A Spiced-Up Fall Squash Salad

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad made with pomegranates, pistachios, goat cheese, and a cumin-spiced date dressing. Perfect for Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving!

A Spiced-Up Fall Squash Salad

Do you do Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving? Or both? This year we’re having the traditional Thanksgiving with my family on actual Thanksgiving, and a fun virtual Friendsgiving this week with a few of my favorite bloggers – A Cozy KitchenSugar and ClothThe Kitchy KitchenSpoon Fork Bacon, Because I’m Addicted, and Baker’s Royale! One thing both holidays have in common? I was asked to bring a vegetable dish 🙂

I created this crowd-pleasing fall salad recipe that I know both friends AND family members will love. It’s the kind of salad that will convert any non-salad lovers because it’s filled with hearty roasted butternut squash (with some yummy spices), pomegranates, goat cheese, and pistachios. It’s a roasty, spicy, creamy, tangy combo that Jack and I are pretty obsessed with.

For our Friendsgiving, we’ve teamed up with ALDI. As the holidays approach, bigger grocery stores can be so crowded and complicated to navigate. During my trip to ALDI for these ingredients, it was so easy to find everything and I was happy that it was all fresh, high quality, and super affordable. I was in and out in 15 minutes – here’s everything I picked up for this spiced up squash salad:

A Spiced-Up Fall Squash Salad

But the food doesn’t stop with just my friends and family. To help bring more food to more people this holiday, ALDI is teaming up with Venmo and Feeding America® to encourage people to add a new tradition of giving to their Friendsgiving celebrations by using the very first Friendsgiving Turkey Hand emoji. Every time the Turkey Hand is shared on Venmo this November, ALDI will donate 10 meals to Feeding America to help people in need, up to one million meals. Learn more about the ALDI meal donations to Feeding America here.

A Spiced-Up Fall Squash Salad A Spiced-Up Fall Squash Salad

This 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 in the oven.

A Spiced-Up Fall Squash Salad A Spiced-Up Fall Squash Salad A Spiced-Up Fall Squash Salad

Follow me on Instagram Stories on November 8th for more about the Friendsgiving festivities!

Happy Thanks (and/or friends) giving everyone!

A Spiced Up Fall Squash Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: serves 4 as a side
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon SimplyNature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ teaspoon Stonemill Ground Cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon Stonemill Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon SimplyNature Cayenne Pepper (less if sensitive to spice)
  • 6 cups loose-packed SimplyNature organic spring mix greens
  • 2 ounces Happy Farms Preferred Goat Cheese, torn into smaller pieces
  • 2 Medjool dates, pitted and diced
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup Southern Grove Pistachios, crushed and toasted
  • Stonemill sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cider Date Dressing (makes extra)
  • 5 tablespoons SimplyNature Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons SimplyNature Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Medjool date, pitted
  • ½ garlic clove
  • ⅛ teaspoon Stonemill Ground Cumin
  • heaping ¼ teaspoon Stonemill sea salt
  • freshly ground Stonemill black pepper, to taste
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons water, as needed to blend
  1. 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.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the cumin, coriander, cinnamon and cayenne. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. Remove the butternut squash from the oven, let cool slightly, and, while warm, toss with the spice mixture.
  5. 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. Click here to find a store near you!


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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Susan

    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

      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.

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

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

  4. Lindsay

    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

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

  5. Anna from travelbuddyanna.com

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


  6. Chantelly

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

  7. Colleen

    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

      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!

  8. Kate from Katemarieconroy.wordpress.com

    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

      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!

  9. Kim

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

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  10. Jason

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

  11. Fabian from aboutfuel.de

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

  12. Rachel

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

    • Jeanine Donofrio

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

  13. Kelly

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

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.