Fall Harvest Salad with Apple and Butternut Squash

Jump to RecipeLeave a Comment

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

A colorful fall harvest salad that combines the best seasonal fall flavors! Mixed greens, Honeycrisp apples, roasted butternut squash, goat cheese, candied nuts, and a pop of pomegranate seeds drizzled with a sweet and tangy apple cider vinaigrette. A beautiful recipe for your holiday table!

You will also love Apple and Pistachio Salad and Pear Gorgonzola Salad—a perfect accompaniment to Roast Chicken.

fall harvest salad in a pretty wooden bowl with salad servers on the side.
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Why you’ll love this fall harvest salad

You’ll absolutely adore this harvest salad because it’s a joyful symphony of autumn’s finest flavors and textures! Every bite is a celebration of the season’s vibrant and fresh ingredients. Just like our Italian Chopped Salad Recipe!

Whether you’re seeking a visually stunning addition to your Thanksgiving dinner or a wholesome, customizable, and nutrient-rich dish, this salad is your ticket to savoring the essence of fall in every mouthwatering forkful.

Simple Ingredients

This beautiful salad combines all your favorite fall ingredients. It will be your favorite go-to salad for entertaining.

ingredients for fall harvest salad recipe.

Salad:

  • Spring mix or mixed greens
  • Seasoned and roasted butternut squash
  • Honeycrisp apples, cored and thinly sliced
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • Candied pecans
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Goat cheese, crumbled
How to make fall harvest salad- ingredients for roasting the butternut squash.

For the Seasoned and Roasted Butternut Squash:

  • Butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground nutmeg
ingredients for the apple cider vinaigrette.

For the Homemade Apple Cider Vinaigrette (in a mason jar):

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Honey or maple syrup
  • Dijon mustard
  • Garlic, minced
  • Fresh sage
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

See the recipe card for quantities.

How to Make this Harvest Salad (step-by-step photos)

This easy butternut squash salad has the best flavors! It’s a delicious salad for any occasion.

How to make fall harvest salad- season the butternut squash with spices before baking.

Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
In a large mixing bowl, toss the diced butternut squash with olive oil, salt, pepper, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg, cayenne until well coated.

How to make fall harvest salad- placing the butternut squash on a roasting pan.

Spread the seasoned squash in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat

How to make fall harvest salad- roasting the butternut squash in the oven.

—roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender and slightly caramelized. Stir the squash halfway through the cooking time to ensure even roasting. Once done, set aside to cool.

How to make fall harvest salad- shaking up the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar.

While the squash is roasting, prepare the apple cider vinaigrette. In a mason jar or a small bowl, combine the apple cider vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard, sage, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Secure the lid on the mason jar and shake vigorously to emulsify the dressing. Alternatively, whisk the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined.

In a large salad bowl, add the spring mix or mixed greens. Arrange the sliced Honeycrisp apples on top of the greens. Sprinkle the cooled, roasted butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, pecans (optional), pomegranate seeds, and crumbled goat cheese over the apples and greens.

fall harvest salad in a pretty wooden bowl with salad servers on the side.

Just before serving, drizzle the homemade apple cider vinaigrette over the salad. You can use as much or as little dressing as you prefer.
Toss the salad gently to combine all the ingredients. Serve the Fall Harvest Salad immediately, and enjoy!

Substitutions

If you need to make substitutions for some of the ingredients in this simple salad, here are some options:

  • Spring Mix: You can substitute spring mix with other leafy greens like spinach, arugula, kale, or a combination of your favorite greens.
  • Butternut Squash: If you don’t have butternut squash, you can use acorn squash, sweet potatoes, or pumpkin as a replacement.
  • Honeycrisp Apples: While Honeycrisp apples are known for their sweet and crisp texture, you can use other apple varieties like Gala, Fuji, or Granny Smith. Choose apples that suit your taste preferences.
  • Roasted Pumpkin Seeds: If you don’t have pumpkin seeds (pepitas), you can substitute them with roasted sunflower seeds or chopped nuts like almonds, pecans, or walnuts for a different crunch.
  • Pomegranate Seeds: If pomegranate seeds are not available, you can use dried cranberries, raisins, or chopped fresh cranberries for a similar tartness and color.
  • Goat Cheese: If you prefer a different cheese or want a vegan option, you can use tangy feta cheese, blue cheese, or a dairy-free alternative like almond-based “goat cheese” or crumbled vegan cheese.
  • Homemade Apple Cider Vinaigrette: You can use a store-bought apple cider vinaigrette or any preferred salad dressing if you’re short on time. Balsamic vinaigrette or a simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing are good alternatives.
fall harvest salad in a pretty wooden bowl with salad servers in the salad bowl ready to serve.

Variations

Variations can add exciting twists to your autumn harvest salad. Here are some creative variations to consider:

  • Cranberry Vinaigrette: Create a cranberry vinaigrette by blending fresh cranberries with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, and a touch of orange zest. This dressing adds a delightful tangy note.
  • Chicken or Shrimp: For added protein, grill some chicken or shrimp and place it on top of the salad. It complements the flavors and makes the salad more substantial. Even add some crunchy salty bacon on top!
  • Pecorino or Parmesan Cheese: Substitute the goat cheese with shaved pecorino or Parmesan cheese for a different savory and salty flavor.
  • Maple-Glazed Butternut Squash: Instead of plain roasted butternut squash, toss the squash with a maple glaze before roasting to enhance the sweetness.
  • Arugula and Radicchio Mix: Use a mix of arugula and radicchio for a slightly peppery and bitter contrast to the sweet components of the salad.
  • Toasted Sliced Almonds: Toasted sliced almonds can be a great alternative to pumpkin seeds, adding a mild nutty flavor.
  • Pear or Persimmon: Experiment with seasonal fruits like ripe pears or persimmons for a change in taste and texture.
  • Candied Bacon: For a decadent touch, consider adding candied bacon bits for a salty-sweet contrast.
  • Cinnamon-Spiced Croutons: Make homemade cinnamon-spiced croutons for an extra layer of flavor and crunch.
  • Balsamic Reduction Drizzle: Instead of apple cider vinaigrette, drizzle a balsamic reduction for a sweeter and thicker dressing.
  • Feel free to mix and match these variations to create a unique Fall Harvest Salad that suits your taste preferences and any dietary restrictions you may have. Enjoy experimenting with different ingredients and flavors!

