This fall harvest salad is loaded with good-for-you ingredients and it’s great for a crowd. It’s fresh, colorful and delicious! We add all the popular fall flavors into this salad, including, butternut squash, cranberries, apples, and pumpkin seeds.
Fall inspired salad
We want to share this amazing salad with all of you! It’s great for the holidays or simply for lunch or dinner. You can add your choice of protein or keep it completely plant-based.
This salad has a combination of a lot of fall flavors with a great texture, definitely a must try!
Butternut Squash. Peel and cube the butternut squash into 1/2 inch pieces. For a time saver, try to find peeled and cut up butternut squash from the grocery store, we prefer to go this route when it is available.
Farro. Cook farro according to package instructions. We love that farro is an ancient grain that is high-protein and full of fiber. It looks very similar to barely but with a slightly different shape. It’s a great addition to this salad, it adds a great chewy texture.
Apples. We live in Minnesota, and we always can find some delicious apples in the fall. Some of our favorites include honeycrisp, sweet tango, and pink lady. You can use any crispy apple in this recipe, granny smith works well too if you like a tart apple.
Dried Cranberries. Dried cranberries offers a nice chewy and sweet texture to the salad. You can substitute with dried cherries as well.
Pumpkin Seeds. This is a great option for people looking for a nut-free salad. If you do not have a nut allergy, feel free to use toasted walnuts, pecans, or almonds.
Greens. We use a 6 oz package of mixed greens and 3 oz package of arugula.
Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette. This is SO simple. In a large mason jar, combine extra virgin olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, honey, fresh squeezed lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt and pepper. This recipe can be doubled or tripled and kept in the refrigerator!
How to customize it
Grains. There are several substitutes for farro, such as brown rice, quinoa, and barley – they are all great options.
Fruit. Try using any of these fruits – pears, pomegranates, orange segments, or figs.
Dried Fruits. If you don’t like cranberries, you can use dried tart cherries, blueberries, or raisins.
Nuts and/or seeds. So many options for nuts, you can try any of these -almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, sesame seeds, or sunflower seeds. If you want a touch of sweetness, you can use candied pecans!
Cheese. For this salad we wanted to keep it completely plant-based, but if you want to add a cheese, try adding goat cheese, feta cheese or gorgonzola cheese
Greens. Any green you like will work. Curly kale is a great option if you do not mind the texture. Any mix of spinach, arugula, baby kale will all work wonderfully.
Butternut Squash. We love cooked sweet potatoes in this salad as well!
Protein: Give this salad a protein boost with cooked shredded chicken, or if you want it plant based add chickpeas, or black beans.
We do not recommend making this salad in advance as it will wilt and be soggy.
Vinaigrette: The vinaigrette can be made up to a 5 days in advance and stored in an air tight mason jar. We feel that the longer the dressing sits, the better it tastes too!
Salad: A great option is to make the butternut squash, and farro ahead of time and store in an air tight container, both of these can be prepared 2-3 days in advance. When you are planning to serve, toss everything together.
Fall Harvest Salad with a Honey Balsamic Vinagrette
- 3 cups butternut squash peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 cup cooked and cooled farro
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp salt more or less to taste
- 1/2 tsp black pepper more or less to taste
- 6 oz mixed greens you can use a mix of baby spinach, arugula, spring mix, baby kale
- 3 oz baby arugula
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 honey crisp apples cored and sliced thin (or your favorite apple)
- 1/2 cup microgreens
- option to add chicken or a plant-based protein
Maple Vinaigrette Dressing
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive
- 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 grated garlic clove
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a sheet pan, add butternut squash olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss together to combine. Spread in a single layer. Bake for 35-30 minutes or until fork tender. Set aside.
- In a mason jar add all the ingredient for the dressing. Cover and shake really well. Refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the salad.
- In a large bowl add all of the salad ingredients together. Top with the roasted butternut squash. Drizzle the dressing and toss together. Serve immediately.
This recipe will pair really well with our Spanakopita Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.
Looking for a good salad bowl? We love this one here.