Winter Beet Butternut Squash Salad, a simple fall salad with red beets, butternut squash, cranberries, red onions, and pumpkin seeds. Fall in a bowl!

green salad with orange squash, red beets, cranberries, and a white napkin

Our roasted beet salad is the perfect combination of leafy greens, earthy beets, and sweet butternut squash and cranberries. Topped off with pumpkin seeds and a warm apple cider vinaigrette, it’s a perfect healthy alternative for your festive fall holiday table.

👉 Here are three reasons why you should be making beet and squash salad:

  • It's quick and simple! After roasting the beets and squash, this winter salad comes together in just 10 minutes with ingredients that you likely already have in your fridge or pantry.
  • You can prep it ahead. Save yourself some time by roasting the beets and butternut squash in advance. You can mix them together with the other salad components up to two days ahead of time, then add the salad dressing before serving.
  • It's versatile. You can make this recipe your own by mixing in different vegetables, using spinach or kale instead of mixed greens, or trying it with yellow beets instead of red. Switch it up by adding your favorite seasonings blends and toppings!

Ready to learn how to make your new favorite fall salad? Let's do it!


🌿 Ingredients

This roasted beet and squash salad uses vegan-friendly and gluten-free ingredients, including veggies, olive oil, greens, and fall-themed toppings. Here's an overview of what you'll need:

  • Red beets: We love the bright colors and sweet, earthy flavor that beets bring to this dish!
  • Butternut squash: Before roasting the squash with the beets, you'll need to peel, de-seed, and cut it.
  • Olive oil: Adds flavor, and brings extra crisp to vegetables when they are roasted.
  • Salt: All you need is a dash of sea salt to boost this salad's flavor.
  • Mixed greens: the base of this recipe; the greens are arranged with the roasted vegetables in the last step.
  • Red onion: For some extra savory flavor.
  • Dried cranberries: Their sweet-tart flavor complements the earthy, fresh flavors of the rest of the salad ingredients.
  • Pumpkin seeds or pepitas: Brings a crunchy touch (and plant-based protein!).
  • Dressing: olive oil, apple cider vinegar, shallot, brown sugar, salt, and pepper are the ingredients needed to make the apple cider vinaigrette.
  • Recommended tools: kitchen knife set, glass baking dish, ceramic baking sheets, glass mixing bowls
a cutting board with mixed greens, butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, shallots, beets, cranberries, and oil

🥣 How to make (step-by-step photos)

1️⃣ Step One: Preheat oven + prep veggies

Start by preheating your oven to 450 degrees F. Then prepare the beets and butternut squash for roasting.

  1. To prep beets: Wash beets well to remove any dirt. Pierce whole beets with a fork (with skin on) and place in a large glass baking dish filled with a small layer of water and cover with aluminum foil.
  2. To prep butternut squash: Using a good quality kitchen knife, cut the ends off the squash. Then, peel the skin using a vegetable peeler or kitchen paring knife. Cut the squash in half and remove the flesh and seeds, then cut into small cubes. Toss squash cubes with olive oil and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet.

2️⃣ Step Two: Roast beets and squash in the oven

Next, place the dishes with the roasted vegetables in the oven. Bake the beets until they are soft and fork-tender, which will take about 40 minutes. Let cool, then remove the skin with a small paring knife and cut into cubes.

The butternut squash will take about 35 minutes to bake, more or less depending on your oven. About halfway through roasting, stir the squash on the pan to make sure it cooks evenly on all sides. The squash will be soft and golden brown when done roasting. Set aside to cool.

a glass baking dish with red beets on a white table

3️⃣ Step Three: Make the dressing

While the beets and squash are roasting, make the salad dressing.

To make the apple cider vinaigrette, combine olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sliced shallot, brown sugar, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor.

Blend in the food processor, slowly adding in oil until the dressing is well combined.


4️⃣ Step Four: Assemble beet and squash salad

Finally, it's time to put it all together!

Layer the roasted beets and butternut squash on top of a bed of mixed greens. Toss together with red onion, and top with cranberries and pumpkin seeds.

Add a drizzle of homemade apple cider vinaigrette. Toss to combine and enjoy!


❓ Recipe questions + quick tips

What vegetables go well with beets?

Beets have a naturally sweet and earthly flavor, which pairs well with other root vegetables like carrots, onions, and radishes. Squash is also a delicious vegetable pair for beets. They taste great when combined with greens like arugula, spinach, or kale. You can combine them with a variety of herbs and spices, such as garlic, oregano, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, and paprika.

Is beet salad good for you?

Beet salad typically features a combination of beets, vegetables, greens, and spices, making it a very healthy dish to include in your diet. This roasted vegetable salad is completely vegan and is a good source of plant-based protein. It's also high in fiber, vitamin A, and antioxidants. We suggest eating Winter Beet Butternut Squash Salad for the health benefits!

