Roasted Delicata Squash Apple Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Enjoy the flavors of fall with this pretty and delicious Roasted Delicata Squash Apple Salad. A perfect side dish or starter salad, especially for the holidays.
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It’s not news that gut health is a hot topic in the nutrition world and beyond these days, but what you may not know is that your immune system relies on good gut health to stay strong. This is especially important as we head into cold and flu season, which is what led to this month’s topic for The Recipe ReDux.
Good Gut Health
With cold and flu season upon us, the best defense may be good gut health. Since much of our immune health begins in the gut, show us your healthy, delicious recipe to bolster gut health.
When we talk about gut health, we most often discuss foods rich in prebiotics and probiotics like asparagus and onions (prebiotics) and kefir and miso (probiotics). But there are other foods that also boost our gut health and are in season this time of year.
The stars of this Roasted Delicata Squash Apple Salad are both excellent sources of dietary fiber, a nutrient we know is important for a variety of reasons, including blood sugar stabilization, keeping us full, and gut health
While more research is needed, there are some studies showing that apples have a positive effect on gut health, mostly due to the soluble fiber pectin, which acts as a prebiotic in the gut. (1, 2) Given the old adage, “an apple a day will keep the doctor away,” it’s no surprise that there are more good reasons to bite into this popular fruit.
In addition to fiber, delicata squash and other winter squash are excellent sources of vitamin A and C, both of which support our immune system.
What Is Delicata Squash?
If you’re not familiar with delicata squash, it’s an oblong yellow squash with green stripes. Most winter squash are super hard to cut into, but delicata is a little softer and the skin is edible, so there’s a lot less work involved in preparing it, which is why it’s one of my favorite winter squash!
In addition to eating the skin of delicata squash, you can also eat the seeds – hooray for ending food waste! All you have to do is scoop out the seeds, rinse them off, toss with olive oil, and roast for 5 to 8 minutes. They add a great crunch to this Roasted Delicata Squash Apple Salad.
Fall Flavors Unite
Pomegranates are another of my favorite fall fruits. Not only do they make any dish pretty thanks to their ruby red color, but they are also rich in immune-boosting antioxidants.
No salad is complete without a fabulous dressing to bring it all together. To go along with the fall flavors, I made a dressing using apple cider vinegar and maple syrup. Apple cider vinegar gets touted for a lot of health benefits, including acting as a probiotic (assuming it has the “mother” in it); however, there isn’t any research to back up that claim. If you’re curious to learn the truth about apple cider vinegar, check out this article by fellow RD Ellie Krieger.
This Roasted Delicata Squash Apple Salad is perfect for starting a holiday meal or serving as a side to a weeknight dinner. Just see for yourself how easy it is to make in the video above!
Do Your Kids Eat Salad?
Kid Tip: This salad tends to go over well with kids because they like the roasted squash and fruit is always a winner. Even if they start by picking out the parts of the salad they like and leave over the greens, that’s a great introduction to making salad part of their diets.
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Roasted Delicata Squash Apple Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
This pretty and delicious salad is full of the flavors of fall. Arugula is topped with apples, pomegranate arils, roasted delicata squash and seeds, then tossed in an apple cider vinaigrette sweetened with pure maple syrup. Serve as a side dish or starter salad.
- Cooking spray
- 1 Delicata squash, (~3/4 lb)
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil,, divided
- 5 ounces arugula
- 1 large or 2 medium crunchy apples,, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
For the Apple Cider Vinaigrette:
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, , to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line two large sheet pans and one small sheet pan with foil and coat with cooking spray.
- Cut delicata squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, reserving them for later, and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch thick half moons. (If using a mandoline, use #2 setting.)
- In a large bowl, toss squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Spread squash on prepared large sheet pans, making sure not to overcrowd the pans. Toss reserved squash seeds with remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil and spread on the prepared small sheet pan.
- Roast squash seeds for about 6 minutes, stirring once while cooking, until crispy. Roast squash for 10 to 12 minutes, flipping squash and rotating the pans halfway through, until squash is caramelized and slightly crisp. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
- While the squash is cooking, make the dressing. In a small bowl or mason jar, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, salt, and pepper, to taste.
- In a large serving bowl, combine the arugula, sliced apples, roasted squash and seeds, and pomegranate arils. Toss with dressing and serve immediately.
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Have you tried delicata squash?
Share with me in the comments below!
This looks delicious and perfect for fall
Thanks Allie! Delicata squash, apples, and pomegranates are just a few of my fall favorites! Hope you give it a try.
This looks like such a flavorful salad! I bet my kids would at least pick some parts out and eat it! P.S. – I love the salad bowl you used – so fun!
One of my favorite squashes! I love this idea. So colorful, too!
Yum! This salad looks super delicious! A great way to feed the good and crowd out the bad microbes!
Thanks Rebecca! Yes! Gut-boosting and delicious all at the same time!
Squash and apples are a fantastic fall combo!
They sure are! Glad you agree 😉
yummm the roasted squash adds an awesome flavour to the already delicious salad 🙂
Thanks Abbey, it sure does! Also a different texture!
What a delicious looking salad! So many wonderful fall flavors! And the bowl is adorable!
Thanks so much Sonali! I know you’ll love this one!
This looks so simply delicious, I love all the flavor! I don’t have any delicata squash but lots of acorn and butternut from the garden so might try it with one of those.
Thanks Sarah. This would work great with any winter squash really, and acorn squash you can cut into half moons like I do the delicata if you want the same look 🙂 Let me know if you try it!
I’ve never heard of delicata squash. Looks good though. I love pomegranate arils!
