roasted delicata squash and apple salad recipe

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delicata squash and apple salad | pamela salzman

Oh, I know your Thanksgiving menu is probably planned and I think that is great!  I actually had no intention of trying to convince you today, this late in the game, that you absolutely must include such and such recipe on your holiday table.  I know you’re committed and that’s that.  But for the rest of you slackers, it’s your lucky day!  This is your Thanksgiving salad.  Period.  I have taught it umpteen times already this month, with another class to go and I am more obsessed with it than ever.  I think this salad actually makes turkey taste better!! Make some room on that menu!

prepping delicata and apples

Delicata squash should be nicknamed “THE Thanksgiving squash” because it’s seasonal, adorable, and minimal work.  You don’t peel it!  You eat the skin!  It tastes amazing! How much do you love me right now?  Forget butternut squash this year.  Give yourself a break and go with delicata.  I have no idea if you can find it where you live, but in Southern California it’s all over the place at every supermarket, farmers market and Trader Joe’s.  Sometimes it’s off-white with yellow stripes, sometimes pale yellow with orange and lots of in-betweens.

toss everything with coconut oil and maple syrroasted and delicious

As much as I love delicata squash, my favorite part of this salad just might be the big wedges of roasted apples.  Pink Ladies are my favorite and I think are perfect here, but Honeycrisp, Fuji, Jonagold are all great, too.  Granny Smith is a little too tart in my opinion.  Leave the peel on to not only make your life easier, but I think the apples look prettier that way and hold their shape better.

delicata squash and apple salad | pamela salzman

Here’s your game plan for this salad:

  • make the dressing this weekend and store in a glass jar with a lid in the refrigerator
  • wash and dry your salad greens on Tuesday and store in the refrigerator
  • if you are using nuts or pumpkin seeds, toast them Tuesday and store at room temperature
  • wash, seed and cut delicata squash into slices on Wednesday and store in a container or ziploc in the refrigerator
  • shave Manchego cheese with a vegetable peeler and store in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container
  • Thursday morning you can roast the delicate squash and apples and take the dressing out of the refrigerator to bring to room temp; store cooked squash and apples at room temp until dinnertime
  • right before carving the turkey, assemble and dress the salad!

Have an amazing Thanksgiving!!!

delicata squash salad

Roasted Delicata Squash and Apple Salad
Serves: 6
  • 2 delicata squash, washed but not peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed, and cut into ½-inch slices
  • 2 large apples, cored, sliced into ½-inch slices (I cut them crosswise)
  • 3 Tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary (optional, but I think it’s delicious)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 10 cups mixed greens including some bitter varieties such as radicchio and/or arugula
  • Dressing:
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar, preferably raw
  • 5 Tablespoons unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • Toppings: shaved manchego cheese, ½ cup buttered and salted toasted pecans or toasted, salted pumpkin seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place the squash and apples in a large bowl and add the melted coconut oil and 1 Tablespoon maple syrup.  Toss to coat. (You can also add the apples to the salad raw instead of roasted.)
  3. Place the apples and squash in one layer on the baking sheets and sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper.  Roast until tender, approximately 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  4. For the dressing:  in a small bowl or screw top jar combine apple cider vinegar, olive oil, Dijon, salt, pepper and maple syrup and whisk or shake to combine.  You may have more dressing than you need for this recipe.
  5. Place salad greens on a platter and toss with enough dressing to coat lightly.  Separately drizzle the squash and apples with some dressing and add to the greens.  Sprinkle with any desired toppings. Taste for salt and pepper and serve.

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    • Pamela says

      Thank you, Bonnie! How is it that you are the only person to catch that? Corrected. 5 Tablespoons of olive oil. Enjoy!

  1. Jane says

    This salad is excellent. I have never had delicata squash before but it is now a favorite in our house. I have served just the roasted squash as a side with other meals.

  2. Heather says

    My sister ( great job Jen) made this for Thanksgiving dinner and was DELICIOUSLY FANTASTIC! So savory & the fabulous smooth combo of flavors was the hit for me. I can’t wait to make for my family. This is a hit!

    • Pamela says

      That’s great! If you can’t find delicata squash in the coming months, see my suggestions in the other comments. :)

  3. Jenni Tucker says

    My family likes tradition and we usually make my grandfather’s same Thanksgiving recipes every year. I loved this salad from your cooking class last week so I added it to the mix this year and it was a hit! I think it will be a new Thanksgiving tradition – thank you for the great recipe and the confidence from your classes that I could do it!

  4. Carly says

    Hi Pamela,
    Happy almost Thanksgiving!
    I’m in a little but of a panic. I have been to 5 markets and nobody carries the squash. Any ideas? I am
    Supposed to make it for a friends tihs evening and tomorrow. Ugh.

  5. Ellie Gustafson says

    This salad looks good! I don’t think I’ll be able to find delicata squash or manchego cheese though, what would be the best substitutes? I will certainly look, but with only one small grocery store in my rural town, I’m probably out of luck. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Pamela says

      Ellie, you asked a good question! See what winter squashes your market has — acorn would be a good sub (don’t peel) or butternut squash (peel.) As for the cheese, you don’t necessarily need it, but I think so many cheeses would be lovely here like cheddar, gruyere, parmesan. Whatever you get, just shave it with a vegetable peeler so you have nice thin shavings of it. Hope those suggestion help!

  6. Barbara Boccia says

    Thank you and happy Thanksgiving to you too. One of the many things I’m thankful for is your blog and the tremendous inspiration it has given me. Enjoy family, friends and food!

  7. Ashley says

    I’m so glad to see this recipe on here, I bought a delicata squash the other week and didn’t know what to do with it so it has been sitting on my counter all this time. Which leads me to my question- how long does squash stay good for after buying? It still looks the same but seems like it should have gone bad by now! Thanks :)


  1. […] If you don’t eat cheese, no problem.  Nice thick wedges of avocado will be a fantastic sub.  You get that same creamy mouthfeel and I promise, the salad will still be delicious.  While we’re on the subject of substitutions, look at this salad as a template for a great vibrant, seasonal salad.  In the last image at the bottom of the post, I only used about 7 ounces of arugula, as opposed to the other images where I used 10.  In the winter, you can sub beets for the tomatoes and oranges for the nectarines, and even feta or goat cheese for the mozzarella.  In the spring, use cherries, almonds, and Pecorino.  In the fall, go check out my salad for roasted apple and delicata squash with Manchego. […]

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