Harvest Salad With Roasted butternut squash and red onion

harvest salad with roasted butternut squash

Caramelized Butternut Squash and Red Onion Wedges tossed with Spiced Pecans, Cranberries, Gorgonzola Cheese and mixed greens is an incredibly delicious harvest salad perfect for fall and winter. This colorful salad, dressed with a sweet and tangy apple cider vinaigrette, makes a healthy side dish or light meal.

This delicious harvest salad features butternut squash or pumpkin and wedges of red onion that have been roasted at high heat until caramelized. Roasting the vegetables concentrates their flavor and sweetness without adding sugar. The colorful salad also includes crunchy spiced pecans, port soaked cranberries, creamy Gorgonzola cheese and mixed greens tossed and drizzled with a sweet and tangy honey apple cider vinaigrette. Easy to prepare and versatile, the harvest salad makes a terrific lunch served with a cup of hot soup and some crusty bread. It can be served as side with almost any main course and it also makes a great dish to take to a potluck supper. If you wish, the salad can be topped with a protein such as thinly sliced chicken breast for a main course salad that everyone at your table will love.

harvest salad with roasted butternut squash and red onion
Harvest Salad With Roasted Butternut Squash And Red Onion Wedges, Spiced Pecans, Port Soaked Cranberries And Gorgonzola Cheese On A Bed Of Baby Arugula And Baby Spinach

Harvest Salad

Roasted Butternut Squash And Red Onion Wedges, Spiced Pecans, Port Soaked Cranberries and Gorgonzola Cheese with Mixed Greens

Serves 6 to 8, adjust the recipe accordingly,

Spiced Pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 1 – 2 tsp. water
  • 1 tsp. five-spice powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 c. pecan halves
  • salt to taste

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, water and all of the spices and stir until the sugar dissolves and bubbles. Add the pecans and cook, stirring, until the nuts are thickly coated, about 3 minutes. Spread evenly on a baking sheet lined with nonstick foil or parchment paper and sprinkle with salt to taste. Place in the oven and bake until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely before removing from the foil. Store in an airtight container if not using right away.

Roasted Butternut Squash And Red Onion Wedges

Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.

  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 1 1/2 lb.) peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 – 1 inch cubes
  • 1 red onion, peeled and cut into 12 wedges (keep the stem end attached so wedges hold together)
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • salt to taste

Line 2 baking pans with nonstick foil or parchment. Place the red onion wedges on one pan and spread the squash on the other, making sure they don’t touch for even and rapid baking. Drizzle the squash and onion wedges with oil, toss to coat then season the vegetables with garlic and onion power, salt and pepper. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. If the vegetables are tender but not caramelized, put under the broiler for a couple of minutes, watching so they don’t burn. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before topping the salad.

Honey Apple Cider Vinaigrette

  • 5 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. honey, more or less
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Can be made ahead and stored in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake until combined when ready to serve.

To Complete The Salad

  • 5 – 8 oz. mixed baby salad greens (I used baby arugula and baby spinach)
  • 1/4 c. dried cranberries, plumped (I warmed them in 1 Tbsp. port wine until plump)
  • 1/4 c. crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Toss greens in a large bowl with just enough vinaigrette to moisten then arrange on a large serving platter. Arrange the squash and red onions on top then sprinkle the salad with the spiced pecans, cranberries and Gorgonzola cheese. Pass extra dressing at the table if you wish. You can prep all the components of the salad in advance and then assemble right before serving.


If you’ve never thought of adding roasted vegetable to a salad, you must give it a try. The flavor and texture combination in this harvest salad is beyond delicious and everyone will love it.

While I originally created this salad thinking it would be great for the holidays, I know that this year most of us are not gathering in large groups for either impromptu dinners, potlucks or holiday parties, but whomever you share your table with, this Harvest Salad would be great. The salad can be prepped early in the day and stored in individual ziplock bags with the dressing on the side. Individual salads can be assembled from the ingredients for a lunch for one or everything assembled for a salad that will easily serve 6 to 8 people. If you are going to take the salad to someone’s home, it is easily transported. The only ingredients that need to be kept cold are the greens and cheese, the rest can be kept at room temperature for several hours. When ready to serve, the greens can be toss and placed on a large serving platter then topped with the other ingredients. Easy to assemble with very little cleanup, the hostess will be happy and I believe everyone will be asking for the recipe…it is a real keeper.

karen (Back Road Journal)

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I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

63 thoughts on “Harvest Salad With Roasted butternut squash and red onion

    1. Thank you Dorothy, I think one of the reasons everyone loved this salad is just what you said…it is pretty and has lots of different tastes and textures in every bit. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  1. This looks so colorful and satisfying! Really nice mix of flavors and textures. We’d be tempted to make this dinner, but it makes a great starter or side too. Very nice — thanks.

