekend when I made this salad Saturday and it was gone by Sunday. Because I craved this salad. And to be honest, I’m not a crave-salad type of person – crave-pasta, yes, crave salad – no – but this Roasted Butternut Squash Salad is different. It is a cravilicous salad loaded with all. the. goods.

It is a need seconds, thirds, fourths salad.

It is a beg-for-the-recipe salad.

It is a repeat every Thanksgiving salad.

It is the hero of Thanksgiving salad.

AKA it is going to become one of your favorite salads!

There are so many reasons this Roasted Butternut Squash Salad is otherworldly delicious, but let’s start with the Cranberry Vinaigrette. This might just be my favorite dressing ever. Or at least tied for it. It’s vibrant, sweet and tangy, zingy and zesty and made with real cranberries! It infuses the entire salad with bright, bold flavor but at the same time compliments and enhances rather than overwhelm the other ingredients.

I first tried making this Cranberry Vinaigrette with cranberry juice instead of real cranberries and it was hugely lacking in flavor so real cranberries it was and trust me, you can taste the difference. To make this Cranberry Vinaigrette, first pulse your cranberries, garlic and a shallot until finely chopped then add Dijon, red wine vinegar, oil, salt and pepper and pulse until smooth. So basically, it takes 5 minutes to make this Thanksgiving worthy dressing.

I like to make the Cranberry Vinaigrette at least an hour in advance so it has time to chill and the flavors to meld but you can make it at the beginning of salad prep if you are in a time crunch. You can also make the vinaigrette days in advance so it’s already to go when its Roasted Butternut Squash Salad time!

Now let’s talk the other star of this salad – roasted butternut squash! I love Fall/winter for butternut squash alone. It’s hearty and naturally sweet and I would love every bite even if it wasn’t incidentally low in calories and packed with vitamins.

For this Roasted Butternut Squash Salad, we toss our butternut squash with a splash of olive oil, pure maple syrup, salt, pepper and cayenne and roast until fork tender, about 15-20 minutes. Hello gorgeous dynamically flavorful squash. I could eat this roasted squash all in one sitting. But please, try and exercise your self control because trust me, it becomes exponentially even more delicious when combined with the rest of the goods.

Another essential salad element are the 5 Minute Perfect Caramelized Pecans. We make these pecans while the butternut squash is roasting because they really only take 5 minutes. Their sweet caramelized crunch is the contrast in flavor and texture you crave in every bite. It’s the perfect compliment to the tangy dressing and subtly sour Granny smith apples, the earthy squash and the creamy goat cheese.

Did someone say creamy goat cheese?! Oh heavens, why didn’t someone tell me about goat cheese crumbles before? I was all set to make goat cheese croutons when I stumbled upon way-easier crumbled goat cheese. Crumbled goat cheese typically come in 4 oz. containers located in the specialty cheeses section of your grocery store. Crumbled goat cheese looks like feta cheese but is waaaaaaaay creamier, less tangy and feels like you’re eating the most luxurious cheese on the planet. I am completely obsessed.

Lastly, the dried cranberries/craisins add the final sweet element of perfection. Put all the goods together – roasted butternut squash, crunchy caramelized pecans, tart apples, tangy red onions, creamy goat cheese, fresh spring mix lettuce and drizzle them all with sweet and tangy Cranberry Vinaigrette and we have a bright, rich medley of flavor and textures that is so satisfyingly delicious you might be tempted to skip the turkey all together.

To serve this Roasted Butternut Squash Salad, you can prep all the ingredients ahead of time except the apple and keep everything stored separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator – except the nuts of course, don’t need to be refrigerated. Come salad time, all you have to do is chop your apple and toss everything together. Now that’s Thanksgiving made easy! And more delicious than you could imagine. yet.

