Butternut Squash Salad

This butternut squash salad is a must-try fall recipe! It's filled with spiced squash, pomegranates, goat cheese & a delicious cumin-date dressing.

roasted butternut squash salad

Do you do Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving? Or both? We’re celebrating both this year, so I created this crowd-pleasing butternut squash salad recipe because I know both friends AND family members will love it. It’s the kind of salad that will convert anyone to being a salad lover, because it’s filled with spiced roasted butternut squash, pomegranates, goat cheese, and pistachios. It’s a roasty, spicy, creamy, tangy combo that Jack and I are pretty obsessed with.

Butternut Squash Salad Recipe ingredients

Butternut Squash Salad Recipe Ingredients

This salad packs a huge punch of flavor, thanks to 6 essential components:

  1. Spiced roasted butternut squash. I toss the soft, creamy cubes of squash with cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne to give them a warm, sweet & spicy flavor.
  2. Pomegranate seeds. They add a fun pop of pink and juicy, bursty bites.
  3. Pistachios. I love adding a nutty, crunchy element to any salad recipe, and pistachios are excellent here.
  4. Chopped Medjool dates. The sweet dates pair perfectly with the warmly spiced squash.
  5. Goat cheese. The creamy, tangy goat cheese cuts the sweetness of the squash and dates. If you’d prefer to make this salad vegan, substitute diced avocado.
  6. Cumin-spiced cider-date dressing. This tangy, punchy dressing ties the whole salad together! I make it by blending apple cider vinegar with 1 Medjool date, cumin, olive oil, lemon juice, and a big pinch of cumin. It really highlights the sweet, spiced fall flavors here.

How to make butternut squash salad Butternut Squash salad dressing

This butternut squash salad recipe is super easy to pull off. Roast the squash, spice it, blend the dressing, and put it all together. A tip for roasting the squash: I like to add the spice mix AFTER the squash comes out of the oven while it’s still warm so the spices don’t burn.

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad Butternut Squash Salad Recipe butternut squash salad

If you love this butternut squash salad recipe…

Try my beet salad, Brussels sprout salad, kale salad, or fall farro salad next!

Butternut Squash Salad

rate this recipe:
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Serves 4 as a side
This delicious butternut squash salad is filled with pomegranates, goat cheese, greens, and a spiced cumin-date dressing. It's hearty enough to be a meal on its own, but it'd also be a wonderful holiday side dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne, less if sensitive to spice
  • 6 cups loose-packed spring mix greens
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, torn into smaller pieces
  • 2 Medjool dates, pitted and diced
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup pistachios, crushed and toasted
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cider Date Dressing (makes extra)

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Medjool date, pitted
  • ½ garlic clove
  • teaspoon ground cumin
  • sea salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons water, as needed to blend

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the butternut squash cubes on the sheet and drizzle with olive oil and pinches of sea salt and pepper. Toss to coat and spread evenly on the baking sheet. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, or until tender and browned around the edges.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the cumin, coriander, cinnamon and cayenne. Set aside.
  • Make the Cider Date Dressing: In a blender, combine the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, date, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, and 3 tablespoons of water. Add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of water as needed to blend.
  • Remove the butternut squash from the oven, let cool slightly, and, while warm, toss with the spice mixture.
  • Assemble the salad with the spring mix greens and half of the roasted squash. Drizzle with ⅓ of the dressing, toss lightly, then add the remaining squash, goat cheese, dates, pomegranates, and pistachios. Drizzle with more dressing as desired. Serve immediately.

 

Special thanks to ALDI for partnering on this post.

29 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Bonnie
    10.13.2021

    I need to make this a few hours ahead (today!)… should I refrigerate the squash and then reheat in microwave before adding to salad? Let it sit out at room temp? Thanks so much!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.13.2021

      Hi Bonnie, you can chill the squash – I’d reheat it in the oven if you can, or just let it come to room temperature before you add it to the salad. (I think the microwave could make it very soggy). Hope that helps!

  2. Laura H.
    03.01.2021

    5 stars
    My family loved this recipe–even the kids. I’m not a huge cumin fan, generally, but I left it in the dressing. Next time I’ll take it out. Otherwise, I wouldn’t change a thing! It was great. I didn’t have pom seeds and it didn’t matter 🙂 Oh, and I did add 3 dates to the dressing instead of 1 — because my kids like a sweeter dressing. Then I just spritzed a little lemon over my portion. It was perfect and will make again!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.02.2021

      I’m so glad everyone loved it!

