Roasted Delicata squash salad with farro and toasted walnuts is a delicious and hearty fall salad. Greens topped with seasonal roasted squash, like my butternut arugula salad are perfect for this time of the year.
Oven roasted delicata squash, pomegranate arils and crumbled cheese on a bed of baby spinach. This flavorful autumn salad ticks all the boxes, plus it’s full of color and looks beautiful on the table.
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Delicata squash salad
One of the reasons I really love delicata squash is because it has a thin, edible skin.
Why does that matter? Because that means no peeling and let’s be honest, that’s a big selling point when you really don’t feel like wielding the vegetable peeler.
This salad uses baby spinach that is ready to go and instead of buying a whole pomegranate, I bought the small container of arils. So basically, what I’m saying is – this is a lazy girl’s dream salad.
A little bit of chopping and roasting is not a hardship, especially when there are other shortcuts we can take to make life easier.
Ricotta Salata vs Ricotta
I used one of my favorite cheeses here – ricotta salata. This is an aged, semi-firm cheese that is perfect for crumbling. It is much drier than it’s cousin ricotta, which you would find in a tub in the dairy case.
It is pleasantly salty, like a feta, and is perfect for grating, shredding or crumbling.
How to make
Delicata squash is peanut-shaped, and sometimes referred to as “peanut squash”. It can be varying shades of yellow, orange and green on the outside and is vibrant orange on the inside.
The first step is cleaning the squash and getting it ready to roast in the oven.
Once the seeds have been scooped out, slice the squash into 1/4″ half moon slices. Place them on a parchment-lined sheet pan, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Roast until soft and slightly caramelized in a hot oven, flipping halfway through so the squash gets color on both sides.
While the squash is roasting, place the walnuts on a small baking sheet and slide into the oven for 7 – 8 minutes. Toasting them deepens their flavor and makes them more delicious.
Gather your dressing ingredients while everything is in the oven and whisk it together.
- Pomegranate molasses – This is a staple in Middle Eastern kitchens. It is tart with just a hint of sweet. Use it in dressings, to glaze chicken, vegetables or pork, make a syrup for ice cream or pancakes, etc.
- Maple syrup – Spring for the good stuff. Artificial maple syrup or regular pancake syrup cannot compare to the real thing.
- Olive oil – I am partial to arbequina olive oil, but use whatever you have. Arbequina olive oil is bright, fruity and buttery.
- Balsamic vinegar – I buy the Kirkland brand from Costco. It’s great for salad dressings and marinades. No need to use your expensive, aged bottle here.
- salt & pepper (not pictured)
Time saving tip: Cook farro ahead of time. Farro takes about 20 minutes on the stove. By cooking it ahead of time, that’s one less thing to do when making your Delicata squash salad.
All that’s left now is the fun part – putting it together and eating it.
Let’s assemble this salad
In a big bowl, toss in the baby spinach. Then scatter the roasted squash, pomegranate arils, cooked farro, cheese and walnuts before drizzling the dressing over the top.
The recipe serves four as a side, or two as a main. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled, and any leftover dressing will last for at least two weeks in the fridge.
What can I serve with this salad?
This squash salad can be a meal on its own, or serve smaller portions as an appetizer.
- Veggie burger – A great vegetarian dinner option.
- Roasted vegetable pasta – One of our favorite weeknight dinners
- Sheet pan chicken and vegetables – roast everything on one pan while the oven is already on.
Love this autumn squash salad?
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For the salad
- 8 ounces baby spinach
- 1 delicata squash, cleaned and sliced into 1/4" half moons
- 4 ounces ricotta salata cheese, crumbled - sub goat cheese or feta
- 1 cup cooked farro (cooked according to package directions)
- 4 ounces walnuts
- 4 ounces pomegranate arils
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
For the dressing
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. pomegranate molasses
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C / Gas Mark 4
- Drizzle sliced Delicata squash with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Roast squash on parchment-lined baking sheet for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through. Set aside to cool when soft and cooked through.
- Place walnuts on small baking sheet and toast in the oven for 7 - 8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool before roughly chopping. Set aside.
- Whisk all ingredients for dressing together, then set aside.
- Assemble salad - In a large bowl, place 8 ounces baby spinach, then top with slices of squash.
- Add cooked farro and crumble cheese on top.
- Sprinkle pomegranate arils over the salad and finish with chopped, toasted walnuts.
- Drizzle dressing over the salad and serve immediately.
Cook farro in vegetable stock instead of water to give it more flavor.
If you can't find ricotta salata cheese (this is COMPLETELY different from soft ricotta cheese in the tub!), substitute goat cheese or feta cheese.
Serving Size:1/4 salad
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 790Total Fat: 57gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 40gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 1341mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 9gSugar: 16gProtein: 31g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
Thanks for stopping by! Have a delicious day 🙂
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