Roasted Butternut Squash Spinach Salad

"Roasted Butternut Squash Spinach Salad features lentils, pumpkin seeds, and a Dijon mustard dressing. This vegan and gluten-free salad is perfect as a starter or light meal. Nothing says autumn to me like butternut squash. Well, maybe Starbucks&rsquo Pumpkin Spice Latte is the official start of the fall season, but butternut squash is a close second. I love that it&rsquos easy to prepare, tastes delicious, and has a beautiful color. Roasting it is my favorite way to enjoy it. And for a light meal or elegant starter, you can&rsquot beat this Roasted Butternut Squash Spinach Salad."

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Tasty, crunchy ingredients topped off with a very good mustard dressing make for a versatile and really tasty dish. We had ours as a side with a barbecue yesterday and it was a perfect accompaniment. Next time I think we'll try it as a light meal and I also have the dressing in mind for another salad that we enjoy.

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Spiced Butternut Squash, Spinach & Red Onion Salad

This Spiced Butternut Squash Salad is so delicious! Tender cubes of roasted butternut squash are mixed with crisp slices of red onion, spinach and crunchy pumpkin seeds which are all tossed in a creamy spiced dressing. It’s a great make ahead salad for a summer barbecue or potluck. This salad is Whole30, Paleo, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal.

Why you are going to love this Butternut Squash Salad

  • The flavour! The cubed butternut squash is coated in a blend of warming spices which gives the salad so much depth of flavour. They are tossed with crunchy pumpkin seeds, crisp red onion and fresh spinach, and smothered in a creamy balsamic dijon dressing which ensures that every bite is loaded with so much flavour!
  • Great addition to a summer BBQ: Creamy potato salad is a go to salad I often serve at summer BBQs, but to switch things up I have started serving this one instead which everyone loves! It has a similar creamy dressing but much richer flavours and a great combination of crunchy, crisp and tender textures.
  • It’s incredibly versatile! You can enjoy this warm or cold, I personally prefer it at room temperature. It works as a side salad or eaten no its own as a light lunch. You can even add in some shredded chicken to make it a filling dinner.
  • It’s Whole30, Paleo, Vegetarian, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal! If you use egg free mayo then it’s Vegan too!

Ways to modify this salad

  • Not a fan of butternut squash? You can substitute it for diced sweet potato which can be cooked for the same amount of time until tender. Looking for a low carb option? Swap the butternut squash for cauliflower florets cut into small pieces. Roast them in the oven for 20 minutes until tender but not mushy.
  • Use arugula or shredded kale in place of chopped spinach
  • Be sure to use a Whole30 compliant mayonnaise, or even make your own, if you are doing a Whole30.
  • Make it vegan by using vegan mayonnaise or alternatively you can use toum (be warned that the salad will have a strong garlic flavour)
  • Want to make it more filling? Add in a cup of shredded chicken to bulk it up

Make Ahead and Leftovers

You can roast the butternut squash and make the dressing up to a day in advance, but for the best results store them separately in the fridge. Once assembled the salad will last for up to 3 days in the fridge. I recommend adding a handful of freshly chopped spinach to any leftover salad right before eating to help to revive it.

Here are a few more butternut squash recipes that you might enjoy…

If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.

Cut the pumpkin flesh into a fairly small dice and put into a roasting tin. Toss with the oil, thyme and garlic, and season generously.

Roast for 30 minutes, or until the pumpkin has softened and is well browned around the edges. Allow to cool slightly.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients in large bowl.

Add the salad leaves to the dressing, season with salt and pepper, then toss lightly. Arrange the leaves over a serving plate. Toss the pumpkin in the same bowl to pick up any residue from the dressing, then arrange over the leaves. Sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and serve.

Recipe Tips

If you want to use the pumpkin or squash seeds from the pumpkin rather than from out of a packet, they need to be fried or roasted. Pull the seeds out of the central membrane and wash them to get rid of any orange flesh or tendrils. Dry thoroughly. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan and add the seeds. Fry, shaking and stirring regularly, until the pumpkin seeds have taken on some colour and are releasing their aroma. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. Season well with salt.