Is it better to peel beets before or after roasting?

Raw beets can be difficult to peel, so we suggest peeling them after roasting. Note that beet peels are edible (they're high in antioxidants and fiber!) as long as you wash them well. You can keep the skins on the beets in this recipe if you would prefer.


👉 How to serve

Roasted beet and squash salad is colorful, flavor-filled, healthy, and it's sure to be a crowd-pleaser! Here are some of our favorite ways to serve it:

  • Enjoy as the main course. This salad is satisfying enough to be its own meal. Make it more balanced by serving with a plant-based protein like quinoa or tofu.
  • Serve as a side dish. The flavors of beet salad pair well with just about any dish. Add it to your dinner lineup or bring to share at your next potluck!
  • Add to the holiday menu. Bring this salad to pass around the dinner table at Thanksgiving or other holiday parties. It's easy to prepare ahead and assemble when you're ready to serve!
a fall vegetable salad in a black bowl on a white table

🧊 How to store

If you plan to have leftovers, consider keeping the dressing on the side and add it to the salad when ready to serve. Otherwise, the mixed greens will wilt in storage. Here's how to store the salad for the best quality:

  1. Refrigerator storage: keep beet salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.
  2. Freezer storage: we don't recommend storing beet salad in the freezer.

♻️ Sustainable kitchen tips

Sustainability is super important to us here at Fork in the Road! Since this recipe uses homemade dressing, it helps prevent the packaging waste that comes from store-bought dressings. Here are a few other ways to make it even more eco-friendly:

Make it during the autumn months. This is when beets and butternut squash are in season in most parts of the US, which is better for the planet and your wallet. Find out when beets are in season near you.

Repurpose veggie scraps. Butternut squash peels, beet peels, and any other scraps from the vegetables can be saved and used to add flavor to homemade vegetable broth. If you're not able to save them, then make sure to toss them in your compost bin.

Roast butternut squash seeds. Instead of throwing the seeds away, give them a rinse and store to use later! You can make a healthy, crunchy snack out of butternut squash seeds by combining them with oil and spices, then roasting them in the oven.

A salad bowl with leafy green, butternut squash, and cranberries on a white table with orange holly in the background

🥗 More winter vegetable salad recipes

Can't get enough roasted veggie salad? Check out our other cold-weather vegetable salads:

Looking for more roasted beet recipes? There are so many different ways you can enjoy this earthy vegetable: beet soup, beet fries, beet carpaccio, and even just a big bowl of greens and beets – like this Winter Beet Butternut Squash Salad.

Winter Beet Butternut Squash Salad

Winter Beet Butternut Squash Salad, a simple fall salad with red beets, butternut squash, cranberries, red onions, and pumpkin seeds. Fall in a bowl!
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Ingredients

Winter Beet Butternut Squash Salad

  • 2 whole beets
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½” cubes
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 8 cups mixed greens
  • ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • cup pumpkin seeds or pepitas

Warm Apple Cider Shallot Vinaigrette

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 whole shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, or maple syrup
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper

Instructions 

  • Roast beets: Preheat oven to 450 F. Pierce beets with a fork (with skin on) and place in a glass baking dish covered with aluminum foil. Bake until soft and cooked throughout, about 40 minutes. Set aside to cool, then remove skin with a small paring knife and cut into ½” cubes.
  • Roast butternut squash: Toss squash cubes with olive oil and place on lightly oiled baking sheet. Roast in oven until soft and golden brown, about 35 minutes, stirring periodically to brown all sides. Set aside to cool.
  • Make dressing: Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor, slowly adding in oil until dressing is well combined.
  • Build salad: Combine mixed greens, onion, cranberries, and pepitas with beets and butternut squash in a large salad bowl. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine, then serve

Notes

  • Tools needed: kitchen knife set, glass baking dish, ceramic baking sheets, glass mixing bowls
  • Prep ahead: roast beets and butternut squash and mix together salad components up to two days ahead of time. Add salad dressing before serving.
  • Leftovers + storage: if you plan to have leftovers, consider keeping dressing on the side and only added when time to eat or else mixed greens will wilt in storage. Store salad and dressing in airtight food storage containers for up to two days (dressing for longer).
  • Nutrition notes: nutrition information calculated with only half of dressing in recipe (you will have leftovers). This roasted vegetable salad is vegan and is a good source of plant-based protein. It is also high in fiber and vitamin A.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 464kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 22g, Trans Fat: 1g, Sodium: 53mg, Potassium: 915mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 18g, Vitamin A: 20841IU, Vitamin C: 59mg, Calcium: 114mg, Iron: 3mg

UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in November 2018 and was updated for clarity in October 2021.