Fall harvest salad with roasted butternut squash and apple is the only salad recipe you will need this fall and winter. Loaded with roasted butternut squash, fresh crisp apples, bright pomegranate seeds, toasted pumpkin seeds, and tangy feta cheese, this fall salad is tossed with kale and a delicious homemade apple cider vinaigrette. It's healthy, wholesome, nourishing, and filling. Plus, it's a gorgeous and colourful salad to put on your holiday table this year.
Why You'll Love Fall Harvest Salad
- Packed with fresh fall flavors. October's harvest is one of my favourites in the whole year. Butternut squash give this fall harvest salad a smooth and buttery feel, apples add a crunchy freshness, pomegranate adds a tangy kick, pumpkin seeds add some depth, and kale just brings it all together. These ingredients are just meant to be put together, I mean, even mother nature thinks so! Why else do they grow during the same time of the year?
- A delicious homemade apple cider vinaigrette. We always think homemade salad dressings are the way to go — they are easy, quick, and healthier than store-bought (no artificial flavors, preservatives, or filler ingredients). Plus, whenever we do buy dressing, it just sits around half used in the fridge until it expires. By making it fresh, you can make just the amount that you need.
- Serve it warm or cold. You can serve this fall salad warm with freshly roasted butternut squash, or let things cool down a bit before serving. It's totally your choice. If serving cold, you can make the butternut squash ahead of time or easily throw in some leftover butternut squash that you have in the refrigerator.
Ingredients and Substitutions
To make this delicious fall harvest salad, you will need the following ingredients.
- butternut squash - roasted with olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. You can also use leftover roasted butternut squash or air fryer butternut squash.
- baby kale - you can substitute with any other salad greens such as spinach, arugula, or mixed greens.
- pomegranate seeds
- feta cheese - you can substitute with goat cheese.
- toasted pepitas - pepitas are no shell pumpkin seeds. You can use store-bought ones or toast your own at home.
- apple cider vinaigrette - apple cider vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. You can use most other olive oil based salad dressings instead. Try it with a honey lemon dressing, Greek salad dressing, or Italian dressing.
How to Make the Best Fall Harvest Salad with Butternut Squash and Apple
- Roast 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.
- Combine salad ingredients. In a large serving bowl, combine baby kale, roasted butternut squash, apple, pomegranate seeds, feta cheese, and toasted pepitas.
- Add dressing. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour desired amount of dressing over salad and toss to combine.
How to Toast Pepitas (No Shell Pumpkin Seeds)
If you have ever toasted your own seeds or nuts, you know that you can never go back to buying toasted seeds from the store. There is just something about freshly toasted nuts that store-bought ones just can't replicate. Maybe it's the warmth when it comes fresh out of the oven, or the extra crispy crunch they seem to have.
All you need to toast your own pepitas are:
- ½ cup raw pepitas (no shell pumpkin seeds)
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ⅛ teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
How to Serve
Serve this fall harvest salad with butternut squash and apple as a light lunch this fall or as a side salad at a holiday dinner for Thanksgiving. Some other fall recipes to pair this salad with are:
- 60+ Fall Dinner Ideas
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- Coconut Curry Beef Stew
- Apple Cider Chicken with Butternut Squash
- Lasagna Roll Ups
- Ham and Potatoes au Gratin
- Make ahead instructions: To make this fall harvest salad ahead of time, roast the butternut squash ahead of time, prep the ingredients (except for the apple due to browning), and make the dressing. Store in separate airtight containers. When ready to serve, chop up an apple, assemble the salad, and toss with the dressing.
- How to store: This salad is best eaten fresh since the apple cider vinaigrette will start to soften the kale. If you happen to have leftovers, store for up to 1-2 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
More Fall Salad Recipes
- Arugula Salad with Apple and Pecan
- Apple Walnut Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Winter Kale Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Mandarin Orange Salad
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