This Easy Everyday Fall Salad recipe features maple syrup-roasted squash, tart cranberries, crunchy pumpkin seeds, and tangy goat cheese, all atop a bed of baby salad greens.
If you love all things squash, be sure to check out these 15 Delicious Squash Recipes.
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Nothing says fall more than squash, cranberries, and pumpkin seeds. Layered on a bed of greens with goat cheese and pumpkin seeds, fall harvest salads are simply the best.
Does it matter what type of squash to use?
The squash section in the grocery store can be a bit intimidating. Sometimes it’s hard to know which type of squash to use in a recipe if it doesn’t specify. Though some recipes say you can substitute any type of squash here are a few things to think about.
Different types of squash have different levels of sweetness. If you are looking for a sweet squash to complement the flavors of your dish then butternut squash would be the best option. The texture is also different amongst the varieties of squash. Spaghetti squash, for example, is stringy compared to acorn or butternut so consider the texture you want as well.
In the end, it also comes down to your personal preference so try the different varieties and taste for yourself which ones work best in your recipes. For a detailed lowdown on winter squash, read this post from The Kitchn.
Why You’ll Love This Fall Salad
Hearty: Healthy fall salads are always loaded with veggie goodness and the squash in this recipes helps make this a hearty and filling salad.
Seasonal: There’s nothing better than eating fruits and vegetables when they are in season. This guarantees their freshness and the best possible taste.
Customizable: Change up the greens, use a different type of squash, change up the cheese. Feel free to make this salad your own. Fall salad ideas are endless.
Colorful: It’s important to eat a range of different colored foods and this salad has lots of the colors of the rainbow; bright orange squash, deep red cranberries, light green salad greens.
Easy: This simple fall salad with squash is easy to prepare.
- Spring mix – Spring mix pairs nicely with the squash.
- Acorn squash – If you can’t find acorn squash, substitute for any type of squash.
- Goat cheese – Crumbled goat cheese complements the flavors of the sweet roasted squash but you can also use feta.
- Dried cranberries – Dried cranberries add some color and a tart flavor to the salad.
- Pumpkin seeds – Pumpkin seeds add some protein and crunch.
APPLE CIDER DRESSING
- Olive oil – Extra virgin olive oil is best but any kind will work.
- Apple cider – Apple cider pairs nicely with olive oil for a sweet dressing.
- Maple syrup – Use pure maple syrup, not maple flavored syrup.
- Dijon mustard – Dijon helps balance out the flavors in the dressing.
- Salt and pepper – Add salt and pepper to taste.
How To Make a Fall Harvest Salad
- Step 1: Cut the squash in half then cut it into 1-inch slices and brush with maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper and roast until golden brown and crispy.
- Step 2: While the squash cooks, mix the dressing ingredients together and set aside.
- Step 3: Place the spring mix in a bowl and coat with half of the salad dressing.
- Step 4: Add the dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and goat cheese, and top with the roasted squash. Drizzle with the rest of the dressing and serve.
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Tips and Variations
Change up the greens. Instead of the spring mix use spinach, arugula or kale, or a combination of a few greens in this harvest fall salad.
Switch up the cheese. Goat cheese can easily be exchanged for feta, grated parmesan or cubes of cheddar.
Substitute the cranberries. If you don’t have any cranberries feel free to use currants or raisins in this harvest salad.
Swap the pumpkin seeds. Instead of pumpkin seeds use sunflower seeds, pecans or any of your favorite nuts. Toast them beforehand for a deeper flavor. Go crazy and get creative with your fall salad toppings, anything goes really.
Make it vegan. If you prefer a vegan fall salad, omit the cheese or choose a plant-based cheese.
Anything goes really! Chopped raw veggies on your preferred greens with nuts, seeds, cheese and add chicken, tuna, beans or a hard boiled egg for some protein.
No, you do not need to peel the squash to make this salad. Give it a good rinse, peel off any labels, and cut it up. However, if you prefer to peel your squash go ahead and peel it before roasting it.
Yes, absolutely! As long as you can find all the ingredients it will be great to eat all year round. Though in the warmer months you may not be inclined to eat roasted squash.
Make Ahead And Storage
This fall salad can be assembled in advance but it’s best not to add the dressing until you are ready to serve it. The salad components will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days so go ahead and roast the squash and make the dressing just don’t dress the salad until you want to eat it.
If you have leftover roasted squash you you can freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge and use in a salad or eat as a side dish.
Looking for more salads for fall:
- Autumn Kale Sweet Potato and Bean Salad
- Quinoa Kale Butternut Squash Salad
- Roasted Vegetable Salad With Ginger Rosemary Dressing
- Maple Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Apple Salad
Squash can be quite difficult to cut so place it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes to soften the skin slightly which will make it easier to cut.
Easy Everyday Fall Salad
- 1 pk baby spring mix
- 1/2 acorn squash (sub for any type of squash)
- 2 oz crumbled goat cheese (sub for feta)
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
Apple Cider Dressing
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cut acorn squash in half, then into 1in slices. Brush acorn slices with maple syrup and season with salt and pepper. Roast acorn squash slices at 400F for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
- Meanwhile mix dressing in a small glass and set aside.
- Add spring mix to a bowl and coat greens with about half of the salad dressing. Toss salad greens so they are evenly coated.
- Add dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and goat cheese. Top with roasted squash of choice. Finish the salad with the remaining dressing and serve.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.