This easy fall salad is filled with chopped greens, apples, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and roasted butternut squash. Then topped with a maple Dijon vinaigrette that brings out the delicious fall flavors!
Table of Contents
Favorite Autumn Harvest Salad
This fall salad is full of fall produce and beautiful fall colors. It has everything you love about fall and is anything but boring. It’s super delicious, very filling and comes together quickly!
It’s loaded with both sweet and savory flavors, and has just the right amount of crunch. The homemade maple Dijon vinaigrette is the perfect finishing touch and really takes this salad over the top.
It also makes the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving or any fall meal. If I’m serving it alongside an oven roasted turkey, I usually will just keep it simple. It’s definitely a real show stopper!
Why We Love This Recipe
- Side or main. Keep it simple or bulk it up, this fall salad recipe can be served as either an easy side dish or main course.
- Healthy. Made with good-for-you ingredients full of antioxidants, healthy fats, protein and more.
- Quick. Ready in just 20 minutes and not much prep time needed.
- Seasonal ingredients. The perfect way to showcase fresh fall produce like butternut squash and apples.
- Customizable. There are so many ways to make this recipe your own. Keep it vegetarian, add meat or toss in any of your other favorite ingredients. You really can’t go wrong!
- Butternut squash: It’s peak season is in the fall, making it the perfect flavorful addition to this fall harvest salad. You can either roast it on the stove or make oven roasted butternut squash. Both ways are delicious!
- Greens: Use a mix of your favorite greens. Baby spinach, kale, arugula, leaf lettuce and bibb lettuce are all great options.
- Apple: Freshly sliced apples add a nice sweetness and crunch. I love using honeycrisp apples when they are in season in the fall.
- Dried cranberries: Another sweet element that add a tart, bright flavor.
- Pumpkin seeds: Also known as pepitas. They add crunch and are loaded with healthy fats and protein. You can add them raw or make roasted pumpkin seeds for a bit more flavor.
- Cheese: Feta cheese or goat cheese are my favorites for this fall salad. The tangy and salty flavor pairs great with the sweetness from the apples and cranberries.
Additional Mix-in Ideas
Keep it simple with the above ingredients or add a few more of your favorite mix-in’s to bulk it up a little more. This butternut squash salad is so easy to customize to meet your needs!
- Protein: Shredded chicken, roasted turkey or crispy air fryer chickpeas are all great ways to add more protein to this salad.
- Grains: Wild rice, brown rice or quinoa.
- Nuts and seeds: Use candied pecans instead of pumpkin seeds, or add in chopped walnuts, slivered almonds or roasted sunflower seeds.
- Extras: Pomegranate seeds, pears, sliced red onions, cornbread croutons, roasted sweet potatoes, shaved brussels or broccoli slaw would add great flavor and texture.
Maple Dijon Vinaigrette
This maple Dijon vinaigrette is my absolute favorite for this fall harvest salad. It has similar flavors to a classic balsamic dressing, but with a hint of maple syrup added in for sweetness. You could always use an easy vinaigrette, poppy seed dressing or lemon tahini dressing if preferred.
How to Make This Easy Fall Salad
- Roast the squash. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet, then add the cubed butternut squash, season with salt and black pepper and cook until roasted and tender. Make sure to flip every so often so that they get golden and caramelized on all sides.
- Chop the greens. Use a knife to chop the greens extra fine and place in a large bowl. I used mixed greens, but feel free to use your favorite greens of choice.
- Assemble. Line the apples, cranberries and pumpkin seeds on top of the chopped greens. Then sprinkle the cheese and roasted butternut squash over the top. If desired, add in extra mix-in’s like chicken and/or rice (more ideas above).
- Toss with dressing. Just before serving, drizzle the maple vinaigrette over the top and then toss with salad tongs. Serve immediately!
Yes, the skin on butternut squash is tough, so I recommend peeling it off prior to roasting. Check out my tips on how to cut butternut squash, which includes a quick tip for how to peel the skin off even easier.
This salad tastes best eaten immediately after being tossed, although there are a few things you can prep in advance to make the assembly easier when ready to serve.
The dressing can be made a few days ahead of time if needed. You may also roast the squash in advance if you prefer, however I recommend heating it back up on the stove or oven before serving so that it stays crispy.
5 star review
“This is the best salad I’ve ever made! The dressing is fabulous! I made my salad with all the extras including: a creamy goat cheese, honey crisp apples, pumpkin seeds, shaved Brussels mixed with organic greens, dried cranberries, wild rice, roasted chicken, and roasted butternut squash. Love, love, love!!!”– Ruth
More Delicious Salad RecipesBrowse all
HUNGRY FOR MORE? Subscribe to my newsletter and follow on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for all the newest recipes!
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced butternut squash
- 8 cups mixed greens , chopped fine
- 1 apple ,chopped
- ¼ cup dried cranberries , more if desired
- ¼ – ½ cup pumpkin seeds (could sub for pecans)
- 2-3 Tablespoons feta or goat cheese
Maple Dijon Vinaigrette:
- ¼ cup virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons 100% maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¼ cup mayo or greek yogurt (optional for a creamier dressing)
S&P to taste
Optional mix-ins: shredded chicken, turkey, wild rice, extra veggies, sliced red onion
- Spray a little olive oil onto a small skillet. Add the diced butternut squash and cook over medium heat. Cook a couple of minutes and then flip. Cook until the edges are slightly golden and roasted.
- Chop the greens extra fine and place in a large bowl. Line the apples, cranberries and pumpkin seeds on top. Sprinkle the cheese and roasted butternut squash over top. Add chicken, rice or any extra mix-in's as desired.
- If making the homemade dressing, whisk together the ingredients. Add the mayo or greek yogurt if you'd like a thicker and creamier dressing.
- Drizzle the dressing over top just before serving and then toss with salad tongs. Serve immediately.
- Greens: mixed salad greens, spinach, bibb lettuce, kale, shaved brussesls, broccoli slaw
- Protein: grilled chicken, roasted chicken or leftover roasted turkey
- Nuts: plain or candied pecans
- Dressing: Poppy seed dressing also tastes great on this salad.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
This is the best salad I’ve ever made! The dressing is fabulous! I made my salad with all the extras including: a creamy goat cheese, honey crisp apples, pumpkin seeds, shaved Brussels mixed with organic greens, dried cranberries, wild rice, roasted chicken, and roasted butternut squash. Love, love, love!!!
Your additions sounds SO delicious, Ruth! I’m so glad you loved it :)
I did the 4 cups of mixed greens and 4 cups of shaved Brussels sprouts. It was a lot Leftover which is wonderful! The Brussels sprouts and the roasted butternut squash gave a bite to the salad so it was more filling than I expected which was great! I hate eating a salad in the colder months and then I’m hungry a few hours later.
I used Fage 2% yogurt in the maple balsamic dressing and it was delicious!
Will definitely put this into rotation! I googled “fall salad” and your recipe came up! Thanks for sharing! –
Laura in New Orleans
I love everything about this salad! Everyone at my house enjoyed it.
That dressing sounds amazing! Such a great way to continue making healthier options and still enjoy the season. Love it!
This looks like a nice break from heavy holiday meals!!!
This harvest salad seriously making me hungry!
I am always looking for new salads to make so I don’t get bored with them! This sounds perfect!
Hope you enjoy! :)
This looks really yummy! I cant wait to try it!
Love a great seasonal salad! This looks worthy of a restaurant, indeed!