This delicious salad features roasted delicata squash, pomegranate, quinoa, almonds and spinach topped with a simple homemade balsamic vinaigrette. If preparing in advance, wait to add the dressing until just before serving.
This roasted delicata squash, pomegranate, and spinach salad is a new favorite in our house. I absolutely love delicata squash so any excuse to come up with a new recipe for them is a-ok with me. Unlike other winter squash like butternut or acorn, the skin on the delicata squash is much thinner and edible. No need to peel! With a bit of roasting in the oven, the sweet flavor of the delicata squash really shines through.
- I’ve found that there is a lot of variation in the different brands of balsamic vinegar available in the store. Some brands are thin and more tangy while other are more syrupy and sweet. Depending on the balsamic variety you use at home, you may want to adjust the sweetness of the vinaigrette by using more or less maple syrup.
- If you have a more syrupy balsamic vinegar like I did, you can also thin out your dressing with 1-2 tablespoons water until the desired vinaigrette consistency is achieved. (I typically thin mine out a bit, but used a thicker one for the photo above.)
- Once the dressing is added to the salad, it is best to eat it right away. The dressing tends to wilt the spinach if you try to serve it the next day. It’s best to just add the dressing when ready to serve.
- Feel free to use more or less vinaigrette to dress your salad. Leftover vinaigrette can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.
- Don’t want to use delicata squash? You can easily use butternut squash or roasted sweet potato instead.
- Swap out the pomegranate for any fresh or dried fruit you prefer. Some suggestions: dried cranberries, chopped apple, chopped pear, halved grapes.
- Feel free to use any nut that you have on hand in place of the almonds. Here are a few that would be good: pumpkin seeds, pecans, or pistachios.
- For my vegetarian friends, this salad would be great with a little crumbled goat cheese or feta on top.
Looking for more salad recipes?
- Winter Kale Salad
- Roasted Cauliflower, Feta, and Lentil Salad
- Strawberry Spinach Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing
Roasted Delicata Squash, Pomegranate, and Spinach Salad
For the Salad:
- 2 medium delicata squash ~2 lbs
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 cup water or vegetable broth
- 5 oz baby spinach ~5 heaping cups spinach
- 1 cup pomegranate arils
- 1/2 cup chopped roasted and unsalted almonds
- 1/4 red onion or 1/2 shallot thinly sliced
Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1-2 tablespoons water if needed to thin dressing
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup optional (the balsamic vinegar I use is already a bit sweet)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice off the ends of the delicata squash and then slice in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Slice into 1/3" thick half circles and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Add olive oil. Toss to coat. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until squash is tender and golden brown.
- While the squash is cooking, rinse the quinoa with cold water in a fine meshed strainer. Add to a small saucepan with the broth/water. Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 12-15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
- Toss the spinach and quinoa together in a large mixing bowl. Top with pomegranate, almonds, red onion, and squash.
- To make the vinaigrette, add all the ingredients to a mason jar. Screw on the lid tightly and shake well to mix.
- Pour vinaigrette over the top of the salad and toss well to mix.