It’s one of the lesser known winter squash and can be hard to find, but if you see it you should definitely try it. It’s so yummy!
I’ve been looking everywhere for delicate squash after seeing this recipe on your Facebook page – it’s so pretty! Hopefully I find it soon 🙂
I hope you find it soon too! Do you have a Trader Joe’s near you? That’s where i get mine this time of year!
This just screams fall! Loving the mix of flavours and textures in this salad.
It sure does! Thanks Jacquee!
Such a beautiful spread of delicious and healthy ingredients. Lovely for the holiday season!
Thanks Valentina. It would make a great appetizer for the upcoming holidays!
I love delicata squash! This salad has wonderful fall flavors!
I’m so glad to hear that! Thank you Mary 🙂
This salad just says “fall” to me… it looks delicious! And it contains pomegranates… my oldest son’s favorite fall fruit. I can’t wait to try it this weekend!!!
Thanks Meredith! My girls are obsessed with pomegranates too! Hope you enjoy it and that your son gives it a try!
There’s just something about a fall salad that trumps all other salads. I think it’s the addition of roasted and almost caramelized veggies. That punch of warmth adds so much to the other crispy components. I love this one, and the vinaigrette sounds amazing!
I absolutely agree with you Dana! You hit the nail on the head. Hope you enjoy 🙂
All the colors! What a gorgeous salad!
Thanks so much Suzy!
Wow this sounds like the ultimate fall salad! And the dressing sounds just perfect!
I loooove delicata, and pomegranate…and apple. And this looks so easy too!! Can’t wait to make it.
It’s such a good combo! Hope you enjoy!
What a lovely fall salad! And I have a delicata sitting on the counter along with some apples, waiting to be made into this.
How perfect! Can’t wait to see how it comes out!
I need to try this! It looks like a delicious salad!
I hope you do Carmy!
This is the most perfect and delicious looking fall salad ever! I have got to try this. Yummy!
Thanks! Let me know if you make it this fall!
This the best recipe I’ve ever seen featuring Delicata Squash. I’ll be making this over and over again.
Wow, thank you! I’m so honored to hear that!
What a beautiful fall salad! I wish I was eating this for lunch. Love the use of delicata squash (I need to use this more) and pomegranate arils (one of my favs)!
Thanks Marie. Roasted delicata squash is my favorite right now and it’s especially good with the crunch of apple and burst of flavor from poms!
Yum! I love delicata squash but haven’t had any this season yet!! Thanks for the reminder 🙂
Go get some Tara!!!
I LOVE adding roasted vegetables on a fresh salad! The combo of flavors and textures makes it so much more interesting.
Me too, especially in the winter!
I’m not typically a big salad person, but I DO love fall salads like this one! Looks delicious!
It’s hard not to love salads like these 😉
Love the look of this fall salad, can’t wait to give it a try!
Thanks Lauren! Look forward to hearing how you like it!
This is the ULTIMATE fall salad! Yum!
I’m so glad you agree Amy!
This sounds so delish! Again, I love that bowl. Too cute.
Thanks Katie! It’s from Williams Sonoma!
This salad is so beautiful & sounds so tasty! Glad to know that it is great for GI health too!
Thanks Denise! So many health benefits in here 🙂
Such a beautiful salad! I love salads with lots of non-traditional ingredients like roasted squash!
Thanks Lindsey! Love adding roasted veggies to salads!
I love delicata squash SO much, and cooked like this, it looks fantastic! I bet they would make a nice creamy winter squash soup garnish too. 😉
Thanks Catherine. I love that idea to add this as a garnish for soup 😉
What a gorgeous bowl (and the actual serving bowl is quite fun) And BTW: I recently tried Delicate squash and it roasted deliciously. 😉
Thanks so much Lauren! I’m so glad you got to try Delicata squash! It’s definitely one of my favorites!
This is an awesome breakfast idea, Jessica! Excellent combination of healthy and nutrient-dense ingredients!
Thanks Agness! I’m not one to eat salad for breakfast, but certainly would be a great way to get those veggies in early in the day!
I just got into delicata squash last fall – SOOOOOO good! This recipe looks awesome!
I’m so glad you found it Mandy! It’s been on repeat in my house this fall. Making this Roasted Delicata Squash Apple Salad again this week!
This salad is a dream! I love the simplicity of it. And that arugula looks so fresh.
Thanks so much Katie! Simple, but incredibly delicious 🙂
I have never had delicata squash! I need to try it. I’ve never noticed it at the grocery, but I have probably never looked either 🙂
You’re not the only one who has told me that! Most people don’t even know what delicata is. Hope you find it and love it if you do!
This is such a pretty salad Jessica! And, so nourishing too. Confession time. I’ve never cooked a Delicata squash before 🙁 I will definitely be making this soon!
Thanks EA! OMG, I cannot believe you have never made delicata! I know a lot of people aren’t familiar with this type of squash, but I would not have guessed you are one of them! Hope you get to try it asap!
Such a functional, creative, and gorgeous salad! Perfect for fall entertaining!
Thanks so much Karman! Hope you get a chance to make it!
As soon as these holidays are done and I’m back to eating more veg than starch — this is going on the menu!
Sounds like a great plan to me! Enjoy the holidays and can’t wait to hear how you like the salad!
What a beautiful salad! I love all varieties of squash; it’s hard to come by delicata in Australia unfortunately but I’m sure this salad would be awesome with other types in there too 🙂
Thanks Monique. This would definitely work with other forms of squash. Acorn squash would give you the same look and texture. Other squash like butternut are starchier, so the cook time and texture will be different. Would love to know if you try it!