squash apple salad in large wooden bowl topped with tahini apple cider vinaigrette

Roasted Squash Apple Salad with Tahini Apple Cider Vinaigrette

This roasted squash apple salad with tahini apple cider vinaigrette is delicious and versatile. Perfect for Thanksgiving dinner or a weekday lunch!

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squash apple salad ingredients in bowl divided into wedges

This Roasted Squash Apple Salad with Tahini Apple Cider Vinaigrette is the culmination of all your autumn dreams. It packs in plenty of fall flavors and is versatile enough to serve as a side or as a main meal. It’s especially perfect as an actually delicious veggie option for your Thanksgiving dinner. Trust me when I say your guests will be obsessed.

squash apple salad in large wooden bowl

Roasted Squash Apple Salad Ingredients

Roasted Squash of Choice: I have tested this salad with multiple winter squash varieties and whichever one you fancy will work great! I love delicata or acorn squash because I’m lazy and hate peeling butternut squash, but they’re all totally delish. To roast, you’ll preheat the oven to 400° F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Toss the squash in olive oil and sea salt and spread out on sheet pan, making sure no pieces are touching. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until your squash is tender and golden brown at the edges.

Mixed Greens: Arugula is my favorite for some subtle spice, but any green works here!

Apples: Any apple works! I love Honeycrisp or Pink Lady personally, but Granny Smith would be great for some extra tang.

Pomegranate Seeds: Again, I’m lazy, so I almost always buy the pre-packaged seeds. They’re great and they save so much time.

Goat Cheese: For umami and tang. You could also use feta or plant-based feta. Definitely opt for the fresh goat cheese log rather than the powdery crumbles if possible.

Pecans: You’re gonna toss them in some maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt and transfer to a medium frying pan to sauté for 5-8 minutes.

zoomed in shot of salad ingredients in large bowl to show texture

Tahini Apple Cider Vinaigrette Ingredients

Tahini: This sesame seed paste, commonly used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, is a favorite of mine for all kinds of sweet and savory dishes. I prefer to buy mine at my International Grocery Store, but Trader Joe’s has a good one too.

Olive Oil: To make this a true vinaigrette. Olive oil also helps with making sure the dressing emulsifies.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Opt for the raw unfiltered stuff “with the mother” as it’s the highest quality available and also the most nutritious.

Maple Syrup. Just a splash to sweeten things up a bit.

Dijon Mustard: For a little spicy tang. The absolute best Dijon is from Trader Joe’s!

Garlic: I mean what’s a vinaigrette without garlic?

Salt and Pepper: To finish everything off.

Water: As needed to thin the dressing.

salad in a large wooden bowl drizzled with vinaigrette

Make This Squash Apple Salad a Meal!

The recipe as written is perfect as a Thanksgiving side dish, but you may be looking to make this a complete meal. Don’t worry, I gotchu!

  • Add a grain! Quinoa, farro, couscous, or even freekeh would be delightful!
  • More protein: throw some chicken or salmon on top for some protein.
  • Plant-based options: toss the salad with a drained and rinsed can of chickpea or white beans to up the plant power of this salad!

If you make this roasted squash apple salad with tahini apple cider vinaigrette, be sure to leave a rating and review! This encourages others to give it a try. You can also find me on Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok. I love hearing from you!

More Epic Thanksgiving Sides

squash apple salad in large wooden bowl
squash apple salad in large wooden bowl

Squash Apple Salad with Tahini Apple Cider Vinaigrette

This roasted squash apple salad with tahini apple cider vinaigrette is delicious and versatile. Perfect for Thanksgiving dinner or a weekday lunch!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Blender or Food Processor (Optional)

Ingredients
  

The Roasted Squash:

  • 2 cups winter squash (butternut, delicata, acorn, etc.) de-seeded and cubed (make sure to peel as well if using butternut squash!)
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Maple Pecans:

  • ½ cup raw pecans (see notes for nut-free option)
  • ½ tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt

Tahini Apple Cider Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (honey works too)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic peeled and minced
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup filtered water to thin as needed

The Rest of the Salad:

  • 1 5-oz container arugula or other mixed greens
  • 1 large apple (I love honeycrisp or pink lady!) cored and diced
  • cup pomegranate seeds
  • ½ cup goat cheese crumbles (see notes for vegan option)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400° F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Toss the squash in olive oil and sea salt and spread out on sheet pan, making sure no pieces are touching. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until your squash is tender and golden brown at the edges.
  • While your squash is roasting, make your pecans! Mix the pecans, maple syrup, cinnamon, and sea salt in a small bowl before transferring to a medium frying pan over medium heat and sautéing for 5-8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Next, make your dressing. Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute to ensure everything is well-combined and emulsified. Alternatively, you could place all ingredients in a mason jar with lid tightly shut and shake until all ingredients are well-combined.
  • Assemble your salad! Put arugula, roasted squash, apples, pomegranate seeds, and goat cheese in a large bowl and toss to combine. Portion into four bowls and top with dressing and maple pecans.

Notes

Storage: Salad should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Dressing will last in refrigerator in airtight container for up to a week. Maple pecans should be stored separately in an airtight container at room temperature. 
To Make Vegan/Dairy-Free: Substitute plant-based feta for goat cheese or omit.
To Make Nut-Free: Replace pecans with pumpkin seeds. They will still taste sweet, salty, and delicious!
Keyword acorn squash, apple cider vinaigrette, apple cider vinegar, apple salad, apples, butternut squash, delicata squash, gluten free, healthy, nut-free, pecans, pomegranate seeds, tahini, vegan, vegetarian

Photography by Hope Agresti

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