Our butternut squash salad is simple in ingredients yet rich in flavor and texture. Fresh arugula and red lettuce are assembled as a base for the butternut squash and other toppings to shine. They are finished off with a drizzle of balsamic dressing. It’s tangy, nutty, and delicious.
Why not give this healthy salad a try?
What Does Butternut Squash Taste Like?
Butternut squash belongs to the winter squash family. The sweetness and nutty flavor of this vegetable are more pronounced than its cousins such as pumpkin or acorn squash. For some people, butternut squash tastes a bit like sweet potato, or even butterscotch (brown sugar and butter).
Is Butternut Squash Salad Healthy?
Yes, it is. Our butternut squash salad is loaded with nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.
Butternut squash is a fibrous and low-calorie ingredient perfect for those who are on a diet. A portion of 3.5 oz consists of only 45 calories and up to 2 g of fiber.
Approximately 10631 IU of vitamin A can be extracted from 3.5 oz butternut squash, which is higher than that of fresh tomatoes. A high intake of vitamin A can help improve eyesight and strengthen the immune system.
Our salad recipe yields 186 calories per serving, which is a very reasonable number for a nutritious and delectable dish.
Let’s take a closer look at what goes into our butternut squash salad.
Ingredients for This Salad
Our chefs have kept the ingredient list straightforward. With a quick ride to your nearest grocery store, you will find everything you need.
- Butternut squash: The orange-yellowish color of butternut squash adds a rustic vibe to our salad. Roasted squash also gives off an intense sweetness which works excellently with the tanginess of the balsamic vinaigrette.
- Arugula: The spicy kick and slightly bitter aftertaste of fresh arugula may seem intimidating at first. However, once combined with the other ingredients, that bitterness will take a back seat. You will only be left with deliciously warm peppery notes while still being able to enjoy the extra nutrients.
- Red lettuce: Red lettuce with its crunchy texture and subtle notes of hazelnut give more layers to our dish.
- Dried cranberries: Dried cranberries are bright, tart, and sweet. They are a great non-fat option for a salad topping. If, for any reason, you don’t have dried cranberries ready in your pantry, you can opt for raisins or dried blueberries instead.
- Balsamic vinaigrette dressing: Balsamic vinegar may be a little more expensive than other vinegars but it’s worth every penny. Its complex sweetness and slight smokiness compliment the buttery flavor of roasted squash. A quick drizzle of this dressing is enough to complete today’s crowd-pleasing dish.
How to Peel and Cut Butternut Squash for Salad
Raw butternut squash can be daunting to prep due to its bell-like shape, thickness, and density. However, with the proper tools (a large sharp knife, a peeler, a cutting board, and a metal spoon) and a few simple steps, you will be able to complete this task in no time.
Here are step-by-step instructions on how to prepare your butternut squash:
- Rinse your squash in cool water. Using a vegetable brush, gently scrub off any soil left on the rind. Dry the squash with a clean cloth or paper towel.
- Stabilize your squash on the cutting board. Using a sharpened knife, cut off 1/4 inch from the bottom and 1/4 inch from the stem end of the squash.
- Hold the squash standing upright and start to peel it in downward strokes with a peeler.
- Make a clear cut from the top to the bottom of the squash to split it in half.
- Use a metal spoon to scoop out the seeds and the stringy pulp from each half. (You can save the seeds and roast them later for a healthy snack)
- Lay the slices down and start cubing them by making lengthwise and crosswise cuts.
How to Store Leftovers
Here are three simple steps to storing your leftovers:
- Divide leftover salad into portions and place them in airtight containers.
- Put a label and date on each container to keep track of the storage time.
- Refrigerate to keep them fresh for 3-5 days.
How to Make Butternut Squash Salad
- 20 oz butternut squash cubed
- 2 oz arugula
- 1 oz red lettuce
- 2 tbsp parsley minced
- 0.5 oz squash seeds
- 0.5 oz dried cranberries
- 0.5 oz shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- In a large mixing bowl, add 20 oz cubed butternut squash, 2 tbsp minced parsley, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Mix with a spoon until the chunks of butternut squash are evenly coated in the seasonings.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a large sheet pan with parchment paper. Spread the seasoned butternut squash chunks onto the sheet pan. Roast them for 17 minutes.
- Remove the butternut squash from the oven. Set aside to cool.
- Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp honey, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar.
- With 2 oz arugula and 1 oz red lettuce, make a bed of greens on a salad plate.
- Layer 20z roasted cubed butternut squash, 0.5 oz shredded parmesan cheese, 0.5 oz dried cranberries, and 0.5 oz squash seeds on top of the plate.
- Drizzle the dressing all over. Toss well. Enjoy.