Autumn-Inspired Salad

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | April 28th, 2022 | Main Dishes, Recipes, Salads

A fall salad topped with squash, cranberries, and spiced walnuts- oh my!

Salad topped with butternut squash, dried cranberries, and spiced walnuts


Salad topped with butternut squash, dried cranberries, and spiced walnuts

Autumn-Inspired Salad

Michele Pesula Kuegler

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Course Main Course

Servings 2



  • 1 butternut squash peeled & cubed
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 shallot diced
  • 3 cups mixed greens
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin spiced walnuts



  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Place butternut squash on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with a small amount of olive oil.
  • Spread into a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing occasionally, until fork tender.
  • While squash bakes, heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
  • Add shallots and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Divide mixed greens between two dinner plates.
  • Top each salad with 3/4 cup squash. (You will have leftovers.)
  • Divide shallot, cranberries, and walnuts between both plates.
  • Top with desired salad dressing.

Keyword entree salad

Although it’s only five days until Halloween, it doesn’t feel much like it. This has nothing to do with the craziness of 2020 or the impact of COVID. Rather, it has to do with my new location: Gulf Breeze, Florida. With daily temperatures in the 80s, my mind has a hard time believing it’s fall, never mind late October. Regardless, here it is with Halloween soon to arrive. While the thermometer may say a tropical salad is perfect, I’m thinking this salad could get me into a fall state of mind.

To learn more about this recipe, originally published in October 2015, keep reading.

When I first had children, I imagined all of the Halloween treats that I could make. Pumpkin-shaped cookies, Halloween-themed cakes, and other treats came to my mind. Sure, I made a few of these for school parties, but then I realized that there already was an abundance of treats at Halloween. What we really needed were savory dishes to balance the sugar high.

On those Halloween night with little kids, I needed a dinner that got them on the street quickly. So, there were dinners of grilled cheese or other sandwiches, before bundling them for the chilly New Hampshire night.

Now that my kids are older teens, our night is quieter. We get to stay home with a glass of wine and hand out candy to the kids that come to our door. However, that doesn’t mean that dinner can’t be something thematic and fun.  This year I’m going with ultra-healthy: a salad composed of fall ingredients. For those with a heartier appetite, it can be made more filling by the addition of a second protein, such as grilled chicken or shrimp.

You’re going to want the recipe for Pumpkin Spiced Walnuts. They’re sure to be a valuable addition to this salad.

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