How to make warm spinach salad

The responsibility for making this warm spinach salad with goat cheese and roasted butternut falls directly on the butternut squash. It is the only labor intensive part of the recipe and that just requires dicing, drizzling, seasoning and roasting. Which you totally got in the bag.

While the butternut squash is doing its thing in the oven, you just need to assemble the salad so it&rsquos ready to go. That hot, roasted butternut squash is whats going to get the goat cheese to gooey perfection and slightly wilt the spinach.

But before you fire up those ovens, just a few tips:

Spinach Salad with Butternut Squash, Beets & Feta

I had some awesome meals while in Australia last month. One of my favorites was a spinach salad with pumpkin and beets at the restaurant in the Cradle Mountain Lodge in Tasmania. I enjoyed it so much I couldn’t wait to get home and recreate it to eat again! This Spinach Salad with Butternut Squash, Beets & Feta is my version of that yummy salad from down under.

The original salad had diced pieces of roasted pumpkin which was really good but I’m substituting butternut squash today since there was a nice little package of it, already peeled and diced, staring at me in the grocery store. That looked easier than trying to cut up one of those big squashes…and I’m easing myself into cooking again after being away from the kitchen for nearly a month.

Wait…while I’m thinking of it, how about a couple travel photos of Cradle Mountain? It was such a beautiful place for long walks/hikes!

Ok, so back to this salad, it was lightly dressed with balsamic vinaigrette which was delightful. Today I’m using my beloved balsamic glaze and it was just as tasty. Feel free to lightly toss the spinach with a bit of balsamic vinaigrette if you prefer. I’m one of those people who prefer to dip my fork into the dressing, then the salad. Not necessarily to reduce calories, I just don’t like much dressing on my salads.

To further simplify this salad I purchased already cooked/prepared beets from the market and just heated them up in the oven while the butternut squash was roasting. Beets are kind of messy so unless I want to spiralize them into noodles like I do for my Beet Peach and Goat Cheese Salad, I sometimes cheat and buy the already prepared ones in the produce section (not canned). The squash and beets are arranged on top of the spinach while still warm and the heat gently wilts the spinach a bit and slightly melts the feta. The combination is just so darn good. I thought it would be nice to add a little crunch so I added some toasted, chopped hazelnuts. I really liked the addition of a bit of crunchy nuts to this salad.

Let me know if you give this Spinach Salad with Butternut Squash, Beets & Feta a try. And, if you come up with something else creative and delicious to add to it, be sure to tell me that too!

Spinach Salad with Roasted Squash, Roasted Grapes and Pumpkin Seeds

3 cups cubed butternut squash (½ -inch cubes) (about 3/4 pound)
4 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 ½ cups red grapes (about ½ pound)
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, divided
½ teaspoon salt, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 cups lightly packed baby spinach
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, or 1 teaspoon dried

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl toss the squash with 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup, and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt and place in a single layer on baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes. In the same medium bowl toss the grapes with ½ tablespoon oil and 1/8 teaspoon salt. After the squash has been roasting for 15 minutes, add the grapes to the baking sheet and roast together for 20-30 minutes more, until the grapes and squash are both are tender and lightly browned but still retain their shape. Set aside to cool.

While the grapes and squash are roasting, toast the pumpkin seeds. Spread them out on another baking sheet and place in the oven until fragrant and toasted, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, the cider vinegar, the remaining tablespoon maple syrup, mustard, remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt and the pepper.

Toss the spinach and tarragon with the dressing in a large bowl, then place about 1 ¼ cup of the greens on each serving plate then top each with squash and roasted grapes and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.

Serving size: about 1 ½ cups salad

Per serving: Calories 290, Total Fat 18g (Sat Fat 2g, Mono Fat 13g, Poly Fat 3g) Protein 3g Carb 34g Fiber 5g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 390mg

Excellent source of: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E

Good source of: Fiber, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Iron, Magnesium, Copper