This Mediterranean Roasted Butternut Squash Salad might just be THE salad to prove that salads don't have to be boring. Roasted chunks of lightly seasoned butternut squash, paired with olives and sun-dried tomato and shavings of cheese in a flavour packed salad that is perfect for lunch, dinner, or batch cooked for a BBQ side.
Oh hello delicious salad! We are obsessed with this salad at the moment and roasted butternut squash in general. This colourful and vibrant salad is a lovely mixture of texture of creamy and crunchy.
A little saltiness from the olives and extra sweetness from the sun-dried tomatoes and you have a salad that has a little bit of everything.
Why you will love it
- A salad that even non salad lovers will enjoy
- A new way to enjoy butternut squash
- A great way to use up some leftover butternut squash
- Just 280 calories a portion
- A lovely winter salad
- Butternut Squash - this really is the star of the salad and it gets lovely and crispy. You could swap it for sweet potato if you prefer.
- Olive oil - you could use sunflower or vegetable oil instead.
- Dried oregano and parsley - if you don't have these dried herbs, you could use others like marjoram or basil.
- Cumin and garlic powder - this adds lots of flavour, but really you could use any spice mix like Cajun or Fajita.
- Lettuce - we used a mixture or spinach, rocket and watercress, however any combination will work. Kale would add a nice iron boost and romaine would give it some crunch.
- Lemon - this adds a nice freshness to the salad.
- Olives - why not add a bit of spice to the salad by using chilli olives.
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Hard cheese - something like parmesan works well. Or you could grill some halloumi and use that. The creaminess will go really well with the butternut squash.
- Balsamic vinegar
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
One: Chop the butternut squash into 2cm cubes.
Two: Put the cubed squash into a bowl and mix with the oil, herbs, spices and salt and pepper.
Three: Put on a baking tray and spread out.
Four: Roast in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 for 30 minutes.
Five: Put the salad leaves in a bowl and dress with the lemon juice.
Six: Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and top with the roasted butternut squash, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and cheese.
Do you have to roast the butternut squash?
I never used to be a huge fan of butternut squash. Well, I am stubborn and I refuse to accept that there is a vegetable that I don't like. So, I challenged myself to come up with ways that I could enjoy it and of course the best way to do that is to roast it in lots of herbs and spices. Herbs and spices change everything!
Roasting it really brings out the sweetness, and makes it nice and soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. It really is butternut squash perfection, and only takes about 25-30 minutes.
Butternut squash is a really good value vegetable, which is another reason why I wanted to like it so badly. We can roast up a batch at the beginning of the week and then use it in tacos, salads or throw it in to pasta dishes. I have a butternut squash lasagna recipe coming soon too.
How to chop a butternut squash
I know they look a bit intimidating, especially if you have not chopped one up before, but it is actually pretty easy. First you want to chop off the top and bottom ends of the squash, so that both ends are flat.
Slice it in half around the middle and using a heavy duty peeler or knife, peel off the skin in downwards strokes. You want to peel until you see orange flesh (no green lines left).
Once you have peeled both halves, slice the flatter half in two to reveal the seeds. Take a spoon and scoop out the seeds (keep them to roast too - great as a snack). Chop the butternut squash in to cubes.
For a full tutorial, see this comprehensive guide on How To Peel and Cut A Butternut Squash.
What toppings to use?
Sun-dried tomatoes and olives really add to the Mediterranean feel of this salad, and the parmesan adds some creaminess that pairs beautifully with the creaminess of the butternut squash.
Other topping options include some pomegranate to add lots of colour and flavour, without adding a lot of calories. If you want to add some crunch, then some pine nuts of flaked almonds are are good choice. Make it a more filling salad by stirring in some cooked wild rice.
Can you add extra protein to this salad?
There are lots of options to add extra protein here. A delicious vegetarian way to do this is to add some Roasted Chickpeas. It's also a great way to use up leftover Slow Cooker Whole Chicken.
What to serve butternut squash salad with?
This salad has enough going on that it can be the main dish. However, it also goes well with lots of other things too. Add it on the table at any BBQ and you will have very happy guests. We also like to do something a little bit different for our Sunday lunch and serve this with a roasted leg of lamb and couscous.
This butternut squash salad also goes well with grilled chicken, steak or even just some extra roasted vegetables. It's a super versatile salad. Why not try it with one of these recipes:
You know how important I think a salad dressing is - it really can make or break the salad. We wanted to bring the sweetness of the butternut squash out even more, so we used a balsamic based dressing.
The perfect mixture of good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar, with a little honey and Dijon mustard. It's subtle, but full of flavour.
A salad isn't necessarily healthy, as it's easy to load it with calorie packed toppings and dressings. However, it is a good opportunity to have a nutrient dense meal, and that is what we have tried to do with this roasted butternut squash salad.
