Tossed with a fresh homemade lemon vinaigrette, this delicious Roasted Pumpkin Salad features honeyed walnuts and pumpkin seeds, creamy goat cheese, tart pomegranate jewels, and fresh mint. This is a perfect salad for fall and winter days when you want something healthy, but quick.
Quick & Easy Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Goat Cheese Recipe
This roasted pumpkin salad recipe proves that salads aren’t just for the summer. They also don’t have to be boring! In fact, this fall salad has the perfect combination of richness, sweetness, and tartness. Every bite is a flavor explosion and your taste buds will sing.
If you’re looking for another reason to love this roasted squash salad, it comes together in under an hour. This versatility makes it an excellent weeknight dinner or a side dish for a large family get-together. Either way, don’t expect too many leftovers!
This recipe is also very easy to adapt. Butternut squash or pumpkin makes for a perfect base, and you can pick and choose your favorite salad toppings. If you have a nut allergy, skip the walnuts and add more pumpkin seeds. Love more crunch? Double up the honeyed nut and seed mixture.
No matter what, this roasted pumpkin salad will become a new fall favorite in your house.
The Health Benefits of Pumpkin
When we think about pumpkins, most of us invoke Halloween and pumpkin pie. But, pumpkin is an incredible nutrient-packed ingredient that you can use for so much more!
Pumpkin and all winter squashes are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Even better, it’s a low-calorie high-fiber food, which means you’ll feel full longer.
What You’ll Need
Let’s discuss exactly what you’ll need for each component of this salad. The amounts are included in the recipe card beneath this post.
For the Dressing
- Olive Oil: A good extra virgin olive oil is amazing for this dressing
- Lemon: You’ll want to use both the lemon juice and the lemon zest
- Salt and Pepper: To taste
For the Salad
- Butternut Squash
- Olive Oil
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Mint Leaves: Fresh is ideal for this recipe
- Pomegranate Seeds:
- Goat Cheese
How to Make Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Goat Cheese
- Heat the Oven. Preheat the Oven to 350 Degrees F
- Dice the Butternut Squash. Peel the butternut squash, cut off the ends, and slice it in half length-wise. You can now remove all the seeds with a large spoon. Dice the squash into bite-sized cubes and place in a bowl. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and mix until all the pieces are evenly coated.
- Cook the Butternut Squash Cubes. Arrange the butternut squash on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the cubes with kosher salt. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the squash is tender, golden, and easily pierced with a fork.
- Prepare the Walnuts and Pumpkin Seeds. While the pumpkin is baking, add the walnuts, pumpkin seeds, honey, and sea salt to a small bowl. Stir everything together until the nuts and seeds are evenly coated.
- Carmelize the Walnuts and Pumpkin Seeds. Heat a small saucepan over low heat and add the walnut and pumpkin seed mixture. Stir constantly until the honey begins to bubble. This should take about two minutes.
- Cool the Walnuts and Pumpkin Seeds. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Spoon out the nut and seed mixutre onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to harden and cool.
- Make the Dressing. In a small bowl or measuring cup, add extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest, and fresh lemon juice. Whisk all the ingredients together until emulsified, adding salt and pepper to taste at the end.
- Arrange the Salad. Arrange the roasted butternut squash on a serving plate. Top with mint leaves, goat cheese, honeyed nut and seed mix, and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle the dressing over the top, toss, and serve.
Tips for Success
Review these helpful recipe tips to make sure your roasted pumpkin salad with goat cheese exceeds your highest expectations.
- Prepare the Dressing and Honeyed Nuts in Advance. If you’re feeling a little crunched for time, you can get a head start on this salad. Make the lemon vinaigrette a day ahead and refrigerate it in an airtight jar. I love using small pint mason jars for this. You can also cook your honeyed nuts and pumpkin seeds the day before. Let them cool completely and store them in an airtight container on the counter. Do not refrigerate or they’ll get soft.
- Serve the Dressing and Toppings on the Side: If you’re expecting leftovers, I recommend serving the lemon vinaigrette, honeyed nuts, and pomegranate jewels on the side. You won’t wind up with the beautiful fall salad plate we feature above, but your leftovers will keep better this way.
This roasted pumpkin salad is an extremely versatile recipe. Feel free to switch things up with the variations of your choice!
- Swap Out the Goat Cheese for Gorgonzola or Mascarpone
- Add Different Nuts and/or Seeds to the Honeyed Nut Mixture
- Add Lettuce Greens Like Arugula or Spinach
You can definitely use this roasted pumpkin salad with goat cheese as a main dish. But if you’d rather make this a side dish and pair it was a delicious main, check out these options.
- Pair With Pork Chops. I think pork will stand up nicely to this fall salad with goat cheese. Pan Seared Pork Chops with Fig Sauce or Balsamic Roasted Pork Chops both sound like amazing options.
- Grilled Chicken. This Maple Mustard Grilled Chicken would pair really nicely with the fall flavors of this recipe.
- Roasted Chicken or Turkey. If you’re looking for a great holiday side, this roasted squash salad with goat cheese would be perfect next to a whole roasted bird. This Honey Roasted Chicken with Lemon is an ideal match.
Leftover roasted pumpkin salad should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to 3 days.
For best results, keep the dressing separate so the squash doesn’t get soggy. Keep the honeyed nuts and seeds in an airtight container on the counter to avoid them getting soft in the fridge.
More Great Fall Salad Ideas
- Goat Cheese Roasted Beet
- Healthy Potato Salad with Ginger Sesame Vinaigrette
- Braised Radishes with Shallots and Goat Cheese
Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Goat Cheese
For the Lemon Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon zest from an organic lemon
- juice from an organic lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Roasted Pumpkin Salad
- 1/2 butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cubed
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil more if needed
- kosher salt sprinkle
- 3/4 cup walnuts
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
For the Toppings
- 1/2 cup mint leaves
- pomegranate jewels from one pomegranate
- 3 oz goat cheese crumbled
For the Roasted Pumpkin Salad
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Dice the squash into bite-size cubes and place them in a bowl. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
- Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and sprinkle with salt.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until tender, golden, and easily pierced with a fork.
- While the squash is baking, add walnuts, pumpkin seeds, honey, and sea salt to a small bowl and toss to coat evenly.
- Heat a small saucepan over low heat and add walnut mix. Stir and toast until honey begins to bubble. About 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat then spoon out nuts and seeds onto a clean sheet of baking paper to harden and cool.
For the Dressing
- In a small bowl add 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and whisk to combine.
Assemble the Salad
- Arrange roasted squash on a serving plate, and top with mint leaves, goat cheese, honeyed walnuts, pumpkin seed mix, and pomegranate jewels.
- Drizzle dressing over top, toss and serve.