Roasted butternut squash salad with pomegranate seeds is a must-try fall salad or holiday side dish. A simple to make healthy salad.
Fall is sneaking up on us and you need to add this beautiful and healthy roasted butternut squash salad to your menu. A salad that’s not only easy to make but is a great side dish for Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving and Christmas.
You’ll find this to be a perfect accompaniment for the heavier sides we have during the holidays.
I experimented with this recipe when trying to come up with something a little different for a fall dinner with friends. I wanted to have as many things prepared in advance as possible so that I could visit. After all, I’m having friends over to enjoy their company, not to stress out in the kitchen.
I have to admit, this is easier said than done. If it’s summer, then I would choose a cucumber and corn salad. Spring, maybe a spinach and strawberry salad, but fall gets a little tricky. I was thinking of a broccoli salad which would work any time of the year, but I wanted something that featured butternut squash.
A salad made with roasted butternut squash and pomegranate seeds is a brilliant choice for a fall dinner and of course I’m always trying to serve something that’s amazing. This salad is served at room temperature so you can make it in advance and forget about it.
While you can find butternut squash all year round in the grocery, it’s fresh in the fall to winter. Pomegranate seeds are in season in California from October through January so fall and winter is the ideal time for this salad.
If I can find diced butternut squash, I’ll use it in a heartbeat. Sometimes the grocery won’t have it already chopped and I have to allow for a few extra minutes to peel and chop. I can’t tell the difference in the end product, so go with the pre-cut if you can find it. The same for pomegranate seeds. It’s pretty easy to remove the seeds but I have to say I’m a little lazy most of the time and pick up the little plastic container.
Did you know that pomegranates are unbelievably healthy? We should be making this winter salad all year round just for the health benefits. While they are super healthy, I add them for the tart crunch that compliments the roasted butternut squash in this salad.
What you’ll need to make this seasonal side dish
How do you make butternut squash salad
Step 1: Toss the cubed squash in olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast at 450º until browned and tender, but not mushy. Remove and sprinkle with za’atar seasoning and let cool for15 minutes.
Step 2: Whisk lemon juice, honey, olive oil and shallots together and mix with squash, parsley and salted pumpkin seeds.
Step 3: Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds just before serving.
I served this with pork tenderloin and everyone loved it. All I had to do when my friends arrived was sprinkle the pomegranate seeds on top.
FAQ’s and tips
Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice that consists of dried herbs like oregano, marjoram, thyme, cumin, coriander sumac and sesame seeds.
The time will depend on how large the pieces of squash are. If cut into 1 inch pieces, it will take about 30 minutes.
Once peeled and cubed, drizzle it with olive oil and salt and pepper and roast in a hot oven, 450º for 30 minutes, flipping the squash half way through.
Fill a large bowl with water. Place the cut fruit over the bowl and let the seeds drop into the bowl. Then remove the seeds from the bowl of water.
If making in advance, add all ingredients except the pumpkin seeds and pomegranate seeds. Refrigerate and add both right before serving.
Looking for more butternut squash recipes
- Ranch potato salad
- Apple Salad
- Roasted potato salad
- Spicy fruit salad
- Burrata and orange salad
- Zucchini caprese salad
Slightly adapted from America’s Test Kitchen 2016
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
- 3 lbs Butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces, about 8-10 cups
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon Za’atar spice blend
- 1 small shallot minced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ¾ cup fresh parsley
- ⅓ cup roasted salted pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- Place oven rack in the lowest position and preheat to 450º. Toss squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Place in single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until browned and tender, 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove and immediately sprinkle with Za’atar. Let cool for about 15 minutes.
- Whisk the shallot, lemon juice, honey and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. While whisking drizzle in 3 tablespoons olive oil Add squash, parsley and pumpkin seeds and toss to combine. Arrange on platter and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.
- Use pre-cut butternut squash to save time.
- Serve room temperature or cold.
- You can make ahead, just sprinkle pumpkin seeds and pomegranate on the salad before serving.
- This will save for a day or two before starting to get mushy, but still delicious.
- If you don’t have Za’atar, you can just season with salt and pepper.
If you make this recipe be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! I would love to see your creation.