This healthy salad highlights so many delicious fall ingredients it’s like eating the season in a bowl. My roasted butternut squash couscous salad with feta, arugula, and homemade dressing is your new autumn go to.
There are so many delicious greens that come into season during the fall! Dark greens, salad greens, you name it, it’s a time of year that begs for delicious salads.
That’s especially true when you add on other seasonal vegetables like parsnip and butternut squash. My butternut squash salad highlights tender veggies, salty feta, and peppery arugula. It’s filling enough to be a meal all on it’s own or a fantastic side for a fall dinner.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- It’s packed with nutrients, protein, and fiber from veggies, nuts, cheese, and couscous.
- It’s hearty enough as a main course for 4, or as a side for more people.
- It;s very easy to prepare, from roasting the veggies to making a quick dressing.
The ingredients I used to make this butternut squash arugula salad create a hearty, textured forkful with every bite. You’ll get a little bit of salty cheese, some crunch from walnuts, and tender roasted veggies.
- Butternut squash – Other great options would be acorn squash, fresh cubed pumpkin (not puree), or honey nut squash.
- Parsnips – They’re nutty, earthy, and a little sweet. Turnips can be a good swap if you need one.
- Bell pepper – I used red, but orange or yellow would be great too.
- Garlic cloves
- Uncooked couscous – I used the finer, Moroccan style couscous for this salad.
- Arugula – this peppery green is great this time of year! Try watercress or radicchio for similar flavors if you can’t find it.
- Walnuts – any nut you like can stand in, pecans would be the most similar.
- Feta cheese – Crumbly cheeses like goat cheese or queso fresco would be fine as well.
- Salt, pepper, and oil
In addition to these salad ingredients, I’m sharing a quick homemade dressing that’s made all in one jar. It’s creamy, a little tangy, and a little sweet, perfect for a butternut squash feta salad.
For it you’ll need to combine fresh orange juice, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, plain yogurt, maple syrup, salt, and black pepper.
To make this roasted butternut squash salad first you’ll need an oven preheating to a hot 425°F, and a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Peel and cube the butternut squash and parsnips so they’re a similar size. That let’s them roast evenly. Also slice the bell pepper into strips and mince the garlic. Then you’ll toss all of that together with oil, salt, and pepper and spread it on to the baking sheet.
Roast it for 20 minutes, or until the squash and parsnips are fork tender.
While that cooks, you can work on the couscous and dressing. Simply cook the couscous according to the instructions on the package.
For the dressing combine all the ingredients into a jar, then seal and shake it. Taste it and adjust the salt and pepper if you need to, then the dressing is done.
When everything is ready, toss the couscous, roasted veggies, feta, walnuts, and arugula in a large bowl. Drizzle on some of the dressing and toss it again until it’s evenly coated.
Storage and Prepping Ahead
Like most salads, once this is mixed together, it’s best eaten that same day. But with a few tips, it can become a great leftover meal or a lunch prep meal, much like my cajun chicken salad.
The couscous, vegetables, and dressing can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for 3 days. To make them for lunches or save leftovers, keep those separate from the arugula, feta, and walnuts.
When it’s time to eat, just toss it together with dressing and you’re good to go.
I hope this butternut squash, arugula, and couscous salad turns into one of your fall favorites. It’s a celebration of those amazing seasonal vegetables without being heavy like so many cold weather meals are. This will taste great, make you feel great, and it looks pretty too. Don’t forget to check out my many other fall salads while you’re here.
- Red Cabbage Salad with Apple, Orange, and Spinach
- Shaved Brussels Sprout and Pomegranate Salad
- Broccoli Cheddar Pasta Salad with Cranberries
- Arugula, Prosciutto, and Grilled Pear Salad
Roasted Butternut Squash Couscous Salad
For the salad:
- 1 lb. (450 g) butternut squash , peeled and cut into bite size pieces
- 3 small parsnips , peeled and cut into little chunks
- 1 bell pepper , cut into strips
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt , to taste
- black pepper , to taste
- 2/3 cup (125 g) uncooked couscous
- a big handful of arugula
- ¼ cup walnuts , chopped
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons natural yogurt
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- salt , to taste
- black pepper , to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). In a large bowl, toss together the butternut squash, parsnips, bell pepper, olive oil, garlic, salt and black pepper. Transfer the veggies on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, or until fork tender.
- Meanwhile, cook the couscous according to the instructions on the package.
- In a small jar with a lid, combine the orange juice, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, natural yogurt, and maple syrup. Cover and shake until mixed well. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Toss the roasted veggies, cooked couscous, arugula, walnuts, and feta together in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss again. Serve.
kushigaluSeptember 12, 2022 at 8:26 am
healthy & delicious, refreshing salad recipe. Thanks for sharing.
IevaSeptember 12, 2022 at 8:35 am
Lovely salad! We made it for dinner last night and really enjoyed it! It was the first time I had parsnip in a salad but thought it was beautiful and sweet, and went very well with the butternut squash! But that dressing really stole the show! Delicious 🙂
MahySeptember 12, 2022 at 9:44 am
Such an easy salad to make, yet so healthy and absolutely delicious!
Aimee MarsSeptember 12, 2022 at 12:25 pm
I love couscous but was getting bored with my current recipe. This added such a delicious twist on one of my favorite side dishes. Will be making again!
DanaSeptember 12, 2022 at 12:54 pm
This is a great recipe. I love how this acts as a side or a lunch option. Definitely something I love having a bowl of in my fridge, ready to go!