Roasted Butternut Squash Salad is a gluten-free salad recipe that includes some of the best fall/winter flavors such as apple, cranberries, and crumbled blue cheese.
I’ve always associated roasted butternut squash with Thanksgiving. Maybe that’s because my husband used to make a fabulous Whipped Butternut Squash similar to the one at Allrecipes. Perhaps fantastic for Thanksgiving, but way too rich to make it on our regular dinner rotation!
I began to ‘discover’ squashes and root vegetables a few years ago. In the process, I’ve experimented with roasting and the many fabulous tastes and textures I could achieve. Roasted butternut squash is super sweet and so it goes really well with savory and slightly tangy ingredients like crumbled blue cheese and apple (Honeycrisp apples are great for this).
Four things you might not know about Roasted Butternut Squash
- Roasting the butternut squash helps naturally occurring enzymes to convert from starch to sugar. In other words, roasting helps to make butternut squash taste sweet!
- Likewise, roasted butternut squash is full of good-for-you vitamins like
- Vitamin A – promotes good vision and immune system maintenance
- Vitamin C – helps our bodies to heal and absorb other nutrients
- and finally Vitamin E – great for a healthy skin
- Technically, because it has seeds, butternut squash counts a fruit.
- Finally, butternut squash is loaded with potassium (keeps your blood pressure in check). In fact butternut squash has more potassium than an equal amount of banana.
And if you really like butternut squash, go check out my gluten free Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese. But while you are here you can also take a completely different salad – the Red Lentil Pasta Salad. It’s incredibly easy to prep and perfect for next day leftovers.
More Gluten Free Recipes
Tools I used to cooked the Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
Ok, I’ll stop geeking out and we’ll start cooking.
Butternut Squash Salad Leftovers Tips
These days I mostly cook for my husband and myself and we tend to have leftovers (no leftovers when my stepson is over for dinner and this salad is a favorite).
Because the Butternut Squash Salad is a leafy salad it doesn’t keep well overnight. Thankfully, you can easily fix that!
Keep the roasted butternut squash and roasted onions in a separate container; then the following day it’s super easy to reheat them.
Also, store the apple, cranberries, and crumbled blue cheese mixture in a second container.
When you are ready to serve the leftovers, take the container with the apple/cranberry mixture and let it rise to room temperature.
In the meantime reheat the roasted butternut squash in a sauté pan for about 5 minutes over medium-low heat. Finally, assemble and serve.
Take a handful (or two) of fresh arugula and combine it with the apple-cheese mixture and roasted squash. Voila, you’ve just served the delicious Butternut Squash Salad again yet again.
How To Jazz Up The Butternut Squash Salad
I’ve served the Roasted Butternut Squash Salad as the main course both for dinner and for lunch.
But more often than not I will quickly make some delicious broiled salmon and serve that with the butternut squash salad.
Additional tips to make the Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
I use both raw and roasted onion in this dish. If you don’t like raw onion, just skip it, the dish will still be delicious. (We happen to like dishes with a variety of textures and this is one way I create those).
Likewise, using raw garlic isn’t necessary if you don’t enjoy garlic (although you might want to give it a try because garlic has got tons of health benefits).
Roasting the Squash
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Chop the butternut into bite-sized pieces (or see if your grocery store sells precut ones). Dice your red onion into medium-sized chunks. Set 1/4 of the red onion aside for later. In a large bowl combine olive oil, salt, and pepper with the butternut squash and onion. Make sure everything is evenly coated.
- Put it the butternut squash and onions in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes or until soft.
Prepping the Cranberries (optional)
- This is completely optional, but I’ve come to enjoy the resulting taste and texture and often do this when my cranberries have become a bit hard.
In a small sauté pan bring a couple of tablespoons of water to a boil, dial the heat back to medium-low and let the cranberries simmer for a few minutes.
Preparing the Salad toppings
- Slicing + Dicing: Take the 1/4 reserved red onion and chop into smaller pieces. Peel and crush your garlic. Dice the apple into small pieces.
- Take a medium bowl or container and combine diced apple, cranberries, crumbled blue cheese, garlic, and onion. Add the juice of one lemon and 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Combine and lightly season with salt and pepper.
Putting it all together
- Take the arugula, add the the apple cheese mixture, heated cranberries and the roasted butternut squash. Combine and serve immediately. Enjoy.