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Maple Butternut Squash Fall Harvest Salad

Maple Butternut Squash Fall Harvest Salad

Meryl Downing
Maple Butternut Squash Fall Harvest Salad is the perfect dinner or side dish for a gathering when the leaves start to change! It's loaded with autumn harvest favorites like roasted butternut squash, fresh crisp apples, dried cranberry, crispy bacon and shaved Parmesan. It's a balance of salty and sweet, warm and cold, and drizzled with a sweet maple dressing.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

For the Salad

  • 1 butternut squash peeled, seed cavity removed and chopped into ½ inch cubes
  • 5 slices bacon
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 2 cups bread cut in 1 inch cubes baguette, ciabatta, French or Italian bread
  • ½ cup pistachio nuts (raw)
  • 3 to 4 ounces salad greens
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 apple thinly sliced
  • ½ cup shaved Parmesan cheese (use a vegetable peeler)

For the Dressing

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 6 grinds fresh black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400° convection bake and prepare all ingredients (chop squash and bread, wait until the last minute to slice apples).
  • On a large sheet pan, lay out 5 strips of bacon to one side of the pan and spread the cubed squash on the other side. Drizzle the squash with 1 Tablespoon each of olive oil and maple syrup and ½ teaspoon of salt. Toss well with your hands and spread out. If your pan is too small for the squash and bacon, you can do on separate pans.
  • On a second sheet pan, add cubed bread to one side and pistachios to the other, drizzle both with a bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Toss well with your hands and spread out. Note** If you buy roasted salted pistachios, you don't need to toast them at all, or you can warm them on the pan for a few minutes.
  • *The timing can vary by oven, this is what worked for my oven so keep an eye on things and take them out as they are done, set a timer! Bake both sheet pans together in the oven at 400°. After 10 to 12 minutes, remove the croutons and pistachios and allow to cool, and flip the bacon with tongs. Continue to cook the bacon and squash 10 to 14 more minutes until bacon is crispy and fully cooked. Remove bacon to a plate lined with paper towel to drain and chop. Continue to cook the squash 15 minutes more until cooked through and softened (taste one!). Allow to cool slightly. Remove the squash with a slotted spatula to drain any remaining bacon fat.
  • Add all ingredients for the dressing to a jar with a lid and shake well (or whisk together in a small bowl).
  • Assemble the salad. On a large platter, arrange some of the squash as a bed for the greens - especially around the edges so you can see the color. Top it with greens, more squash, croutons, red onion, sliced apples, toasted pistachios, dried cranberries, chopped bacon, Parmesan cheese and drizzle with the dressing (I used all of it but use as much as you like).
  • Serve the salad, part warm, part cold immediately and enjoy! Or store in the fridge and add the apples, croutons and dressing just before serving.

Notes

  • Baking Times - This recipes cooks everything together in the oven, but not all for the same amount of time. Get everything prepped and in and then get your timer ready! The croutons and nuts only need about 10 minutes. You can flip the bacon when you pull them out. Then another 10 to 14 minutes to finish the bacon. Remove it but continue to cook the butternut squash for another 10 to 15 minutes. All ovens can run a little different so keep timing things and checking them and take them out as they finish. The total oven time for the squash is about 40 minutes. Use the convection setting on your oven, which means the fan is blowing the hot air around, this speeds up the cooking and gets things nice and crispy!
  • Storage and Meal Prep- I love making this salad for dinner, but if you are heading to Thanksgiving dinner or you want to meal prep a few lunches, it's great to make ahead of time. When eaten fresh, this salad has a unique warm ingredient - cold ingredient combo! The butternut squash, bacon, croutons, and pistachios all warm from the oven meet the cold from the fridge, lettuce greens, apple and crisp onion. It's a pretty delicious mix! But, it's all fine eaten cold from the fridge the next day too! Just leave off the apple and the dressing and add those just before serving. Croutons can be made ahead and kept in an airtight container on the counter, and the dressing can always be made ahead and keeps in the fridge for a month or two.
Keyword Autumn Harvest Salad, Fall Harvest Salad, Harvest Apple Salad