Delicata Squash Salad

Delicata squash salad is a perfect fall or winter side dish! This one features caramelized roasted squash, pomegranate seeds, and a tangy vinaigrette.

Delicata Squash Salad

Looking for a stunning fall or winter side dish? Enter: delicata squash salad! This is no ordinary green side salad. This is something special, a hearty and healthy salad perfect for entertaining. Then again, you could easily whip it up to make a filling meal out of a weeknight soup. It stars Alex and my very favorite squash: the delicata, which is brilliantly sweet and has edible skin (no peeling necessary!). Roast up that squash in just 20 minutes, and in the meantime prep those refreshing pomegranate seeds, crunchy pistachios, and tangy honey mustard dressing. Yep, it’s a stunner. Ready to get cooking?

Delicata squash salad

Tips on making delicata squash salad

This delicata squash salad is all about contrasts, from the caramelized squash to the crisp baby greens, the pop of the pomegranate and the creamy goat cheese dollops. It’s perfect for an occasion like Thanksgiving or Christmas. But now that we have this in our arsenal, Alex and I love the idea of using it in a simpler weeknight dinner too. Here are a few notes on making this healthy salad, and how to speed up prep:

  • Squash takes about 30 minutes total to roast (see below). This is the longest lead time item of the salad, so make sure to get this going right away! Or to make it ahead, you can roast the squash ahead of time. Just store it refrigerated and reheat in a 400 degree oven until it’s warm (5 to 10 minutes).
  • Buy pomegranate seeds to speed up prep. Usually we buy a pomegranate, but this time Alex and I were able to find pomegranate seeds at the grocery and it was super speedy.
  • Homemade dressing is a must. Whatever you do, don’t skimp on the homemade dressing! This one uses our easy Honey Mustard Dressing, which is simple to memorize. Another great option is this Best Balsamic Dressing.
Roasted delicata squash

How to roast delicata squash

Once you’ve learned the main steps on how to roast delicata squash, you’ll be able to do it by memory! It’s so simple, and you can also serve it on its own as delicata squash “fries”. Here’s how to roast delicata squash:

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Slice the squash in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Slice it into 1/2-inch half moon shapes. We like using 2 medium to large squash, about 2 pounds, which fits comfortably on one baking sheet.
  • Mix with olive oil and kosher salt (1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt per 2 pounds).
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until tender — no need to stir!
Delicata squash salad

How to seed a pomegranate

If you can find pomegranate seeds at the grocery, buy them! It’s a nice time saver in this delicata squash salad recipe. But if you can only find a whole pomegranate, that works too! It does take a little time to seed them, but the advantage is that seeds from a fresh pomegranate do stay fresher longer. Here’s how to seed a pomegranate:

  • Cut the pomegranate in quarters and place them in a large bowl of water.
  • Under the water, start to gently pull out the seeds with your fingers. Eventually you’ll be able to turn the peel inside out to extract the seeds closest to the outer skin.
  • As you work, the pomegranate seeds will sink to the bottom, while the white pith from the fruit will float to the top.
  • When all of the seeds are extracted, skim off the white pith and strain out the water.
Salad with delicata squash

Variations on this delicata squash salad

There are a few ways to change up this delicata squash salad to make it fit your tastes! Here are some suggestions:

Delicata squash

Delicata squash nutrition

Lastly…what’s the nutrition in delicata squash? As you might guess, it’s full of nutrients. Per Harvard School of Public Health, squash is full of beta carotene, protein, Vitamin C & B6, potassium, and fiber.

There are no studies to cite on specific health benefits of squash, but here’s what we can say! A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, and have a positive effect on blood sugar to keep your appetite in check. So: this delicata squash salad is part of a healthy diet!

This delicata squash salad is…

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

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Delicata Squash Salad

Delicata Squash Salad


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 1x

Description

Delicata squash salad is a perfect fall or winter side dish! This one features caramelized roasted squash, pomegranate seeds, and a tangy vinaigrette.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Roasted Delicata Squash
  • 1 large shallot
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios
  • 5 ounces baby mixed greens (about 5 cups)
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tablespoons roasted salted pepitas
  • 2 ounces soft goat cheese (omit for vegan)
  • Honey Mustard Dressing (use maple syrup for vegan)

Instructions

  1. Make the Roasted Delicata Squash. (This takes about 25 to 30 minutes total; finish the remaining prep while the squash roasts. Or you can roast it in advance, store refrigerated, and reheat in a 400 degree oven until it’s warm, about 5 to 10 minutes.)
  2. Make the Honey Mustard Dressing
  3. Thinly slice the shallot. If needed, chop the pistachios. 
  4. To serve, place the greens on a serving plate. Top with roasted delicata squash, shallot, pistachios, pomegranate seeds, pepitas, and goat cheese dollops. Drizzle with Honey Mustard Dressing and serve. 

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian

Keywords: Delicata Squash Salad, Squash Salad

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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