Roasted Butternut Squash Salad is everything a salad should be: flavorful, salty and sweet! Herb roasted butternut squash, salty, crispy prosciutto, tangy blue cheese, pumpkin seeds and sweet, dried cranberries are tossed together with a homemade apple cider vinaigrette. Take your salad game o the next level with this comforting, Fall salad!
Let’s Talk Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is naturally sweet and the perfect star of this dish. There are a couple options when it comes to butternut squash: freshly chopped or pre-cut! I know that chopping up a butternut squash can seem like a daunting task. If doing so, use a vegetable peeler to peel the skin, cut the squash in half and then go from there. It will be much easier to continue to cut and chop into 1-inch pieces from there.
Another option is buying pre-cut butternut squash at the grocery store. I would say that most grocery stores carry pre-cut butternut squash these days and it’s so handy! Definitely saves time if that is what you are going for.
Roasting the butternut squash really brings out the flavor. Toss the pieces with olive oil, seasonings and dried herbs and roast the squash for about 20 minutes. The end result: perfectly roasted squash that is nice and herby!
If you haven’t tried prosciutto, now is the time! It is wonderfully salty and has bacon-like flavor without having all the grease and fat. Prosciutto is also very thin, which means it is going to crisp up quickly and nicely! After the butternut squash has roasted for about 20 minutes, simply lay the prosciutto pieces over the top of the squash and pop the pan back into the oven for another 10 minutes or so, or until the prosciutto is nice and crispy. Crumbled over the salad, it is the perfect salty, crispy element!
If you are using bacon instead of the prosciutto, I would cook it separately as it does give off quite a bit of grease. Cook it until nice and crispy and then crumble it over the salad.
Besides the roasted butternut squash and the crispy prosciutto, there are several other toppings that help bring this salad to life!
- Dried cranberries – perfectly sweet! Plus, they add such a fun pop of color.
- Blue cheese – creamy, salty and that slight tang that is hard to beat! If you are not a fan of blue cheese, feta cheese can be used instead.
- Pumpkin seeds – I love all the salty things, so I prefer the roasted and salted pumpkin seeds vs. the plain ones. But get what your heart desires! Other nuts that can be used are pecans, walnuts or almonds.
Apple Cider Dressing
Now, it may sound weird to put apple cider in a dressing but it’s SO good! Just make sure that when you are picking out the apple cider in the grocery store to not get an overly-spiced version. This would be a great option!
Whisk together the apple cider with Dijon mustard, olive oil, honey and a bit of apple cider vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper and you are set to go! Making a homemade dressing is 100% worth it. And more simple than you think!
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