Roasted Acorn Squash Salad with Pecan Vinaigrette

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Post sponsored by The American Pecan Council. See below for more details.

Fall is an amazing time for salads. The crisp airs makes for the best greens and once you have that, it’s hard to go wrong with what you add into a salad. This acorn squash salad is quite possibly the best combination of all the fall flavors: roasted squash, warm grains, and a perfect pecan vinaigrette. Add to that a bit of goat cheese and shallots- you have one delicious and filling salad.

I recommend making larger batch of the pecan vinaigrette and use it throughout the week. The buttery flavor of the pecans paired with a zip of the vinegar is not only perfect on salads but also for drizzling over squash halves (as a beautiful side), on sweet potatoes, or even used on a grilled cheese sandwich (an apple grilled cheese sandwich with a bit of this dressing is amazing!) Plus, the addition of pecans can really bump up the protein/fiber in any meal.

Roasted Acorn Squash Salad with Pecan Vinaigrette

Roasted Acorn Squash Salad with Pecan Vinaigrette | Naturally Ella

This hearty fall salad combines the flavors of roasted squash, creamy goat cheese, warm farro, and an easy pecan vinaigrette to make a power-lunch salad.

Ingredients

Squash

  • 1 small acorn squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or pecan oil, if available)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Salad

  • 3 to 4 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked farro
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 ounces crumbled goat cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425˚F. Slice a small part of one of the sides of the squash to create a base. Trim the ends from the squash, cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the sides. Place the cut-sides down and cut the squash into ¼” thick slices. Place on a sheet tray and toss with olive oil and salt. Roast until the squash and peels are tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
  • While the squash is roasting, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the pecans and toast, shaking the pan, until the nuts are fragrant. Transfer to 1/3 cup of the pecans bowl to a bowl and save the remaining pecans to use as a topping. Add the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, and salt while the nuts are still warm. Stir vigorously and set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine the spinach, cooked farro, shallot, half the squash, and half the dressing. Toss to combine the salad then lay the remaining squash on top of the salad. Drizzle with remaining dressing and sprinkle with goat cheese and remaining toasted pecans before serving.

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Recipe Notes

Tips & Tricks: Acorn squash skin is edible but needs to be roasted long enough to make it tender. If you’re unsure, switch to using delicata squash or butternut squash (without the skin).

Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: pecans, acorn squash, farro

Nutrition:  see the information.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 375 Calories from fat
% Daily Value
Total Fat 25 38%
Saturated Fat 3.9 20%
Cholesterol 3.3 1%
Sodium 282 12%
Carbohydrate 34.9 12%
Dietary Fiber 5.4 22%
Sugars 4.6
Protein 7.2

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g

Step by Step

Roasted Acorn Squash Salad

variations

This acorn squash salad is my quintessential fall salad- the squash and pecans are a lovely, warm combination. There are some changes you can easily make, depending on what you might have on hand. Another version I love is to use kale and oat groats in place of the spinach/farro.

Grains: This salad is wonderful with the hearty grains like farro or spelt. For gluten-free options use sorghum or oat groats- the texture of the grains helps balance the roasted squash.

Vegan: Toss out the cheese and leave the rest of the salad as is.

Greens: This salad is wonderful with spinach but the ingredients also hold up well with kale. Use whichever greens you have on hand and work best for you.

Roasted Acorn Squash Salad with Pecan Vinaigrette and Goat Cheese | Naturally Ella

Disclosure: This recipe was created in partnership with The American Pecan Council. All thoughts and opinions are my own. It’s content like this that helps me keep this site running to provide the vegetarian recipes you see every week.

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