    1. Hi Mad Dog, The nuts are delicious and would make a nice paring to add to a cheese board. Yes, because all of the components of the salad can be kept separate until needed, it is easy to make individual salads as needed. That is nice if you want to make lunches for a couple of days at work.

    1. Always happy to share my recipes Bishop, I bet you might still have some of the ingredients growing in your garden. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. 😊 Wouldn’t it be nice if you could Sylvia, although I’d have to make a much bigger salad. Thank you, I’m glad you like the harvest salad.

  2. What a lot of colour on a plate ! A must-copy recipe ere today’s forecast 102 F + temperatures become a common summer feature . . . We Down Under do not use pecans or cranberries as often as you . . . indeed they may be difficult to access for some . . . but am used to substituting 1 This dish really would make a very appetizing side for a simply cooked protein and the individual parts of the offering will certainly be very useful. . . . . meanwhile take care . . .

    1. Hi Eha, I had no idea that anywhere in Australia had forecasts over 100 so early in the season…that is too bad. I’m glad you like the salad and I’m sure you will be able to make substitutions that will still give you a delicious salad. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Kiki, I love salads and this has to be one of the best I’ve had so far. I’m glad it sounds like a good one to you too, thank you. I hope all is well.

    1. What a lovely compliment Jo, thank you very much. It is nice to know that you like the harvest salad, it really is a colorful and delicious one. 😘

  3. This is beautiful, and I know it’s delicious. I love all of the components of it. Perfect for this time of year. I think it will be the two of us for Thanksgiving this year!

    1. Hi Mimi, I’m glad you like the harvest salad, thank you. It was just the two of us for Thanksgiving this year as well but we felt thankful nonetheless.

    1. Hi Jeanie, I’m glad you like the salad, thank you. I know that you didn’t end up having your planned Thanksgiving meal, hopefully you will be feeling better soon..

  4. Karen, this looks amazing right now with the squash and pecans. Fall salads can be tricky because we’ve had a summer of salads and the interest can wane, but this puts some inspiration back on the table!

  5. I’ve never tried to make spiced pecans – glad to have this recipe! I love them roasted. We’ve been roasting a lot of vegetables lately and we’ve discovered that even the skins of butternut squash taste good when roasted! Who knew? We’ve been trying to add more vegetarian meals to our week, and this salad will work nicely! 🙂

    1. Thank you Dana, for your nice compliment. Roasting vegetables really ups their flavor and we thought this salad was a winner…especially with the spiced pecans. Enjoy!

  6. I use vegetable in salad all the time and this looks amazing. I always have to invent new salads as my husband does not like lettuce! Hope all is well, stay safe and have a good week, Diane

    1. My husband is not a big salad eater but he certainly did enjoy this one with the roasted vegetables and nuts. Thank you for your wish and nice comment Diane, stay safe and enjoy your walks.

    1. Thank you for your compliment Jan, this has to be one of the best salads I’ve created…the roasted onions really added so much flavor.

    1. Your comment gave me a big smile Judy. I always make enough for dinners to go…now, if I could only find a way to whisk them up your way. 😘

  7. What a colorful and tasty looking salad. My doctor always says a colorful plate is a healthy plate. We don’t see pecans here but, we get lots of walnuts so I’ll try that. Thanks for the well planned and thought-out post…

  8. This sounds delicious Karen. I would have to leave out the cheese, but am happy for suggestions for using butternut as I had a good harvest this summer. 😃 I especially like the sound of port soaked cranberries… 😉 I will have to hunt around a bit for pecans, but am sure I will find some somewhere. Thank you!

  9. This looks so wonderful to me that I wish I could make it tonight! But I have the ingredients, and tomorrow will have to do. I absolutely can’t wait to make this, Karen. Delicious!

  10. One can never have too many salad recipes. I like the combination butternut squash and Gorgonzola cheese.

  11. I’d have to make the spiced pecans last otherwise they would be gone by the time I was ready to put them on the salad. Great combination of ingredients for a beautiful fall salad. YAY – it’s butternut squash season!

  12. Beautiful salad! I love the 5 spice pecans and the honey vinaigrette sounds delightful. I agree, this is hearty. My daughter is a vegetarian, so I like to have extra filling sides during the holiday season. Trying this. Thank you!

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