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Butternut Squash Salad
By Holly Darnell, RD
November 21, 2023
Winter is coming, but that doesn't mean that salads need to be off the menu with this warming butternut squash salad recipe. It works as a light lunch or as an appetizer before your dinner, even for a dinner party if you're being truly ambitious. (And yes, it can even work as a terrific and healthy Thanksgiving side dish.)
Over the butternut squash salad, you will drizzle a Dijon dressing that uses Herbal Cider Vinegar, our own twist on apply cider vinegar but with a regenerative blend of antioxidant-filled superfood ingredients. (You can also substitute regular apple cider vinegar.)
This butternut squash salad includes the best go-to ingredients that make it especially delicious: cooked butternut squash, walnuts, dried cranberries and goat cheese.
The incredible nutritional value of butternut squash is difficult to overstate, and butternut squash calories are very low considering how filling it can be. With over four times the recommended daily value of vitamin A in just one serving, it’s considered one of the top vitamin A foods.
In addition, it offers over half the recommended intake of vitamin C, an impressive list of other vitamins and minerals, and loads of dietary fiber.
Walnuts are calorie dense, but they also come packed with healthy fats, antioxidants and minerals. According to studies, eating walnuts can help support your mood, considering they contain one of the highest amounts of omega-3 fats of any nut.
Dried cranberries contain less natural sugar than raisins and are loaded with antioxidants. They provide just the right blend of sweet and sour to this salad alongside their funny chewy texture.
Goat cheese is key to this salad in order to complete the flavor profile. It also provides healthy fats and is an easier to digest food compare to cow's milk cheeses.
First, you will cook the butternut squash by preheating the oven to 425. Peel the skin of the butternut squash, or carefully cut the skin off with a sharp knife. Cube the squash and then place in a small bowl.
Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on the baking sheet, perhaps covered with parchment paper. Roast for 25–30 minutes or until tender and browned around the edges.
While the squash is roasting, make the Herbal Cider Vinegar Dijon dressing. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, diced shallot, Herbal Cider Vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, sea salt and black pepper until well combined.
Remove the butternut squash from the oven and let cool. Then assemble the salad: add the arugula, half of the butternut squash, walnuts, dried cranberries, goat cheese, and one-third of the dressing. Toss lightly and then add in remaining squash.
Recipe developed by Holly Darnell, RD. Holly is a registered dietitian nutritionist who unlocked self-love at the intersection of exceptional food and practical solutions for healthy living. She’s passionate about helping others make simple, positive lifestyle changes on their individual path to healing.
Time45 min (prep time: 15 min; cook time: 30 min)
AuthorHolly Darnell, RD
Most salad recipes tend to be summer-inspired but this recipe is winter-oriented, full of warming ingredients and mixed with a Dijon dressing. You'll want to make again and again.
1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
6 cups arugula
½ cup walnuts, chopped
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup crumbled goat cheese
Herbal Cider Vinegar Dijon Dressing:
½ cup olive oil
1 shallot, diced
5 mL Herbal Cider Vinegar (about 1 teaspoon)
3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place the cubed butternut squash in a small bowl. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on the baking sheet. Roast for 25–30 minutes or until tender and browned around the edges.
While the squash is roasting, make the Dijon dressing. In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients until well combined.
Remove the butternut squash from the oven and let cool.
Assemble the salad: add arugula, ½ of the butternut squash, walnuts, dried cranberries, goat cheese, and ⅓ of the dressing. Toss lightly and then add in remaining squash. Top with additional toppings and drizzle with more dressing if desired. Serve immediately.
Serving Size 1 bowl (192g) Calories 395, Carbs 22.1 grams, Fiber 2.9 grams, Sugar 11.7 grams, Fat 31.8 grams, Saturated Fat 7.9 grams, Unsaturated Fat 22.6 grams, Trans Fat 0 grams, Cholesterol 20 milligrams, Protein 8.5 grams, Sodium 565 milligrams (38% DV)