Sweet roasted butternut squash and earthy beetroot combine with salty pops of feta cheese, crunchy walnuts and a simple balsamic dressing in this delicious warm salad. This easy Roasted Butternut Squash and Beetroot Salad with Feta and Walnuts can be served as a side dish or as a main course with pittas or flatbreads. It can also be served cold and makes a delicious packed lunch!
An unbelievably delicious flavour combination…
There are some flavour combinations that are definitely greater than the sum of their parts and this is one of them! Roasted butternut squash, roasted beetroot, feta cheese, walnuts and balsamic salad dressing… they are all delicious flavours in their own right… but put them together and something quite magical happens! Honestly, I struggle to find the right words to convey just how utterly delicious this warm salad is.
…and so pretty!
Not only is this salad unbelievably delicious, it’s also super pretty, thanks to the jewel colours of the butternut squash and beetroot nestled in amongst pretty salad leaves, with little pops of white from the feta cheese. All of which makes this a great option to serve when you have guests!
How to make Roasted Butternut Squash and Beetroot Salad
Better still, this warm squash and beetroot salad is super easy to make…
All you need to do is roast cubes of butternut squash and beetroot in a hot oven. Meanwhile make the quick and easy balsamic dressing and roast the walnuts briefly. When everything is ready it’s just a simple assembly job! Pile the salad leaves onto a plate, top with the roasted veggies, drizzle over the dressing, crumble over the feta and, finally, scatter over the walnuts. Easy Peasy!
(Find the full recipe card below.)
What to serve with Butternut Squash and Beetroot Salad
This easy peasy Butternut Squash and Beetroot Salad is a delicious meal in its own right. Serve with pittas or flatbreads for a more substantial meal.
Alternatively, this salad makes a delicious side for steak, lamb chops, grilled salmon or roast chicken. And it would also work well as part of a larger buffet spread.
What to drink with Butternut Squash and Beetroot Salad
My favouite wine match for this Butternut Squash and Beetroot Salad is a zingy Sauvignon Blanc from somewhere like Chile, Australia or New Zealand. (French Sauvignons tend to be a bit delicate to stand up to the bold flavours in this salad.) Alternatively, you could try oak-aged Chardonnay or a South African Chenin Blanc. Viognier would also work well.
Personally I’d avoid red wine with this dish, but a fruity rosé would probably work OK.
A deliciously simple balsamic dressing
This warm squash and beetroot salad features a delicious and very easy balsamic dressing. All you need to do is combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper in a jam jar, screw on the lid and give it a thorough shake. Balsamic vinegar partners beautifully with the flavours in this salad – especially the roasted beetroot and butternut squash. If you find you have some balsamic dressing leftover, it will keep in the jam jar in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Make it your own…
This delicious warm salad is very easy to adapt. You could…
- Use pumpkin or a different type of squash instead of butternut squash
- Use roasted red peppers and roasted red onions as well as, or instead of, the roasted beetroot
- Use roasted sweet potatoes instead of the butternut squash or beetroot
- Use goats cheese or griddled halloumi in place of the feta cheese
- Use almonds, pine nuts, pistachios or hazelnuts instead of the walnuts
- Use roasted pumpkin seeds instead of the walnuts
- Add a sprinkle of chilli flakes and/or smoked paprika to the veggies before roasting
- Use rocket or baby spinach leaves in place of the mixed salad leaves
Can you ‘make ahead’ Butternut Squash and Beetroot Salad
Yes and no! You can prep all the individual components ahead of time (roast the squash and beetroot, roast the walnuts, mix up the dressing, crumble the feta…) But I recommend for best results, you put together all the elements at the last minute or the salad leaves will go soggy and it won’t look as pretty.
If you wanted to make this salad ahead of time, and you didn’t mind what it looked like (for example in a packed lunch), you could mix everything together apart from the salad leaves, then add the salad leaves at the last minute.
Can you freeze Butternut Squash and Beetroot Salad
Definitely not! You could freeze the cubes of roasted squash and beetroot, but they would not have such a good texture once defrosted, so personally I recommend making this fresh.
If you like this recipe…
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Roasted Butternut Squash and Beetroot Salad with Feta and Walnuts
Roasted Butternut Squash and Beetroot Salad
- 500 g beetroot chopped into 1cm / ½inch cubes (no need to peel)
- 500 g butternut squash peeled and chopped into 1cm / ½inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 50 g walnut halves
- 180 g mixed salad leaves
- 100 g feta cheese
Simple Balsamic Dressing
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 220C / 200C fan / gas mark 7 / 425F.
- Place the beetroot cubes on one side of a roasting tray and place the butternut squash on the other side. (See Note 1.)
- Drizzle over the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and scatter over a little salt and pepper. Turn the beetroot and butternut squash cubes in the oil, taking care not to stain the butternut squash purple (See Note 1.)
- Roast the beetroot and butternut squash in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, remove the beetroot and butternut squash from the oven and turn the cubes in the oil, again taking care not to stain the butternut squash purple. (See Note 1.)
- Return the tray to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes , or until fully cooked and lightly tinged with brown.
- While the vegetables are in the oven, make the simple balsamic dressing. Place all the dressing ingredients in a clean jam jar (or similar), give the dressing a quick stir then screw on the lid and give the dressing a vigorous shake to ensure all the ingredients are well combined.
- Next, place the walnut halves on another roasting tray. Pop the tray of walnuts into the same oven as the veggies and roast for 3 minutes, then remove from the oven. (See Note 2.)
- When the vegetables are cooked to your liking, remove them from the oven and assemble the salad. First divide the salad leaves between 4 plates. Next, add an equal portion of the butternut squash and beetroot cubes, on top of the salad leaves, on each plate. Drizzle over a spoonful of the dressing (See Note 3) and then scatter with the feta. Finally crumble over the walnuts and serve immediately. (See Note 4.)
- Serve as a main course with pittas or flatbreads. Put the remaining dressing on the table for people to add extra if they wish.
- Try to keep the beetroot and butternut squash cubes separate while roasting or the beetroot will stain the butternut squash purple and the salad will not look so pretty.
- The walnuts can be roasted at any time while the beetroot and butternut squash is roasting in the oven. Take care to take the walnuts out after 3 minutes – any longer and they may burn!
- I recommend drizzling over the dressing BEFORE adding the feta to make the salad look prettier.
- This salad ideally needs to be served immediately. If you cannot serve this salad immediately, keep the leaves separate and mix in at the last minute or they will go soggy.
- Not suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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