Roasted Butternut Squash Spinach Salad features lentils, pumpkin seeds, and a Dijon mustard dressing. This vegan and gluten-free salad is perfect as a starter or light meal.
Nothing says autumn to me like butternut squash.
Well, maybe Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte is the official start of the fall season, but butternut squash is a close second.
I love that it’s easy to prepare, tastes delicious, and has a beautiful color.
Roasting it is my favorite way to enjoy it.
But when I want the vibrant orange veggie to be the star of the show, a Butternut Squash Vegan Buddha Bowl does the trick.
And for a light meal or elegant starter, you can’t beat this Roasted Butternut Squash Spinach Salad.
Besides tasting great, butternut squash is very nutritious.
This winter squash is high in dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium.
And one cup only contains 63 calories.
It has a sweet taste similar to pumpkin, so it’s perfect for holiday dishes.
Roasted Butternut Squash Spinach Salad is easy to prepare and can be made in advance.
Plus there are several shortcuts you can take to save time.
I started with a whole butternut squash and peeled it and cut it into cubes.
The method I like to use is outlined here.
However, these days you can purchase pre-cut cubes of winter squash at almost any grocery store.
I usually take advantage of this when I’m cooking a lot of dishes for a crowd.
And the same goes for the spinach and lentils.
I like to buy pre-washed baby spinach that’s ready to go.
In addition, you can use a can of lentils for this recipe instead of cooking them yourself, if you like.
You’ll need about 1 1/2 cups of cooked lentils, so if you want to make them yourself, start with 3/4 cup dried.
When making this salad in advance, I like to keep the components in separate containers, then combine them when ready to serve before tossing everything with the Dijon Mustard Salad Dressing.
Or you can serve the dressing on the side and allow your guests to add as much as they want.
Enjoy Roasted Butternut Squash Spinach Salad for lunch or as a first course.
I love it when I want a light meal because it’s so nutritious and full of protein and fiber.
And it’s really a showstopper when you’re entertaining.
You could even serve it with something simple like Spaghetti with Garlic and Olive Oil since the salad has so much flavor.
Plus it’s perfect for a holiday potluck.
Everyone will want to try it, and you’ll have a satisfying meal even if there’s nothing else you want to eat at the party.
Now let’s make Roasted Butternut Squash Spinach Salad!
Roasted Butternut Squash Spinach Salad
For the salad:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Toss the cubes of butternut squash in the tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 20-30 minutes, tossing half way through, until soft and lightly browned.
- Meanwhile, add the salad dressing ingredients to a small jar. Shake until well combined.
- To assemble each salad, divide the spinach among 4 large bowls. Top each with lentils, the roasted butternut squash, and pumpkin seeds. Serve the the dressing and enjoy.