butternut squash salad with warm cider vinaigrette

Forget about any other food near your plate, you’ll want this butternut squash salad to be your only focus! You can add some grilled chicken or salmon and eat this for your main meal. Or, it makes a fantastic side salad, especially around the holidays.

Think beautifully caramelized butternut squash with the perfect amount of black pepper which complements the sweetness. Add crunchy, salty nuts and sweet, tart dried cranberries over greens. Finally, drizzle a warm, apple-spiced vinaigrette over top and it really is, GAME OVER!

how to make butternut squash salad

First, caramelize the butternut squash and I have to tell you, I tried something new this year and it was FANTASTIC!

In the past I’ve added maple syrup to the squash before roasting. This time, I wanted to cut down on the sugar/calories so I used Swerve brown (Erythritol), olive oil, salt and pepper and it was amazing!

I have left overs from experimenting so I’ve thrown this darn butternut squash in everything: omelets, risotto, you name it!

close shot of autumn salad with butternut squash and pecans

You can choose to caramelize the pecans or walnuts too. Simply add them to the butternut squash for the last couple of minutes. Just be careful – they won’t need a lot of time.

Another option is to add the nuts to a saute pan on the stove top and turn heat on to low-medium. They won’t take long to toast – watch carefully.

Lastly, you can simply add them raw to the salad.

warm cider vinaigrette

Butternut squash with warm cider vinaigrette is the perfect pairing. While the butternut squash is cooking, you can make the vinaigrette.

Place apple juice, cider vinegar and minced shallots in a small saucepan and cook in medium-high heat for 10-13 minutes until it is reduced to 1/4 cup.

Once it’s finished, whisk in the dijon mustard, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

close shot of autumn salad with butternut squash and pecans

assembling the butternut squash salad

Assemble the salad by adding mixed greens, butternut squash, nuts and dried cranberries to a bowls. Pour vinaigrette over top. Garnish with shaved parmesan or black ground pepper.

additions to butternut squash salad

This salad is fantastic on it’s own however you could jazz it up even more by adding feta or blue cheese crumbles, thinly sliced granny smith apples, crispy chickpeas or roasted peppers.

how long will butternut squash salad last?

Unfortunately, once you dress the salad, it’s pretty much finished. It will be too soggy to eat after it’s stored. If you think you’ll have leftovers and want to store it (you won’t want to waste ANY!!!), don’t dress the main salad if it’s in one big bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over individual salads. Undressed, the salad will last 1 or 2 days in the fridge.

what to serve with butternut squash salad

You can eat this as your main meal and add a protein (grilled chicken, salmon, shrimp, white fish) and pair with a nice veggie soup like roasted cauliflower soup or vegan broccoli soup.

For dessert, check out my soft pumpkin cookies with cranberries, cinnamon apple cake {low carb} or healthy pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting!

close shot of autumn salad with butternut squash, cranberries pecans

butternut squash salad with warm cider vinaigrette

  • Author: Karen
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 35-40 mins
  • Yield: 5 1x


Roasted caramelized butternut squash, toasted pecans, sweet dried cranberries over mixed field greens topped with a warm spice apple cider vinaigrette. Pure deliciousness. 



  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Swerve Brown (you can substitute with maple syrup, brown sugar or coconut sugar)*
  • 2 teaspoon Kosher salt – divided
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely grounded – divided
  • 3 tablespoon dried cranberries (or raisins)
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • 68 cups baby arugula or mixed greens
  • 1/2 cup pecans or walnut halves, toasted
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 °F degrees.
  2. Mix Swerve brown, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1-teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a small cup.
  3. Place the butternut squash on a baking pan. Pour the Swerve and olive oil mixture over it. Using your clean hands, toss it to ensure that all the butternut squash is coated with it.
  4. Place it in the oven and roast it for 20 minutes. Half way through, using a spatula, turn the butternut squash to make sure it roasts evenly.
  5. While that’s cooking, you can make the vinaigrette. Place apple juice, cider vinegar and minced shallots in a small saucepan and cook in medium-high heat for 10-13 minutes until it is reduced to 1/4 cup.
  6. Once ready, off the heat, whisk in the Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon.
  7. Place the salad greens (or arugula) in a large salad bowl. Add the roasted butter squash and dried cranberries.
  8. Drizzle it with the vinaigrette. Give it a big toss. Taste and season it with salt and pepper, if necessary.
  9. Top it off with toasted walnuts or pecans and grated Parmesan cheese.


Keywords: autumn salad, butternut squash salad, roasted butternut squash salad


  1. Awesome winter salad!!

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