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ROASTED DELICATA SQUASH + CRANBERRY SALAD

Roasted Delicata Squash Salad featuring warm roasted squash & cranberries with candied pecans, red onion and fresh spinach and quinoa, all dressed in a light vinaigrette. It’s super easy, healthy and of course delicious!

top down view of small plate with a serving of healthy roasted delicata squash salad.

This warm, colorful fall salad, full of bright colors, texture and flavor, will be welcome during the cooler months when skies are grey. The colors will brighten your day and the warmth will be comforting!

We’ll be caramelizing delicata squash, toasting maple glazed pecans and cranberries, mixing it all together with fresh greens, red onion with quinoa and a sweet & tangy dressing. It’s a delicious combination!

And don’t throw those seeds away, you can roast them using this recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. I sprinkled mine with a little chipotle powder and mineral salt. They were crunchy, delicious and I ate them all within an hour!

top down view of ingredients used to make delicata squash salad recipe.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious delicata squash salad recipe with a few tips on how to change it up to suit your needs.

  • Delicata squash – Oblong in shape, this small winter squash is easy to work with and roasts up beautifully.
  • Cranberries – Fresh cranberries will be roasted making them plump and juicy. Feel free to use dried cranberries instead, no need to roast them, just add them at the end when mixing the salad.
  • Pecans – For variation, substitute with walnuts, they are sweeter and pair wonderfully with all of the ingredients.
  • Pure maple syrup – Used to candy the nuts and add a touch of sweetness to the cranberries. It’s also used in the dressing.
  • Cinnamon – This warming spice adds a nice hint of warm spice.
  • Red onion – Adds a nice pop of color.
  • Baby leafy greens – Use your favorite baby greens, kale, chard, spinach, arugula, ect.
  • Quinoa – I tossed in quinoa for additional protein and heartiness, wheat berries or farro would work too. A grain is optional.
  • Apple cider vinegar – Adds a nice zing to the dressing.
  • Dijon – Whole grain mustard is great too.

How To Make Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Cranberries

  • Start with roasting the delicata squash, cut ends off, slice in half lengthwise and scrape seeds out with a sharp-edged spoon. Lay the squash cut side down and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Toss with olive oil. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silpat, parchment paper or lightly greased, lay pieces in a single layer and lightly sprinkle with mineral salt. Cook for 40 minutes stirring once or twice.

side by side photos of delicata squash salad dressing and freshly roasted cranberries and pecans.

  • Prep the candied pecans and cranberries: In a medium bowl, toss the nut and cranberries with maple syrup and dash or two of the optional cinnamon. Place mixture on a small rimmed baking sheet that has been lined or lightly greased. Add to the oven with the squash for the first 10 – 15 minutes of baking stirring after 10 minutes. Remove, let the pecans harden.
  • Mix the dressing: In a small bowl whisk together the apple cider vinegar, dijon, maple syrup and oil/water.
  • Assemble Salad: In a large mixing bowl combine the leafy greens, onion, slightly cooled squash, cranberry/nut mixture and dressing, toss well. Add in cooked grain of choice and gently toss again.
  • Serve: Salad can be served warm or at room temperature, can also be served chilled.

And there you have it, a wonderful fall salad made easy and healthy! Recipe will be ready in 40 minutes.

top down view of a large serving bowl filled with roasted delicata squash salad.

How Long Do Leftovers Keep?

Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 – 4 days, in a covered container. It’s also great for meal prep using these multi-use glass containers (affiliate link).

More Recipes You’ll Love

side angle view of roasted delicata squash salad recipe with cranberries and pecans.

If you try this easy roasted salad recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

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ROASTED DELICATA SQUASH + CRANBERRY SALAD

Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with cranberries is light, bright and flavorful! It’s a perfect way to celebrate the fall and winter season.

