This fall harvest roasted honeynut squash pear and pepitas salad is the best kind of celebration of what autumn has to offer. Juicy bosc pears, plump persimmons, Boston bibb lettuce, earthy and aromatic roasted honeynut squash all come together with smoky-sweet maple syrup, cinnamon, and smoked paprika roasted pepitas. We top the whole thing with a pretty straight forward vinaigrette because let’s face it, this salad doesn’t need more zhushing. This salad is hearty, healthy, simple and delicious! It’s perfect as a dinner salad for 4 and would also be a stunning addition to the Thanksgiving table.
I found honeynut squash at my local Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago and they were just so cute! I couldn’t pass them up. The great thing is they cook up a bit faster than butternut squash and have a really great nutty sweet taste. Peeling them was super easy but I have read that the skin is edible so if you are feeling extra adventurous you could skip the peeling in this recipe and go straight to roasting.
We do our shopping for the week on Saturday so I pre-roasted the squash and pepitas on the weekend and stored them in airtight containers in the fridge for a super fast and healthy Monday meal. But, honestly, the squash roasts in about 25 minutes anyway and you can roast the pepitas at the same time. Just don’t roast them on the same pan. The pepitas only need about 10 minutes to be perfectly crispy. If you do roast the pepitas ahead of time, store them in an airtight container on the counter to keep them from getting soggy. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 days.
I hope you enjoy this fall salad. It makes a great meal on its own for 4 or as a side dish for 6-8 people. Try it on the side of French onion soup to warm it up a bit on a crisp fall evening. If you make it let me know in the comments or by tagging @amessybunkitchen in social media posts!
fall harvest roasted honeynut squash pear and pepitas salad
Roasted Honeynut Squash
- 2 honeynut squash halved, seeded, and peeled
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and black pepper
- 1 cup raw pepitas
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
For the Salad
- 2 heads Boston bibb, lettuce washed & torn
- 2 bosc pears, cut in half thinly sliced
- 2 persimmons, thinly sliced
- arils from 1 pomegranate
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°. On a rimmed baking tray lined with parchment paper toss the squash with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast 25 minutes until squash is tender.
Line a separate baking tray with parchment. Toss the pepitas, maple syrup, cinnamon, and smoked paprika together and spread on a single layer on your baking tray and bake, at the same time as the squash, for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large salad bowl, combine the lettuce, pears, and persimmons and pomegranate.
Add all ingredients for the vinaigrette to a small glass jar with a lid that screws on tight. Salt and pepper to taste. Secure the lid tightly and shake vigorously to combine.
Thinly slice the squash when it is cool enough to handle.
Top the salad with squash and pepitas, pour vinaigrette over the top and serve immediately.