This Butternut Squash Salad is irresistibly fresh, featuring apple and a citrusy orange vinaigrette. Perfect for fall and winter!

Butternut Squash Salad

Here’s a standout fall or winter salad starring everyone’s favorite ingredient: Butternut Squash Salad! This one is a symphony in a bowl: hearty sweet squash pairs with crisp apple, chewy cranberries and a citrusy orange vinaigrette. All the best flavors of fall and winter ingredients sing together in perfect harmony! We’ve served this one to guests and everyone remarks how tasty it is, especially the acidic zing of the dressing.

Elements in this butternut squash salad

This festive butternut squash salad is the poster child for fall and winter salads! It’s packed with nutrient-dense seasonal produce with all the perfect contrasts. Crisp tart apple contrast tender sweet squash, crunchy pecans contrast chewy tart cranberries. A sprinkle of salty cheese sets off the fresh vegetables and it’s covered in a zesty orange dressing. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Butternut squash
  • Apple
  • Dried cranberries
  • Pecans
  • Mixed greens
  • Feta cheese, or substitute goat cheese (omit for vegan)
  • Homemade orange vinaigrette
Butternut Squash Salad

Make the roasted butternut squash in advance

The trickiest part of this butternut squash salad? Roasting the butternut squash. It takes about 45 minutes total, so we suggest making it in advance if possible. You could also try roasting frozen butternut squash, but to us there’s nothing like the real thing! Here’s what you’ll need to know:

  • Peeling and cutting the butternut squash is the hardest part! Here’s our method for How to Cut Butternut Squash. A serrated vegetable peeler is key for removing the tough skin.
  • Roast for 25 to 35 minutes at 425F. Go to Roasted Butternut Squash for all our tips!
  • Leave at room temp for a few hours, or refrigerate until serving. If you make the day before, refrigerate then bring to room temperature before serving on the salad.
Orange Vinaigrette

Tips for the orange vinaigrette

The star of the show in this butternut squash salad recipe is the orange honey vinaigrette! It makes a massive pop of citrusy flavor that brings all the ingredients together. Here’s what to know about this dressing:

  • The big flavor comes from orange zest, not juice! When developing this recipe, we played around with using a combination of orange juice and zest. What we found? The juice wasn’t needed (and made the dressing too watery). All you need is a hefty tablespoon of orange zest, and the flavor pops!
  • Use about half of the dressing for the salad, then refrigerate the remainder. A good rule of thumb is about 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons dressing per serving. But you can eyeball it! Just make sure there’s good coverage (no one likes naked greens!).

Ways to serve butternut squash salad: side or main!

This butternut squash salad is the ideal fall salad or winter salad for any occasion, be it a weeknight meal or dinner party. It also works as a main dish with some added protein! Here are some ideas:

  • Side dish for any meal, especially Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish
  • Add a whole grain like farro or barley for an even more filling salad (add 2 cups cooked and seasoned whole grain)
  • Make it into a main dish salad by adding a protein like cooked chicken or tofu
Butternut Squash Salad

More butternut squash recipes

This mighty squash is king in the fall and winter! Here are a few more tasty butternut squash recipes to enjoy this season:

This butternut squash salad recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, omit the cheese. Use maple syrup in the dressing for vegan.

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Butternut Squash Salad

Butternut Squash Salad


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 1x

Description

This Butternut Squash Salad is irresistibly fresh, featuring apple and a citrusy orange vinaigrette. Perfect for fall and winter!


Ingredients

Scale

For the butternut squash salad

  • 1 recipe Roasted Butternut Squash
  • 8 cups mixed greens
  • 1 red apple, diced
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup feta cheese or goat cheese crumbles (omit for vegan)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pecans

For the orange vinaigrette (makes ¾ cup; use approximately 6 tablespoons for 4 servings)

  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup for vegan)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. Roast the squash: Make the Roasted Butternut Squash, following the instructions in that recipe. (We suggest making this portion in advance; store the roasted squash refrigerated until ready to use and bring to room temperature before serving.)
  2. Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, orange zest, honey, and kosher salt. Gradually whisk in the olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time until a creamy dressing forms. (Store leftovers refrigerated and bring to room temperature before serving.)
  3. Serve the salad: Add greens to a platter or individual salad plates, and top with the roasted squash, diced apple, cranberries, cheese crumbles, and chopped pecans. Drizzle with the desired amount of dressing (use approximately 6 tablespoons for 4 servings; store the remaining dressing refrigerated).
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: Salad
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Butternut squash salad

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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