Storage

If you have leftovers, cover the entire salad bowl or transfer it to an airtight container, making sure the container has a secure lid to prevent dressing leakage. Consume the salad within 24 hours for the best taste and texture, as the dressing can cause greens to wilt over time.

To prevent sogginess, consider storing the salad and dressing separately, drizzling the dressing over the salad just before serving.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinaigrette: The vinaigrette can be stored in a mason jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 weeks. Shake or stir it well before using, as the ingredients may separate over time.

Top tips

Top tips for the best fall harvest salad:

  • Fresh Ingredients: Use the freshest and best-quality ingredients possible, as they’ll make a noticeable difference in the taste and texture of your salad.
  • Prep in Advance: Save time by preparing the seasoned and roasted butternut squash, and the homemade apple cider vinaigrette in advance. Store them separately and assemble the salad just before serving.
  • Homemade Dressing: The homemade apple cider vinaigrette adds a unique touch to the salad. Adjust the sweetness and acidity to your liking by tweaking the honey and apple cider vinegar ratios.
  • Dressing Tossing: When dressing the salad, start with a small amount and add more as needed. It’s easier to add more dressing than to salvage an overdressed salad.
  • Seasoned Squash: Season the butternut squash well with cinnamon and nutmeg before roasting for a more flavorful and aromatic result.
  • Balance Flavors: Strive for a balance of sweet, savory, crunchy, and creamy elements in each bite for the most satisfying salad experience.
fork taking a bite of the harvest salad.

FAQs

Can I make this salad in advance for a special occasion?

Yes, you can prepare the components of the salad in advance. Roast the butternut squash and make the dressing ahead of time. Store them separately and assemble the salad just before serving to maintain freshness.

Can I substitute the Honeycrisp apples with another variety?

Absolutely! While Honeycrisp apples are a fantastic choice, you can use other apple varieties like Gala, Fuji, or Granny Smith based on your preference.

Looking for other recipes? Try these:

What to serve with Harvest Salad

💙 MADE THIS RECIPE AND LOVED IT? 💙 Please leave a ⭐️STAR rating and COMMENT below- I love connecting with you! Tag me with your creations on Instagram and find me on Pinterest.

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
cover photo.

Fall Harvest Salad Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 5 reviews

A colorful fall harvest salad that combines the best seasonal fall flavors! A beautiful salad for any occasion. 

  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Salad:

  • 6 cups spring mix, mixed greens, arugula, baby kale, or a mix of all
  • 1 1/2 cups seasoned and roasted butternut squash (see below for roasting instructions)
  • 2 Honeycrisp apples, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1/4 cup candied pecans (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled

For the Seasoned and Roasted Butternut Squash:

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the Homemade Apple Cider Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped sage
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, toss the diced butternut squash with olive oil, salt, pepper, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg, cayenne until well coated.
  3. Spread the seasoned squash in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat—roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender and slightly caramelized. Stir the squash halfway through the cooking time to ensure even roasting. Once done, set aside to cool.
  4. While the squash is roasting, prepare the apple cider vinaigrette. In a mason jar or a small bowl, combine the apple cider vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard, sage, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Secure the lid on the mason jar and shake vigorously to emulsify the dressing. Alternatively, whisk the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined.
  5. In a large salad bowl, add the spring mix or mixed greens.
  6. Arrange the sliced Honeycrisp apples on top of the greens.
  7. Sprinkle the cooled, roasted butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, pecans (optional), pomegranate seeds, and crumbled goat cheese over the apples and greens.
  8. Just before serving, drizzle the homemade apple cider vinaigrette over the salad. You can use as much or as little dressing as you prefer.
  9. Toss the salad gently to combine all the ingredients. Serve the Fall Harvest Salad immediately, and enjoy!
  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: American
  • Cuisine: American

You May Also Like

About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

9 Comments

  1. I did a test drive with this salad before adding it to my Thanksgiving Day dinner and I am for sure adding it! As my neighbor said who is a foody after she tried it, “A perfect balance of sweet/spicy/acidity/nutty yumm! “






  2. This salad tasted like fall! Made for a Friendsgiving dinner and was the star. So light, yet satisfying. All the flavors were absolutely delicious together. Actually made it again at home to eat for the week with chicken on top. Could drink the dressing alone!






    1. Yay! I made it last night for a family event and I am wishing I had leftovers. Yes, that dressing is something else 😋. Happy you loved it.

  3. WOW! This salad turned out amazing! The flavors and textures made it such a delight to eat–it tasted like a harvest comfort salad for sure! I prepped the butternut squash the prior day, so it came together very quickly!
    Thanks, Elena for your amazing recipes and instructions. How could you not want to make this salad after viewing the photos?






    1. It is a gorgeous salad and yummy too! I’m happy you planned ahead, so it was easy to put together at the last minute. It’s a good one. Thanks!

  4. This salad was SO delicious! The dressing alone took it to the next level. Everyone wanted the recipe!!
    Everything I cook by Elena has been top notch and I am so excited to keep trying more of her recipes. Thank you!!