This Butternut Squash Feta Salad recipe is healthy and perfect for fall! It's roasted and tossed with arugula, maple dressing, and walnuts.
This Roasted Butternut Squash Salad has plenty of savory ingredients and the result is a nice balance of sweet, salty, earthy, and even a little spicy. It's simple and elegant, totally healthy, gluten free, and an excellent addition to a Thanksgiving or holiday menu.
I've been on a big soup kick lately but I thought I'd switch things up this week and go the salad route. Being that it's fall and Thanksgiving is quickly approaching I figured it best to incorporate some butternut squash.
Butternut squash is awesome for so many reasons. One reason being that it's really versatile. It's fantastic in soups, side dishes, and even hearty dishes like pasta and lasagna.
A lot of folks like to go sweet with this stuff but I love to balance the natural sweetness out with a lot of savory elements.
If you're accustomed to sweet butternut squash dishes I encourage you to try this savory one - I think you'll approve!
- How To Prepare Butternut Squash For Salad
- How To Roast Butternut Squash In The Oven
- How To Make Maple Mustard Vinaigrette
- Which Greens Are Best For An Autumn Salad?
- What To Serve With Roasted Squash Salad
- How Long Does This Salad Last In The Fridge?
- Can It Be Made The Day Ahead?
- Butternut Squash Feta Salad with Arugula
How To Prepare Butternut Squash For Salad
I used to think that butternut squash recipes would be difficult to make and was even a bit intimidated by them. I think it was because chopping the squash seemed so cumbersome and time-consuming.
Once I chopped a few of them, though, I realized there's nothing to it and squash recipes are among the easiest out there!
Check out this post to learn how to easily peel and dice a butternut squash.
- For this recipe simply peel 1 large butternut squash and cut it into cubes.
- You should end up with 5-6 cups of diced butternut squash.
How To Roast Butternut Squash In The Oven
If you are a dedicated reader of this blog you know that I LOVE me some roasted vegetables. Although butternut squash is technically a fruit it sort of 'behaves' a lot like a vegetable.
It tastes amazing when it's roasted.
- Simply place all that diced squash onto a baking sheet and drizzle it with 2 Tbsp. of olive oil.
- Sprinkle 1 tsp. smoked paprika, 1 tsp. garlic powder, ½ tsp. Italian seasoning, and a few generous pinches of salt and pepper over the squash. Toss the squash in the oil and spices until evenly coated.
- Pop the pan in an oven that has been preheated to 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes.
- The squash should be easily pierced with a fork when done. Remove the pan when finished and set aside.
How To Make Maple Mustard Vinaigrette
This Butternut Squash Feta Salad recipe is great because the rest of the ingredients can be prepared as that squash is roasting in the oven. The squash ends up topping a bed of salad greens and the next step is to whip up that dressing.
- Combine 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 2 tsp. Dijon mustard, 3 tsp. maple syrup, 3 tsp. lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Whisk all of the ingredients together until combined.
You can play with this dressing if you like.
Feel free to add more maple syrup if you like it sweeter or more lemon if you prefer a tart dressing.
Which Greens Are Best For An Autumn Salad?
Grab a package of your favorite greens (or pick some from the garden if it's summertime where you live) and toss them on a large plate or serving bowl. Drizzle as much or as little of the maple dijon dressing onto the greens and toss to coat completely.
You can use any type of greens you like! I went for a spinach/arugula combo because that's what was available at the grocery store. Truth be told, I'm on the fence about raw arugula but my husband LOVES it so it worked out but I'd probably go straight spinach next time.
I wouldn't go for iceberg lettuce or anything too watery but any type of dark leafy green should work.
Any variety of kale or Swiss chard are great options.
What To Serve With Roasted Squash Salad
Now it's time to assemble all that goodness into one bowl.
- Place the cooled roasted butternut squash on top of the dressed salad greens. It's best to use a large bowl or serving platter so that all the ingredients fit (and it just looks pretty!).
- Sprinkle ¾ cup or so of feta cheese and ¾ cup of sliced walnuts on top of the butternut squash salad. The walnuts provide a great crunch and texture to the salad.
Can I use a different cheese or nuts? Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with the cheese and nuts.
I would recommend a salty cheese like Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, or even Gorgonzola.
Pecans, almonds, or hazelnuts would also be a fantastic choice.
Looking for more Thanksgiving side dishes? Check out these recipes!
- Green Bean Casserole
- Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
- Wild Rice Fennel Stuffing
- Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Maple Mustard Brussels Sprouts
- Fennel Herb Stuffing
- Fall Harvest Salad
- Roasted Pumpkin Feta Salad
- Roasted Garlic Mashed Kohlrabi
How Long Does This Salad Last In The Fridge?
Any leftover salad should last 2-3 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
The greens may wilt a bit as they sit in the fridge.
Can It Be Made The Day Ahead?
This salad can be made the day ahead. Simply prepare the butternut squash as directed, allow to cool completely, and place in an airtight container to store in the fridge.
The dressing can also be prepared the day before and stored in the fridge.
I recommend assembling this salad right before serving, so that the greens do not become soggy.
This is definitely not your run-of-the-mill salad recipe! It's hearty and flavorful and perfect to serve for a dinner or holiday party.
Admittedly, my favorite way to eat squash is just roasted whole with salt and pepper but it only seems fair to let this ingredient sparkle a little bit.
Love butternut squash? Check out these recipes!
- Butternut Squash Sausage Kale Soup
- Butternut Squash Parmesan Dip
- Creamy Butternut Squash Soup
- Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Salad
- Air Fried Butternut Squash Fries
Looking For More Butternut Squash Recipes? Don't Miss These!
Butternut Squash Feta Salad with Arugula
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Peel 1 large butternut squash and cut into small cubes. Place the butternut squash cubes onto a baking sheet.
- Place the pan in the oven and roast the butternut squash for 18-20 minutes. The squash should easily pierce with a fork when finished. Remove the pan from the oven, set aside, and allow to cool.
- For The Dressing: Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 2 tsp. Dijon mustard, 3 tsp. maple syrup, 3 tsp. lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper to a small bowl. Whisk until completely combined.
- Place 1 package (4-5 cups) of mixed greens, dark leafy greens, or salad greens of your choice in a large bowl or on a serving platter. Drizzle as much or as little of the salad dressing onto the greens. Toss to coat completely.
- To serve: Place the cooled butternut squash on top of the dressed greens. Sprinkle ¾ cup (or so) of feta cheese and ¾ cup (or so) of walnuts on top of the salad. Serve alongside roasted meat, as a side dish for a holiday party, or enjoy on its own.