  3. Kayla Clark
    01.13.2021

    5 stars
    I seriously made this salad 12 times in the span of a few months. It’s so good and the perfect Fall / Winter salad.

  4. Paulina
    11.24.2020

    I’m totally making this salad apart of my thanksgiving dinner <3 I can't wait! The combination for the squash, dates, and pomegranate seed sounds amazing. Ill be using kale only though instead of the mixed.

  5. Suzannah Overstreet
    10.26.2020

    5 stars
    This was OUTSTANDING! I substituted dried cranberries for pomegranates bc I couldn’t get them, and arugula for the salad greens. A big hit at a pot luck, not a pinch left!

  6. Fiona
    08.21.2020

    5 stars
    Such a delicious salad! Totally changed my husbands view of salads & now will be a weekly staple… its amazing!! I was just wondering, what are the total calories for it? I couldn’t see that on the recipe… or should I just add it up separately?!?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.30.2020

      I’m so glad you both loved it! Apologies, I don’t calculate nutritional info.

  7. claire
    07.12.2020

    5 stars
    Awesome tasting , thanks to the inventor

  8. Kelly
    11.22.2018

    Made this for thanksgiving and it was a huge hit! Thanks!

  9. Rachel
    11.14.2018

    Can you store leftover dressing in the refrigerator? Can’t wait to try this!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.14.2018

      yep, you can! If it gets thick, just stir in a little water before serving again. I hope you love the salad!

  10. Fabian from aboutfuel.de
    10.22.2018

    WOW! This looks fanatstic. I think i make it for lunch today. Thanks for the recipe and the inspiration.

  11. Jason
    12.14.2017

    Could go for a little spice in my salad. This looks great!

  12. Kim
    11.29.2017

    Thank you for creating the salad – so beautiful, easy to make, and delicious!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.30.2017

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  13. Kate from Katemarieconroy.wordpress.com
    11.17.2017

    Hi, I’m going to bring a dish to someone else’s house for the first time and I know the oven is going to be reserved for the turkey. Any tips for making this ahead? Could I reheat the squash in a frying pan or is that gonna get weird? Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.17.2017

      I would just reheat the squash in the microwave for 30 seconds or so (it doesn’t need to be hot hot). I would keep the dressing separate until you’re about ready to serve. Hope that helps!

  14. Colleen
    11.16.2017

    I am making this for thanksgiving and did a try out. But the dates didn’t mix well in the blender. They came out chunky bits. Maybe they were not fresh enough? do you have any ideas? thanks love your recipes…

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.16.2017

      it’s fixable! It sounds like either there’s not enough liquid in your blender (to get the blade moving well) or your dates were not super soft to begin with. I’d add 2 tablespoons of semi-hot water, let it sit for maybe 5-ish minutes. Blend again and see if that works. As long as the chunks are sort of even chunks, it’ll still be ok, it doesn’t need to be completely smooth to make a good salad. Let me know if that’s helpful!

  15. Chantelly
    11.13.2017

    Turned out great! Ran out of garlic but it worked without it. A fall staple for any dinner table 😉 I

  16. Anna from travelbuddyanna.com
    11.08.2017

    mhh looks sooo delicious! Like the combination of goat cheese, dates, pomegranate seeds and squash. Gonne put that on my list for the weekend 🙂

    Anna

  17. Lindsay
    11.08.2017

    I’ve got a dinner tomorrow night and this would be perfect! Could I substitute the pistachio for a different nut/seed? Like pumpkin or sunflower seeds?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.08.2017

      you could – I would toast them with a pinch of salt before adding. Hope you enjoy the salad!

  18. Wow, looks like a great balance of flavors and textures. Love the pomegranate seeds!

  19. So many fall goodies in this salad—love it!

  20. Susan
    11.06.2017

    This salad sounds marvelous. I especially like that it has no garlic, because that means I could serve it when my sister visits. I’m going to have to start making fall salads!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.06.2017

      I hope you enjoy the salad! There is some garlic in the dressing, but you could skip it if your sister has issues with it.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.