This Delicata Squash Salad is the best fall salad! It’s layered with roasted winter squash, homemade pickled shallots, persimmons, avocado, and an easy honey lime salad dressing. Perfect for fall, winter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or weeknight dinners.Jump to Recipe
This blog post was updated on November 10, 2022 but the recipe remains the same.
Roasted delicata squash salad with honey lime dressing
The bright flavors in this Delicata Squash Salad will blow you away! Made with roasted delicata squash, pickled shallots, avocado, persimmons, and pomegranate seeds, there is so much vibrancy in every bite. It’s finished with a homemade honey lime dressing to round it all out.
The sweet, tart, creamy, and zesty bites in this winter salad make it perfect for holiday celebrations, Thanksgiving dinner, or special occasions. It’s also quick and easy to make with a few multi-tasking tricks, helping you stay out of the kitchen and in the party.
What is delicata squash?
Delicata squash is a type of winter squash that’s surprisingly easy to cook, compared to other varieties, like kabocha or butternut. The skin doesn’t need to be removed before roasting, making it easy to slice and go. Once cooked, the orange flesh becomes nice and tender with a sweet and nutty flavor.
You can find seasonal delicata squash in well-stocked grocery stores or farmer’s markets from late summer through early winter. When you’re shopping, avoid squash with blemishes or soft spots on the skin. Some woody patches are ok and can always be sliced off prior to roasting.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Shallots – You can substitute these with my pickled red onions if you prefer their stronger flavor.
- Champagne vinegar – Vinegar is needed to make the pickled shallots. If you don’t have champagne vinegar, use rice, white wine, or apple cider vinegar instead.
- Kosher salt
- Delicata squash – The squash is sliced and roasted before being added to the salad. After it’s cooked in the oven, the squash is deliciously tender, extra sweet, and nutty.
- Persimmons – Persimmons are a popular fall fruit that add another orange color and a sweet, melon-like flavor to the salad. According to Eater.com, persimmons have a “beautifully delicate flavor that almost has a cantaloupe quality to it, both in color and sweetness.”
- Pomegranate seeds – A pop of sweetness is so welcome here! Use this guide from Love and Lemons to learn how to cut and deseed a pomegranate yourself.
- Pecans – Toast the pecans to bring out their natural oils and enhance their flavor.
- Mint – Fresh mint leaves bring a refreshing spin to the fall salad.
- Olive oil
- Lime – You need both the lime juice and zest for the salad dressing.
How to make delicata squash salad
First, pickle the sliced shallots. Place them in a bowl and add the salt and vinegar, then set them aside to pickle while you prepare the rest of the salad.
Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Slice each half and lay the pieces onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast the squash until it’s tender and golden.
While you wait on the squash, make the honey lime dressing by whisking the lime zest, lime juice, honey, salt, and olive oil together in a small jar or bowl.
Once all of the elements are ready, you can assemble the salad. Lay the roasted delicata squash on a serving platter and add the avocado, persimmon, pomegranate seeds, and pickled shallots on top.
Drizzle the salad dressing over the salad, then garnish with mint leaves and toasted pecans. Enjoy!
More salad toppings and flavors
Put your own spin on this winter salad with even more toppings and flavors, such as:
- Roast the delicata squash seeds and use them as a crunchy topping (while avoiding food waste!).
- Use leafy greens as a base, like kale, mixed greens, romaine, or arugula.
- Or add some bulk with cooked quinoa or farro.
- Finish the salad with feta or goat cheese for some creaminess.
- Add crunch with even more nuts or seeds, like walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds.
- Dried cranberries are another delicious, seasonal topping.
Frequently asked questions
Yes! Since delicata squash is thinner-skinned than other winter squash varieties, you can roast the slices without having to peel the skin first.
Delicata tastes slightly nutty and sweet. The sweetness and depth are enhanced when the squash is roasted, and each piece takes on a milder flavor. It looks, tastes, and feels similar to butternut squash and sweet potatoes.
Yes, delicata squash is very healthy as it’s a wonderful source of vitamin A, beta-carotene, and potassium. It also has more vitamin C than pumpkin, which is essential for blood and bone health.
Looking for more seasonal salad recipes?
- Crunchy Kale Salad
- Radicchio Caesar Salad
- Roasted Cauliflower Salad
- Broccoli Brussels Sprouts Salad with Sardines
- Beet Salad with Citrus Tarragon Dressing
If you try this Delicata Squash Salad let me know what you think! Rate and review this recipe in the comments below. Don’t forget to take a picture and tag me on Instagram @lenaskitchenblog!
Delicata Squash Salad
Lime Salad Dressing
- 2 large avocados sliced into wedges
- 2 persimmons sliced thinly
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
- ¼ cup pecans toasted
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
- Thinly slice shallots. Rinse them in hot water and squeeze to let the onion flavor release. Add to bowl, then add the salt and vinegar. Using your hands scrunch the shallots. (If it's too strong of a vinegar flavor for you, add some water to dilute it.) Let it sit on the counter while the squash roasts and you prep the salad.
- Preheat oven to 450F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Half, deseed and thinly slice the squash and add into a bowl. Toss squash in olive oil and salt. Arrange on a baking sheet and roast for 30-35 minutes. Flip halfway.
Lime Salad Dressing
- Add lime zest, lime juice, honey, salt, and olive oil to a small mason jar, and shake until combined.
- Layer cooled squash on a platter with sliced avocado, sliced persimmon, pomegranate seeds, and pickled shallots. Drizzle the salad dressing on the salad once assembled. top with mint leaves and pecans.