This Arugula Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash is delightful to the eye with its jewel-toned ingredients with a taste to match!

I’ve been making Ina Garten’s gorgeous Fall Salad for years. It’s perfect for your autumn menu and would be a beautiful addition to your Thanksgiving spread!

Arugula Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash in a white serving bowl.

Why You Must Make

I added this beautiful arugula salad with roasted butternut squash, dried cranberries and walnuts to our Christmas menu after tasting it at a holiday pitch-in lunch. I can take or leave squash most times, but the caramelized maple chunks in this salad were killer.

  • Sweet roasted squash paired with peppery arugula made for a beautiful, festive side dish.
  • The jewel tones created such a visual magnificence.
  • Even the picky husband had a helping (though I saw that he avoided the walnuts and left all the cranberries on his plate!).
Arugula Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash from above in a white bowl with a side of Parmesan shavings.

How to Make

I was the first of my friends to own the original Barefoot Contessa cookbook. No matter what I made from it, I was asked for the recipe. I should have known I would love this salad that is featured in one of her newer publications, (affiliate link) Back to Basics.

  1. Toss chunks of squash with maple syrup, olive oil, salt, and pepper then roast to a tender, caramel tender state.
  2. Make the dressing with a reduction of apple cider, cider vinegar, shallots, mustard and olive oil.
  3. Toss together the salad ingredients in a serving bowl.
  4. Right before serving, mix in the dressing.

Expert Tips

  • I felt Ina’s original dressing recipe was a wee bit salty, so start with just half a teaspoon of salt and adjust to your liking. I dip an arugula leaf in the dressing to taste for seasonings.
  • You can always add a little more salt, but it’s impossible to correct an over-salted dish.
  • Make your salad dressing and roast the butternut squash the day before you plan to serve this salad. This will streamline your dinner prep.
  • If you’re a fan of butternut squash, you need to add this harvest salad to your menu ASAP, and if you’re not, this is the recipe to convert you!

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Arugula Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

Arugula Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 6 servings

A gorgeous fall salad adapted from Back to Basics by Ina Garten.


  • 1 butternut squash (about 1 ½ pounds), peeled and cut into ¾-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons plus ⅓ cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 ounces baby arugula
  • ½ cup walnuts halves, toasted
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan


  1. Preheat the oven to 400º. Place the butternut squash chunks on a sheet pan and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender.
  2. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.
  3. To make the dressing, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  4. Cook until the cider is reduced to about ¼ cup.
  5. Remove from the heat and whisk in the mustard, ⅓ cup olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper.
  6. Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan.
  7. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten it and toss well.
  8. Check for seasonings and sprinkle with more salt and pepper if needed.


Roast your squash and make your salad dressing the day before you plan to serve to streamline the process.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 381Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 329mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 2gSugar: 10gProtein: 6g


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