Roasted Butternut Squash Orzo Salad

Quick Summary

Roasted Butternut Squash Orzo Salad with spinach, dried cranberries, red onion, pepitas, and goat cheese. The perfect hearty salad for fall!

I love roasted butternut squash, it is one of my favorite fall vegetables. I could eat it plain all day long, but I also love it in this Roasted Butternut Squash Orzo Salad.

My easy orzo salad is one of the most popular salad recipes on our blog and I think you will love the fall version too! All of the flavors come together in one bowl to create the most amazing fall salad!

The salad is loaded with lots of fall goodies; roasted butternut squash, orzo pasta, spinach, dried cranberries, pepitas, creamy goat cheese, and red onion.

I love making this salad for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or to go along side any fall meal. It is healthy, hearty, and so satisfying!

Butternut Squash Orzo Salad Ingredients

The ingredients are simple and SO good!

  • Butternut squash– pick out a medium sized butternut squash. Peel the squash and remove the seeds with a spoon. Use a sharp knife to cut the squash into 1-inch cubes. If you want to save time, you can buy precut butternut squash, most grocery stores sell it all ready to go!
  • Olive oil– to drizzle over the squash
  • Spinach-I love using spinach, but arugula or kale work well too!
  • Goat cheese– if you don’t like goat cheese, you can use feta cheese
  • Pepitas– I love the slight crunch they add! Pecans, candied pecans, almonds, or walnuts would also be good!
  • Dried cranberries– for a little bit of sweetness!
  • Red onion– for a pop of color and flavor!

Salad Dressing Ingredients

The dressing is super simple to whisk up and much better than any store bought dressing!

  • Olive oil– the base of the dressing!
  • Red wine vinegar– sweet and tangy!
  • Maple Syrup or Honey– use whatever you have on hand, both are great!  
  • Dijon mustard-works as an emulsifier in the dressing.  
  • Garlic-always!
  • Cinnamon– a little ground cinnamon is the secret ingredient to this dressing! Don’t skip it! It complements the butternut squash so nicely!

How to Make Roasted Butternut Squash Orzo Salad

There are a few steps to this salad, but don’t worry, it’s easy to make and the end results are SO worth it!

  • Place the squash on a large baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss until well coated. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange the squash in one layer and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until the squash is tender, turning once with a spatula.
  • While the squash is roasting, cook the orzo according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain well.
  • Pour the cooked orzo into a large bowl. Add the roasted butternut squash, spinach, goat cheese, pepitas, and dried cranberries.
  • In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup (or honey), mustard, garlic, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until well combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

How to Store

After the salad has been tossed, you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

If you want to prep in advance, you can roast the butternut squash, cook the orzo, and make the salad dressing. Keep them all in separate containers in the fridge. When you are ready to assemble the salad, put all of the ingredients in a bowl and toss!

More Fall Salad Recipes

  • Sweet Potato Lentil Salad
  • Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
  • Apple Pecan Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing
  • Favorite Pear Salad
  • Kale and Wild Rice Salad

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