Let's welcome autumn with roasted butternut squash salad full of fall flavors. As soon as I see butternut squash at the farmer's market, I get a little excited for the end of Arizona's hot summer. Actually. Arizona has five seasons: hot summer, wet summer, fall, winter, and spring. So for me, butternut squash signifies the beginning of fall and a fabulous butternut squash salad recipe. Even though my recipe includes many of my favorite fall vegetables, I also call this a roasted butternut squash salad with kale to applaud one of my favorite greens.
Among the most nutrient-dense foods, kale is also a cruciferous vegetable like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts. According to Healthline, a single cup of raw kale (about 67 grams or 2.4 ounces) contains (1):
- Vitamin A: 206% of the DV (from beta-carotene), Vitamin K: 684% of the DV, Vitamin C: 134% of the DV, Vitamin B6: 9% of the DV
- Manganese: 26% of the DV
- Calcium: 9% of the DV
- Copper: 10% of the DV
- Potassium: 9% of the DV
- Magnesium: 6% of the DV
- It also contains 3% or more of the DV for vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), iron, and phosphorus.
However, some people experience bloating and difficulty digesting kale. For that reason, I suggest chopping kale into tiny pieces to make digesting kale easier.
What ingredients are in roasted butternut squash salad?
Although roasted butternut squash is the hero of this salad, I also included various roasted vegetables, raw vegetables, and a little sweetness from pomegranate seeds. In Arizona, pomegranates are in season and plentiful. For that reason, adding some pomegranate arils (the seed pods) worked perfectly with my selection of fall vegetables.
- Pomegranate seeds
- Butternut squash
- Brussel sprouts
- Red Quinoa
- Pickled Red Onions (or substitute raw red onions)
- Pomegranate seeds
- Tofu Feta Cheese (optional)
How to cut butternut squash cubes
- Begin by cutting the ends off the butternut squash with a sharp knife.
- Although many people prefer peeling butternut squash, it is easier to cut it into 1/3 inch-3.4 inch slices.
- Then, using a sharp knife, cut the rind off each circle.
- Now cut into equal-sized cubes.
Roasting Fall Vegetables
First, always cut the vegetables in similar sizes when roasting together, so they roast equally. Not only does this prevent uneven cooking, but it's also nice to cook all the vegetables on the same baking pan.
Also, use a silicone baking mat or parchment paper to prevent sticking when cooking without oil. Another suggestion is to wash the cut vegetables before placing them in a single layer on the baking sheet, allowing seasonings to stick to the vegetables without oil.
While the butternut squash, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts roast, prepare the other ingredients. Because pickled onions require a few hours to marinate in the refrigerator after cooking, I make the onions ahead of time. But feel free to use raw red onions as well.
- Roast the vegetables in a 425-degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until brown; remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before adding to the roasted butternut squash salad.
- Cook quinoa according to directions and allow to cool completely, or make ahead of time and leave covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Remove the stems from the kale leaves, chop coarsely and place them in the base of a bowl or large platter.
- If using pickled red onions, remove them from their brine and place 1/2 cup of red onion pieces on a few paper towels to absorb some of the brine.
- Now, add the cooked, cooled quinoa and cooled roasted vegetables.
Then add the pomegranate seeds.
For added savory goodness, I also added sprinkled Tofu Feta Cheese, but this is optional.
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad Dressing
For this roasted butternut squash salad recipe, I chose a Horseradish vinegarette. I first tasted Horseradish vinaigrette at True Food Kitchen, one of my favorite organic vegan-friendly restaurants in Scottsdale. Of course, their dressing contains oil, so I created a similar oil-free version of that salad dressing.
After a lengthy trial and error, I nailed it, and I must say, I like this new concoction of flavors. And, it pairs perfectly with my roasted butternut squash salad.
Horseradish Vinegarette Dressing
- Champagne vinegar
- Horseradish root (grated)
- Stoneground mustard
- Green Onions
- Red pepper flakes
Because fresh horseradish root is difficult to find sometimes, don't despair, these dressing recipes taste as spectacular as the horseradish dressing.
- Maple Dijon Dressing
- Champagne Vinaigrette Tahini Dressing
- Vegan French Dressing
- Roasted Pumpkin Vinaigrette
- Green Goddess Dressing
- How to Make Your Own Oil-Free Italian Salad Dressing
- Cut Brussel Sprouts by removing the stems and discarding a few outer leaves; then cut in halves.
- Soak Brussel Sprouts in salt water for at least 30 minutes to remove excess debris and little critters that sometimes are inside the leaves.
- Meal prep by chopping all the vegetables beforehand to make salad meal preparation easier.
- Substitute raw red onions for pickled red onions as a time saver.
- Although I love red quinoa, any cooked quinoa works well with this roasted butternut squash salad recipe.
- If using horseradish root, peel only the area you plan to grate and freeze the rest for future use.
How long does butternut squash last?
- After purchasing a butternut squash, please DO NOT put it in the refrigerator! Instead, store it in a cool dark place until you are ready to cut it. It should last at least 30 days before going bad.
When is butternut squash in season?
- Although considered a winter squash, butternut squash is harvested in the fall in most places around the United States.
How many carbs are in butternut squash?
- There are 16 grams of carbohydrates in one cup of butternut squash.
How do I tell if butternut squash is ripe?
- Look for a creamy tan color around the whole vegetable, indicating it's ripe. Avoid butternut squash with any green areas.
If you love fall salads and other seasonal dishes, check out these recipes
- Fall Harvest Salad Recipe
- Soup Recipes for the Fall
- Pumpkin Rigatoni Recipe
- Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad
- Red Pepper Pasta
- Pumpkin Spice Bread
- Sweet Potato Cakes
- How to make Crispy Sweet Potato Puffs
- Pulled Pork Sweet Potato Sandwich
- Mediterranean Salad with Chickpeas
- Roasted Cauliflower Salad Recipe
- Butternut Squash Lasagna
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