This vibrant roasted butternut squash salad is PACKED with colours and flavour. Creamy feta, juicy pomegranate seeds, a punchy miso dressing and crunchy candied pumpkin seeds make it a serious winner. It’s great for weeknights, special occasions, holiday spreads or meal prep – it’s so versatile.
Colour, texture, flavour. There are just so many wonderful things going on in this vibrant salad. Sweet, creamy squash, salty feta, fresh pomegranate seeds, a sharp miso dressing and the MOST delicious crunchy salted honey pumpkin seeds you’ll be wanting to make much more of.
If you’re looking for a fresh, colourful salad for entertaining (this one is especially great for Christmas and Thanksgiving spreads) you’ve found it. Equally, it’s great to prep for lunches throughout the week, or enjoy it as a light weeknight dinner. It keeps really well and you can make all the elements in advance, then just mix it together when you’re ready to serve.
I don’t peel the squash here – you don’t need to for this dish and it saves a LOT of time and pain (I know it’s one of my least favourite things to do in the kitchen!) And we have to talk about those salted honey candied pumpkin seeds. They’re the perfect combination of sweet, salty and crunchy and are incredibly moreish – be careful not to snack on the lot before you’re ready to serve the salad!
The ingredients list for this salad is lovely and short – and should be pretty easy to find!
- Butternut squash. Like I mentioned above, you don’t need to peel it! You could also use another sweet pumpkin like Delica or Acorn, or sweet potato instead.
- Feta. This provides a salty, creamy element that pairs so well with the rest of the salad. Try switching it out for a creamy blue cheese or chunks of pan-fried halloumi if you like.
- Pomegranate seeds. These juicy little jewels are just so gorgeously festive and provide a wonderful pop of colour and freshness to the salad. If you can’t find a pomegranate, you could use seedless red grapes cut into quarters or dried cranberries.
- Rocket. I love the pepperiness of rocket but you can really use any leafy green – spinach would be great too.
And that dressing! You’ll need white miso paste, lemon juice, honey (or use maple syrup) and olive oil.
MAKE IT VEGAN: Switch out the honey for maple syrup, and use a vegan cheese or just leave it out and sprinkle over a little nutritional yeast.
How to make it
Start by chopping up your squash. Cut it in half with a large knife, then scoop out the seeds (save them – you’ll use them for the candied seeds!). Slice the squash into cubes, then lay out on a lined baking tray. Scatter with a little salt and olive oil, give it a mix through, then pop into to oven for 40 minutes, giving the squash a mix halfway through the cooking time. We don’t want to take them too far – you’re looking for little char marks to just be forming around the edges. If they’re in there too long, they’ll soften a bit too much and be tricky to mix through the salad without falling apart.
While the squash is roasting, mix the dressing. That’s as simple as mixing all the ingredients in a small bowl with a fork until smooth and creamy. For the crispy salted honey pumpkin seeds, give the scooped out squash seeds a quick rinse to remove any residue, then dry with a paper towel. Get them into a dry pan over a low heat and stir for a couple of minutes until they’re lightly brown. Add a little honey and mix it through, then go in with flaky salt. Transfer to a baking paper lined plate to cool and crisp up. You’re going to LOVE these – they’re incredibly addictive and make the perfect crunchy topping here.
Once the squash is very lightly charred and you can easily pierce a cube with a fork, remove them from the oven. Arrange three quarters of the rocket onto a serving platter, then toss the other quarter onto the tray with the cooked squash. Drizzle half the dressing over the cooked squash on the tray and give it a mix through so the pieces are well coated. Transfer on top of the rocket leaves on your serving platter, then crumble over the feta, scatter over the pomegranate seeds and drizzle the rest of the dressing all over everything. Finish with the crispy salted honey pumpkin seeds!
Got a question?
Yes! Any sweet pumpkin will be great – Delica or Acorn would be lovely (but you may need to peel them) – as would sweet potato.
This salad is brilliant for making ahead of time. You can have everything prepared separately and then just assemble when you’re ready:
– You can roast the squash a couple of days in advance and keep in an airtight container in the fridge.
– The dressing can be made a week in advance and stored in the fridge in an airtight container or jar.
– The crispy pumpkin seeds will keep well for a week in an airtight container at room temperature.
Then all you’ll need to do is arrange the rocket, mix the dressing through the squash and scatter over the feta and pomegranate seeds. Just make sure the squash is at room temperature when you serve the salad for better flavour.
Try using a creamy blue cheese, sharp cheddar, pan-fried chunks of halloumi or even dollops of boursin or cream cheese.
Like this recipe? Here are some other salads you might enjoy
If you make this, I’d love to know what you think! Leave me a comment below and let me know how you got on.Print