autumn salad with butternut squash upclose
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Autumn Salad with Butternut Squash

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Autumn Salad with Butternut Squash is a delicious fresh blend of roasted butternut squash, pecans, and cranberries for the perfect autumn salad.

freshly tossed autumn salad with butternut squash

Whenever fall comes around, I am always tempted to bake and bust out the sourdough starter. Naturally these are all the things I tend to not do during the heat of the summer. It is never worth heating the entire house to bake I find. So the moment the temps begin letting up, I am all for it. However, fall doesn’t have to be heavy foods and baked goods all the time. A good salad or light soup is necessary to offset these heavier types of items in the kitchen. Butternut squash is a versatile squash that I love using for its autumnal elements. If I make this salad, I do tend to also make a batch of this Creamy Butternut Squash Soup so that I can use up the other half other butternut squash. The bright golden squash is as beautiful in a soup as it is in this autumn salad.

This recipe creates a vibrant lightly dressed salad that has a little crunch and is filled with fall flavors with a few additions for freshness. The avocado adds a touch of creaminess to the salad when tossed with olive oil. While the feta cheese and salted pecans complement the sweetness of the squash and cranberries. Blended together to create a perfect autumn salad, California style if you will.

Why I Love This Recipe

I love the vibrancy of this salad and its simplicity. Being able to make something with the butternut squash that feels fall-like yet is still a healthy option for lunch or dinner. The salad comes together easily and can be made into an entire lunch portion or served as a side dish to a Thanksgiving meal. I also find that it is still quite tasty the next day when stored overnight in the fridge. Not something I can say for most salads.

What You Will Need To Make it

1 cup pecan halves

7 cups mixed greens

1/2 butternut squash peeled and cubed (about 4 cups)

1.5 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 large avocado

cracked black pepper

olive oil

Directions

Begin by roasting the butternut squash. Halve the squash, then cut half of the squash into cubes. Save the other half for soup or another recipe. Place the cubes onto a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, and cracked black pepper. Place into a 425℉ and cook for 20 minutes.

butternut squash cubbed and on a baking sheet

On a separate baking sheet, spread out the pecans. Drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. Pop them into the oven for about 5-7 minutes to toast alongside the squash.

pecans oiled and salted, ready for the oven

When ready, take the squash and pecans from the oven and allow them to come to room temperature before assembling the salad. To assemble the salad, place the salad greens into a large bowl. Then top with the butternut squash, pecans, cranberries, chopped avocado, and feta cheese. Drizzle everything with olive oil to dress the salad. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper.

autumn salad ingredients in a bowl ready to be tossed

Toss well to incorporate all the ingredients.

a woman tossing an autumn salad

Serve immediately.

autumn salad with butternut squash in a white serving bowl
autumn salad with butternut squash in a white serving bowl

Cooking Notes

  • Be sure to toss the salad just before serving to ensure the salad ingredients are dressed and evenly distributed throughout the salad.
  • Keep leftovers in Tupperware to keep them fresh. The salad is still enjoyable the next day.
  • Allow the nuts and butternut squash to come to room temperature before assembling the salad. Otherwise placing hot butternut squash and nuts over the lettuce will wilt the lettuce a bit and melt the feta. Possibly turning the salad to mush. Not what we are going for on this one.

FAQ

What can be subbed out for the butternut squash?

Sweet potatoes work well as a substitute for butternut squash. I peel just as I would the squash, cube, and roast all the same.

Can this recipe be doubled?

Absolutely! For larger crowds, this recipe doubles easily and does well when placed in an extra-large bowl for self-serve style dining. Toss just before serving and guests will have everything they need to enjoy this Autumn Salad with Butternut Squash.

What other oil can I use to dress this salad?

Avocado oil works well if you don’t happen to have olive oil on hand.

What other nuts would be good for this salad?

In a pinch, I have used walnut halves and found the salad to be just as delicious. Do make sure when swapping the nuts out that you still roast them with the salt and olive oil beforehand. That way you get the salty element that works so well in this salad.

What are some other substitutes for mixed greens?

I have used fresh spinach, a spinach blend, and even just chopped-up butter lettuce works well for this salad. You could also use romaine and red-leaf lettuce for this salad.

Serving Suggestions

This salad is great as a lunch or dinner however, it can be served as a side just as well.

  • Bring this to Thanksgiving for a lighter fall-style side dish.
  • Serve alongside a piece of fish like grilled salmon or baked tilapia.
  • A salad served with a side of freshly baked bread is always a good idea. Check out this No Knead Artisan Loaf. A simple, rustic bread that anyone can make.

If you try this recipe and love it, I would appreciate you coming back to give it 5 stars! Or tag me on Instagram @Rox_aquaintlife.

autumn salad with butternut squash upclose

Autumn Salad With Butternut Squash

Yield: 7 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

a blend of roasted butternut squash, cranberries and avocado for a fresh delicious salad for fall

Ingredients

  • 1/2 peeled cubed butternut squash
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1 large avocado
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • sea salt
  • cracked black pepper
  • olive oil

Instructions

    1. Begin by roasting the butternut squash. Halve the squash, then cut half of the squash into cubes. Save the other half for soup or another recipe. Place the cubes onto a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, and cracked black pepper.
    2. Place into a 425℉ and cook for 20 minutes.
    3. On a separate baking sheet, spread out the pecans. Drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. Pop them into the oven for about 5-7 minutes to toast alongside the squash.
    4. When ready, take the squash and pecans from the oven and allow them to come to room temperature before assembling the salad.
    5. To assemble the salad, place the salad greens into a large bowl.
    6. Then top with the butternut squash, pecans, cranberries, chopped avocado, and feta cheese.
    7. Drizzle everything with olive oil to dress the salad.
    8. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Toss well to incorporate all the ingredients.
    9. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 7 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 236Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 185mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 5gSugar: 10gProtein: 4g

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