Autumn Salad

This vegetarian salad is an easy and delicious addition to your Thanksgiving table.  With butternut squash, broccoli, arugula, dried cranberries, and walnuts, this salad is as healthy as it is pretty to look at.  Take care of your vegetarians or health-conscious friends and add this easy vegetarian salad to your holiday menu. Even your carnivorous family and friends will love it.

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I love the simple ingredients in this salad,  Each ingredient seems to shine on its own and yet meld into a cohesive dish that is both clean and satisfying.  The butternut squash and dried cranberries lend an earthy sweetness, the broccoli and chopped walnuts for a bit of crunch and texture, arugula for a peppery note, and a sweet and tangy citrus dressing that highlights the flavors of the salad.

A salad of roasted butternut squash, steamed broccoli, arugula, dried cranberries, and chopped walnuts dressed in a citrus vinaigrette


  • Both the butternut squash and broccoli florets can be purchased already chopped and prepped for you.  There is nothing wrong with taking this shortcut. If you don’t have to deal with prepping a squash, why do it?
  • Not a fan of walnuts?  Toasted and chopped pecans, cashews, or even sunflower seeds would work well in this salad.  The nuts add a bit of crunch and protein to the dish.
  • Any dried fruit will add a fruity sweetness and texture to the salad,  Raisins, chopped dates, dried cherries, or even dried, chopped pineapple or mango can change the flavor profile of the salad to make it new and interesting.
  • Cheese would be excellent in this salad,  Bits of feta or creamy goat cheese, shavings of Parmesan, or a sprinkle of shredded sharp cheddar would work well.


A salad of roasted butternut squash, steamed broccoli, arugula, dried cranberries, and chopped walnuts dressed in a citrus vinaigrette

Are you looking for more vegetarian dishes to serve for the holidays?  Here are a few to consider:

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A salad of roasted butternut squash, steamed broccoli, arugula, dried cranberries, and chopped walnuts dressed in a citrus vinaigrette



This easy vegetarian salad recipe is as delicious as it is pretty.  Butternut squash, steamed broccoli, peppery arugula, dried cranberries, and crunchy walnuts are dressed in a sweet and tangy citrus vinaigrette.



For the Salad:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound butternut squash (peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes)

1 cup broccoli florets

2 cups baby arugula (rinsed and spun dry)

1 cup dried cranberries

¼ cup chopped walnuts

For the Vinaigrette:

1 lime, juiced

3 tablespoons orange juice

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 large clove garlic, finely minced

1 teaspoon cumin

⅛ teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt


Preheat the oven to 424 degrees. 

In a large casserole dish, add the butternut squash cubes.  Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and toss to coat.  Spread the squash out to a single layer.

Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, tossing at least one time until the squash is starting to brown and is just tender.  Remove from the oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring at least 2 cups of water to a full rolling boil.  

When boiling, toss in the broccoli florets and blanch for just a few seconds until they are bright green, still crunchy, and bright green.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, honey, mustard, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, and salt.

In a large salad bowl, add the cubed squash, broccoli, and arugula.  Pour half of the dressing over the salad and toss fully to coat completely.

Sprinkle the salad with the cranberries and chopped walnuts.  Drizzle the remaining dressing on top and serve.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Starter
  • Method: Roast, Steam, Toss
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: vegetarian salad, vegetarian salad recipe, Thanksgiving salad recipe, salads, arugula, butternut squash recipes, healthy Thanksgiving recipes

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