Butternut squash salad is a healthy fall salad loaded with warm and cozy autumn flavors. Packed with roasted butternut squash, fresh baby kale, crunchy walnuts, sweet dried cranberries, and tangy feta cheese, this nutrient-heavy butternut squash salad brings plenty of flavors and textures to the table, as well as essential vitamins and minerals. It’s a delicious and healthy salad perfect for a light vegetarian lunch or dinner, or as a side on your holiday dinner table.
Why You’ll Love Butternut Squash Salad
- The healthy main ingredient. Butternut squash is a winter vegetable (well, technically, it’s a fruit), and it’s a superstar! It packs a punch in the health department, with essential nutrients like vitamins A and C, potassium, magnesium, fiber, and protein. With a subtle sweet and nutty flavor, butternut squash is a delicious and healthy ingredient in any meal.
- Delicious and flavorful fall salad. This roasted butternut squash salad shows off various textures and tastes of unique fall ingredients like kale, walnuts, and dried cranberries. Enjoy it as a light meal on a fall day or as a starter at Thanksgiving dinner.
- A simple lemon dressing—that you can tweak. Every good salad has a great dressing. And this awesome dressing is super simple. It contains four ingredients: olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. And that makes a great staple for you to experiment with.
Ingredients and Substitutions
To make this easy butternut squash salad, you will need the following ingredients (full quantities in the recipe card below):
- butternut squash - you can roast it in the oven or pop it into the air fryer. This is also a great way to use up any leftover butternut squash from a Thanksgiving holiday dinner such as Roasted Butternut Squash or Air Fryer Butternut Squash.
- olive oil
- Italian seasoning
- garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- baby kale - feel free to use any salad greens that you have on hand. Try this salad with arugula, mixed greens, or spinach.
- walnuts - you can substitute this for any other nuts that you have on hand such as pecans, almonds, pistachios, or candied pecans.
- dried cranberries
- feta cheese - you can also substitute with goat cheese.
- lemon dressing - an easy and delicious dressing made in just seconds with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
The best thing about butternut squash salad is that it’s completely customizable. You can throw in any other vegetables or salad toppings that you would like. Some of my favourites are apple or pear, pomegranate seeds, or quinoa.
How to Make the Best Butternut Squash Salad
- Roast the butternut squash. Preheat oven to 400 F. In a large mixing bowl, toss together butternut squash, olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a quarter sheet baking pan and roast for 30 minutes until tender. You could also pop it into the air fryer in a single layer at 400 F for 12-15 minutes.
- Combine salad ingredients. In a large serving bowl, combine baby kale, walnuts, dried cranberries, and feta cheese.
- Make dressing. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour desired amount of dressing over salad and toss to combine. Sprinkle more feta on top, if desired.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- How to serve: With so many nutrients, this butternut squash salad makes a great meal on its own, whether you’re eating it for lunch, dinner, or something in between. Consider serving it at a holiday dinner or potluck, or up the ingredients by adding a protein like salmon or chicken.
- How to store: Fully assembled, this butternut squash salad will last in the fridge for about 1-2 days. If you plan to make this ahead of time, I recommend assembling everything except the apple and dressing. The apple will brown quickly once cut, and the dressing may make the greens soggy. You can make the salad ahead of time and store in a mini sauce container.
More Salad Recipes
- Fall Harvest Salad with Butternut Squash and Apple
- Arugula Salad with Apple and Pecan
- Warm Lentil Salad with Butternut Squash and Shiitake Mushrooms
- Apple Walnut Salad
- Mandarin Orange Salad
- Winter Kale Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette and Spiced Pecans
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.