Try to make sure that you have a good mix of salad greens in the base. We went with rocket, spinach and lambs lettuce, as there is lots of different flavours and they are iron rich.
Butternut squash is a good source of vitamins A, B, C and E, as well as being a good source of fibre, calcium, magnesium and zinc. Three tablespoons of cooked butternut squash also counts as one of your five-a-day.
We used a balsamic based dressing, rather than a creamy one and this saves some calories and fat.
• We used a mixture of baby gem, rocket (arugula) and watercress as the base of this salad, but you could add spinach and kale for an added vitamin boost.
• If you want some added crunch on your salad, then a sprinkling of pine nuts or chopped pecans would work well.
• Serve with roasted leg of lamb, grilled chicken or steak.
• You can roast the butternut squash in advance and then build the salad when you are ready to eat it.
More butternut squash recipes
If you’ve tried this Butternut Squash Salad, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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Mediterranean Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
- 400 g (3 cups) Butternut squash - cubed
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil - for the squash
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil - for the salad dressing
- 1 teaspoon Dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon Dried rosemary
- 0.5 teaspoon Cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- 300 g (4 cups) Mixed lettuce leaves
- 1 Lemon - (juice only)
- 10 Olives
- 6 Sun-dried tomatoes - chopped
- 30 g (1 oz) Hard cheese - shaved
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
- Chop 400 g Butternut squash into 2cm cubes.
- Put the cubed squash into a bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon Olive oil, 1 teaspoon Dried oregano, 1 teaspoon Dried rosemary, 0.5 teaspoon Cumin, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper.
- Put on a baking tray and spread out.Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Put 300 g Mixed lettuce leaves into a bowl and dress with the juice of 1 Lemon, 1 tablespoon Olive oil and 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar.
- Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and top with the roasted butternut squash, 6 Sun-dried tomatoes, 10 Olives and 30 g Hard cheese.
- We used a mixture of baby gem, rocket (arugula) and watercress as the base of this salad, but you could add spinach and kale for an added vitamin boost.
- If you want some added crunch on your salad, then a sprinkling of pine nuts or chopped pecans would work well.
- Serve with roasted leg of lamb, grilled chicken or steak.
Totally healthy and delicious and a great recipe will make often!
I'm so glad you are trying to come around with butternut squash :) I adore it but I would love it even more with sundried tomatoes even more! Sounds absolutely delicious!!
Yumm!! That salad looks so vibrant and inviting - loving the sound of the cheese too. Love the colours.
A colourful and healthy salad. Danii I love the way have cubed the butternut squash... cute. I will look out for that cheese to try as well.
Laura | Wandercooks
This salad looks gorgeous, would be a perfect side dish on a grill night! I love roasted butternut, we have a really tasty Tuscan seasoning blend that i love to sprinkle over the top. I'm pretty sure the mix is mainly rosemary and salt with a dash of pepper, but the flavour goes so amazingly with the butternut. Glad you challenged your initial dislike and now get to enjoy this amazing veggie! :D
Helen at Casa Costello
I rather like this interesting take on butternut squash. I do admit I tend to think of it as a winter veg only but would love to try this salad. sundried toms on the grocery order as I speak x
Ana De- Jesus
This looks like the best salad for summer, especially when people are tucking into BBQ's I will be munching on this!
Ooh i love butternut squash! We eat tons of it in South Africa. I do a fab roast butternut squash amd spinach salad :)
Always wonder what else to do with Butternut Squash, think this is the answer. I love the sound of that cheese too - a nice alternative to parmesan.
This looks absolutely gorgeous! The colours are just amazing, and I bet it tastes so good. I love Butternut squash, so will definitely be trying this out
Margot Dolewska Dolewska Dyer
Sounds like a perfect Friday dinner idea. I love roasted vegetables... in any form.
Working mum Blog
This looks delicious! I really enjoy butternut squash. I have not tried wih sundried tomatoes before but will do that soon, and pick up the cheese. Thanks for sharing
Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche
This sounds absolutely delicious! Roasting anything immediately makes it better, but especially butternut squash! Will keep an eye out for that cheese, I'd never heard of them before!
Sally - My Custard Pie
This is SOOOO up my street. Adore roasted veg in salads. My daughter taught herself to like banana by eating some every day for a week. Not sure I could do that with my loathed veg of okra but maybe I should try!
WoW, what a flavorful salad! Love the addition of all that herbs and sun-dried tomatoes in the butternut squash salad - bookmarking to try soon.
I was sold the moment I read Mediterranean and butternut squash! This sounds so epically delicious. I'm always bookmarking all your pages so I can come back to them and make all your tasty sounding food! x
Miss Kitty Kaos
I love butternut squash I need to have it more this sounds so yum x
What a lovely colourful and vibrant salad.
This sounds and looks amazing, better add the ingredients to my shopping list.