Harvest Salad with bright, contrasting colors and textures make this dish really stand out. Pair it with your main course or eat it for a light lunch any day of the week.
What is Harvest Salad?
Harvest salad is an ideal fall salad. It’s loaded with beautiful tender greens, roasted butternut squash, cranberries, pecans, and goat cheese. Then tossed in a delicious maple balsamic vinaigrette.
The bright colors of this salad make for a beautiful display and are perfect for serving to a crowd around the holidays.
Not to mention this salad has plenty of texture and a salty-sweet flavor!
How to Roast Butternut Squash
If this is your first time baking butternut squash, you may be wondering where to start with this bulbous vegetable.
Start by cutting it in half in the small part of the “neck.” Then, cut the ends off on both sides. Use a vegetable peeler to peel off the tough outer skin, then slice the squash lengthwise down the middle. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds in the bottom half. From there, proceed to cut the squash into cubes.
When you’re done peeling and cubing the squash, place it in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake it at 400F for 35-40 minutes or until the squash is tender and begins to brown, stirring once after 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and allow the squash to cool before serving.
This seasonal harvest salad has ingredients that can be found in your local grocery store in the fall or local farmers market.
- Butternut squash – peeled and diced
- Olive oil
- Salt – kosher
- Honey or maple syrup
- Spring salad mix
- Dried cranberries
- Pecans – chopped
- Goat cheese – crumbled
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Honey or maple syrup
- Dijon mustard
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Recipe Shortcut: Save on prep time and buy peeled and chopped butternut squash from the store. You’ll need about 20 ounces of peeled and chopped butternut squash for this recipe.
How to Make Harvest Salad
This hearty salad is easy to make and only takes about one hour. Here are brief instructions on how to cook it.
Roast the squash: Toss together squash, olive oil, salt, and honey in a large bowl and season with black pepper to taste. Bake the squash until tender, remove it from the oven, and allow it to cool.
Make the vinaigrette: Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients and set it aside.
Assemble the salad: Toss together the rest of the salad ingredients with the roasted squash and spread it on a large platter. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and serve immediately.
Here are some tips to help you make the best butternut squash salad.
- Toast the nuts. Toast the nuts before adding them to the salad for an even richer, nuttier flavor.
- Dry the greens really well. Rinse and dry the salad greens with a salad spinner to ensure there is no lingering dirt or water.
- Go light on the vinaigrette. Toss the salad lightly with vinaigrette and serve the rest of the vinaigrette on the side so each person can add more if they’d like.
- Double up! Easily double the recipe for the perfect Thanksgiving salad.
- Make ahead. Roast the butternut squash up to a day ahead of time and store it in a refrigerator in a closed container. Whisk together the vinaigrette and store in a closed container at room temperature until ready to serve.
There are so many variations you can make to this autumn harvest salad. You can add fruit, seeds, different kinds of greens, cheeses, and other flavor add-ins. No matter what you choose for this delicious salad, you’re going to love it.
Fruit: Pink Lady apples, Granny Smith apples, dried figs, chopped dates, pears
Seeds & Nuts: pomegranate seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts
Lettuce: spinach, arugula, chopped kale, romaine lettuce
Cheese: feta cheese, shredded cheddar, mozzarella balls, crumbled blue cheese
Others: wild rice, brown rice, quinoa, crispy bacon, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, red onion
What Type of Protein Can I Add to This Salad?
You can certainly add protein to this salad to make it more filling or if planning on serving it as a main course type of salad. Choose a light protein that will pair well with the ingredients of this dish.
How to Serve
This salad contains the best seasonal flavors and should be served with other dishes that pair well with the fall season.
It’s best served close to room temperature whether you’ve just made it or you’re pulling it out of the fridge.
Refrigerate: Store any leftover salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.
If you think you’re going to have leftovers, try to only put the vinaigrette on the individual servings and not on the whole salad. That way you can keep the salad and vinaigrette stored separately in the fridge for up to a week.
How to eat leftovers: Since this fall harvest salad recipe has spring mix, it’s best to eat tossed leftovers within 2-3, otherwise, the lettuce will become too soggy. If you know you’re going to have lots of leftovers, you can leave out the spring mix and just add it in when you’re ready to eat.
You can serve this salad either at room temperature or chilled. If you make it at the same time as your main dish, the butternut squash will be slightly warm when tossed with the rest of the ingredients.
Yes, you can definitely make this dish without nuts. Just substitute seeds for the nuts, so you still get that crunchy texture.
If you want to make this salad in advance of your meal, you can prep it and then assemble it right before serving. Make the dressing and keep it in a mason jar. Then prep the salad ingredients and store them separately in the refrigerator up to one day in advance.
More Fall Salads
- Kale Apple Salad
- Roasted Pear Salad
- Kale Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
- Avocado and Apple Brussels Sprouts Salad
Harvest Salad is the perfect side salad to serve on your holiday table in a large serving bowl. The bright, contrasting colors and textures make this dish really stand out.
- 1 1/2 lb. butternut squash, about 18-20 oz. peeled & chopped
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
- Black pepper, to taste
- 5 oz. spring mix
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 4 oz. crumbled goat cheese, about 3/4 cup
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp. honey or maple syrup
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Peel and seed butternut squash; cut into 1-inch cubes. Toss together squash, olive oil, salt, and honey in a large bowl. Season with black pepper, to taste. Place in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 35-40 minutes or until squash is tender and begins to brown, stirring once after 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan.
- Combine the salad ingredients with the squash on a large platter.
- Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients and drizzle over the salad. Add a light sprinkle of salt and pepper over the salad before serving.
- Leftovers: Once the salad is tossed with the vinaigrette it will keep for about 2 days and after that the greens will become soggy. Ideally, store the salad and vinaigrette separately and toss individual servings as needed if planning on leftovers.
- Serving Size: 1 side salad
- Calories: 215
- Sugar: 12.4 g
- Sodium: 169 mg
- Fat: 13.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 22.7 g
- Protein: 4.2 g
- Cholesterol: 6.5 mg
Keywords: holiday, fall, thanksgiving