This Red Kuri Squash Salad is a delicious and colorful way to enjoy this winter squash! The hearty salad is piled with feta cheese, chopped pecans, and pomegranate seeds to add a nice crunchy texture. It's then tossed with a homemade Balsamic Maple Mustard Dressing to enhance the flavors.
Roasted Red Kuri Squash is perfect in a winter salad. This dish is colorful and packed with lots of texture and winter flavors.
Roasting the squash concentrates the sweet flavors and adds a tasty main vegetable component to this vegetable-packed salad.
Red kuri squash, also known as onion squash or Hokkaido squash, is a winter squash (in season from October to December) that is often used in dishes like soup or ravioli.
It has reddish-orange skin and creamy, orange flesh. This squash has a sweet flavor, almost like pumpkin but is a bit milder. It can be found at most grocery stores and is often located near the other winter squashes like butternut and acorn.
For this recipe, red kuri squash is sliced and roasted in the oven with sweet maple syrup.
The salad gets tossed with feta, pecans, and tangy pomegranate seeds and then drizzled with a homemade balsamic maple mustard dressing to tie all the sweet and savory flavors together.
Serve this salad as part of a winter party or enjoy it alongside your favorite protein dishes for a well-rounded meal!
Make it vegan by omitting the feta or using vegan feta.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
A great way to introduce anyone to beautiful red kuri squash.
The dressing can be doubled and used for salads or other dishes.
This colorful salad is great to serve during the winter months.
Change up the ingredients by using your favorite cheese, nuts, or dried fruit to complement the dish.
It's a vegetarian salad that's easily vegan with one simple swap (feta).
- Red Kuri Squash - This naturally red squash is used to create a hearty texture with a hint of natural sweetness when sliced and roasted with maple syrup.
- Olive Oil - Used to help roast the squash in the oven and to help the seasonings stick.
- Maple Syrup - Adds a hint of sweetness to the squash and helps it caramelize when roasting.
- Salt & Pepper - Enhances and balances the flavor of the squash.
For the salad:
- Mixed Lettuce - Gives the salad depth and texture while adding nutrients.
- Feta Cheese - Adds a layer of creamy and salty flavor to the salad. Leave out or substitute gorgonzola, brie, blue cheese or vegan cheese.
- Pomegranate Seeds - Gives the salad a tangy tart texture in each bite that pairs well with the sweet flavors of squash.
- Pecans & Pumpkin Seeds - Helps to add a nutty flavor and natural crunch to the salad.
For the dressing:
- Olive Oil - Used to emulsify and thicken the dressing.
- Balsamic Vinegar - Adds a tart and acidic flavor that contrasts well with the sweetness of the maple syrup.
- Dijon Mustard - A type of mustard often used in French cuisine that has a strong, pungent flavor. I use smooth Grey Poupon, but you can use any dijon, or even wholegrain dijon.
- Maple Syrup - Used as a sweetener for the dressing and helps to balance out the flavors. Substitute honey if desired.
- Salt & Pepper - Enhances and balances the flavor of the dressing.
Please see the recipe card below for quantities.
How to make Roasted Red Kuri Squash Salad
Wondering how to make this Roasted Red Kuri Squash Salad recipe? It's easy! Just follow this step-by-step photo tutorial. Then, scroll down for the recipe card for the full ingredients list and recipe method.
Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 400° F (200C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
Prepare the squash: Wash the outside of the squash to remove any dirt and impurities. Cut the squash in half with a sharp knife. Scoop out the seeds and discard them. Place the squash cut side down and slice it into ¾ inch slices.
Roast the squash: In a large bowl, whisk the maple syrup and olive oil together. Add the squash slices and use your hands to fully coat the squash. Place the squash in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, flip with tongs, then roast for an additional 15 minutes or until the squash is golden brown.
Make the dressing: While the squash is roasting, make the dressing. Add all of the dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk together until fully combined. Set aside.
Assemble the salad: Add lettuce to plates, then top with the roasted squash. Sprinkle the crumbled feta, pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds, and pecans on top evenly. Drizzle the dressing on top as desired and serve.
Make sure you cut the squash with a sharp knife as the squash is thick and can be hard to slice. A sharp knife is safer than a dull knife.
The squash on the salad can be served hot or cold depending on if you enjoy the warm squash and cold lettuce together.
The time it takes to cook the squash will depend on how thick you slice it. For best results, slice into ¾" slices.
The dressing will taste best if it has 30 minutes to rest in order for all of the flavors can marry together.
If you can't find red kuri squash, try using butternut squash, acorn squash, or Japanese pumpkin.
Red kuri squash is also known as onion squash or hokkaido squash.
Change up the cheese by using crumbled bleu cheese, goat cheese, or cheddar cheese instead of feta.
Add in fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, or rosemary for extra flavor.
If you're not a fan of pomegranate seeds, try using dried cranberries or chopped apricots.
Replace the pecans with almonds, hazelnuts, or walnuts.
To make this recipe vegan, just leave out the feta or use a vegan feta cheese.
This roasted squash salad is best served fresh as each ingredient will spoil at different rates. Store the cooked squash, dressing, and other components of the dish in separate containers for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
Freezing is not recommended.
If you'd like to change up the dressing, I recommend using a light and creamy balsamic vinaigrette. If you can't find one in the store, make your own by mixing together vinegar, oil, salt & pepper to taste with dijon mustard and maple syrup.
While red kuri squash is in the same family as pumpkin, it is not a true pumpkin. It has a different flavor profile and texture than traditional pumpkins.
Red kuri is a sweet and nutty squash that has a similar flavor to chestnuts and pumpkin. It's also earthy and buttery.
More Squash Recipes
- Chocolate Squash Cake
- Maple Roasted Butternut Squash
- Mushroom Pasta with Butternut Squash and Sage
- Cauliflower with Roasted Butternut Sauce
More Salad Recipes
I hope you love this roasted red kuri squash salad as much as we do! Be sure to try out these other salad recipes too.
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Roasted Red Kuri Squash Salad
- 1 red kuri squash onion squash or hokkaido squash
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
For the salad:
- 6 ounces lettuce mixed leaves
- ½ cup feta cheese crumbled or vegan feta
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- ¼ cup pecans
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- pinch of salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400° F (200°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with baking parchment paper.
- Wash the outside of the squash well. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the red kuri squash in half and scoop out and discard the seeds.
- Place the half squash on the cutting board with the cut side down (so it doesn’t roll) and cut in half again, then slice into ¾”-inch slices.
- Mix the maple syrup and olive oil in a large bowl, then add the squash and use your hands to coat the slices well. Place the red kuri squash slices onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer and season with the salt and pepper.
- Place into the oven and roast for 15 minutes, then flip each piece over and roast for a further 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Meanwhile, for the dressing, whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Set aside.
- To serve, pile the plates or a serving dish with the lettuce and top with the roasted squash. Sprinkle with the crumbled feta, pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds and pecans. Drizzle with dressing.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.