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 40 min
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 - 6 1x
  • Category: Salad, Side
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 small delicata squash
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • dash of cinnamon, optional
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 oz. baby leafy greens (kale, chard, spinach, arugula)
  • 1 1/22 cups cooked quinoa, wheat berries or farro, optional

Apple Cider Dressing

  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 heaping tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 12 tablespoons water or olive oil

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Squash: Wash delicata squash, cut ends off, slice in half lengthwise and scrape seeds out with a sharp-edged spoon. Lay squash cut side down and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Using a rimmed baking sheet lined with a silpat, parchment paper or lightly greased, lay pieces in a single layer and lightly sprinkle with mineral salt. Cook for 40 minutes stirring once or twice.

Candied Nuts: In a medium bowl, toss the nuts and cranberries with a glug of maple syrup and dash or two of the optional cinnamon. Place mixture on a small rimmed baking sheet that has been lined or lightly greased. Add to the oven with the squash for the first 10 – 15 minutes of baking stirring after 10 minutes. Remove, let the nuts harden.

Vinaigrette: In a small bowl combine the dressing ingredients and mix well.

Assemble: In a large mixing bowl combine the leafy greens, onion, slightly cooled squash, cranberry/nut mixture and dressing, toss well. Add in cooked grain of choice and gently toss again.Season with salt and pepper.

Serve warm or at room temperature, can also be served chilled.

Serves 4 – 6

Store: Leftovers can be stored covered in the refrigerator for 3 – 4 days.

Notes

I used quinoa here adding cinnamon while cooking. My recipe for the quinoa is:

  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 heaping teaspoon cinnamon

In a small saucepan, bring water, quinoa and cinnamon to a boil, cover, reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover and let 10 minutes, fluff with a fork. Use as directed above.

Keep those seeds for roasting, use this recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. It works great with delicata seeds too. They roast up crunchy and make for a great snack!

Substitute pecans with walnuts.

Updated: Roasted Delicata Squash Salad originally published October 2015 and has been updated November 2019 with new photos and helpful tips. The only changes I made to the recipe was to use pecans instead of walnuts, feel free to use your favorite as they both work well.

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11 Comments

  1. Lots of delicata squash at the farmer’s market. Very happy I found this recipe. Excellent!!! Thought it might be too sweet but it was perfect. Thanks. I’m now a big fan of you and your website.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thanks for sharing, David! Tis the season! So glad you enjoyed it. Cheers :)

  2. WOW!

    I was hesitant to buy a delicata squash, despite seeing them everywhere right now. This recipe inspired me to go for it and I am so, so glad that I did! A winter squash that doesn’t have to be peeled and carmelizes better than even the best sweet potato fry!

    And the flavor combo on this salad is decadent! Sweet and savory all in one, and I don’t feel bad because of the healthy heap of greens that goes with it!

    I might just roast the walnuts and cranberries as a in maple syrup as a sweet snack some day.

    So many gifts from this recipe! Thank you!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yay, so glad these worked well for you! Makes my day. Cheers :)

  3. I am always trying new recipes, so it takes a truly special one for me to put it into any sort of regular rotation, and this has officially fallen into that category. I made it last winter and really loved it, and had a sudden flashback, remembering it when I spotted a Delicata Squash at my local coop. Roasting the Cranberries with a bit of maple is truly genius and probably my favorite part of the recipe. I also think the Delicata Squash specifically adds a certain something, but I could see how other varieties would work. I am not a vegan but have dabbled in it and love how ridiculously simple this is to throw together compared with some of the over-complicated vegan recipes I’ve made. Just lovely!

  4. This is the perfect side to bring to Thanksgiving dinner to balance out all the heavier foods.

    It is so easy to make and amazingly delicious.

    Thank you for sharing your creative brilliance :)

  5. Susannah (Lemon and Coconut) says:

    This salad looks simply amazing, I so wish I had one RIGHT NOW, even though it is the middle of the night and I shoould be asleep! Beautiful photos xx

  6. Looks amazing & relish!! Having trouble finding delicata squash. Can you recommend a substitute squash that would work?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Butternut squash would be great! Just about any winter squash will work well here. Enjoy :)

  7. Wow, Thank you for your recipe. It looks so delicious and healthy.

  8. This looks fantastic. I can’t wait to try it!

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