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Arugula Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash in a white serving bowl

Arugula Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

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

Arugula Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash in a white serving bowl

Arugula Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

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.

Paired with peppery arugula made for a beautiful, festive side dish. The jewel tones created such a visual magnificence, even Bill 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

Barefoot Contessa Salad Recipe

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, Back to Basics.

Chunks of squash were tossed with maple syrup, olive oil, salt, and pepper before roasting to a caramelized tender state. The dressing was made with a reduction of apple cider, cider vinegar, shallots, mustard and olive oil.

Tips for Making This Arugula Salad

I felt the original dressing recipe was a wee bit salty, so start with just a 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. If you’re a fan of butternut squash, you need to add Arugula Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash to your menu ASAP, and if you’re not, this is the recipe to convert you!

Arugula Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

Arugula Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

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

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


  • 1 butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 3/4 inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 ounces baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup walnuts halves, toasted
  • 3/4 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, the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.
  2. To make dressing, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Remove from the heat and whisk in the mustard, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.
  3. Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well. Check for seasonings and sprinkle with more salt and pepper if needed.

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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Thanks so much for all your kind messages, thoughts and prayers for our family. Bill’s surgery went well. His heart valve was repaired instead of replaced, which was his ultimate goal. The day was a bit crazy with Katie needing IV fluids for a nasty GI bug. Think both are on the mend.  Whew.

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25 comments on “Arugula Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash”

  1. I’ve roasted sweet potatoes with maple syrup before, bet it’s great with the squash! The dressing sounds good too:@)

  2. This salad looks so fresh and inviting, Liz. I adore butternut squash. Can’t wait to try it. Pinned.

  3. This is such a pretty salad Liz! I have been on an arugula salad kick lately and love the addition of the roasted maple butternut squash in here – sounds amazing!

  4. I’m so glad the hospital patients are doing well. You’ve more than had your hands full this week and my heart goes out to you. You’re such a strong woman.

    Maybe it’s the salad that does it. I love butternut and all the other good things in there.

  5. Wow! What a week you’ve had. I’m so glad your loved ones are healing and getting better. You are going to need a vacation soon.

    This Arugula salad with the roasted butternut squash sounds so good. I’m always looking for interesting ways to make a salad.

  6. This is my kind of salad, I love the roasted squash! I know it’s been a tough week so continuing to pray for you and your family!

  7. I do love butternut squash but I am so lazy to prepare it. I will have to make an effort because this salad does looks fantastic. Sending love and strength.

  8. Liz!
    so happy to hear Bill is ok and Katie is ok! you have had a tough week!!! I can’t believe you posted today .. but I am sure you had this planned and done b/c you are awesome and organized like that. Hoping you are able to get some rest this weekend and just know that Lambeau is in doggie heaven. Wish I could give you a big hug! sending love to you my friend!

  9. Wonderful salad! squash tossed in maple syrup sounds yum and a great combination with walnut and cranberries and arugula..
    Glad to hear everything went well with your husband and hope Katie is feeling better!

  10. This is one of my favorite ways to make a salad. I typically add goat cheese to mine since I’m a huge fan of the stuff. Yours looks beautiful and I especially like your vinaigrette. Nice photo too!

  11. I love butternut squash in salads… beautiful photos 🙂

  12. I have to say, I can’t remember the last time I had butternut squash. Maybe it’s because I live in Florida, and it’s a winter veggie that we don’t see a lot of? Or, maybe I haven’t looked hard enough!

    Either way, this is on my short list to make soon! I think I’ll pair it with a Muscadet Sevre et Maine, a french white wine that is crisp, and minerally, and should pair with the peppery arugula nicely.


  13. I love arugula, and butternut squash is such a great addition to this salad! So colorful and pretty!

  14. Looks way better than that vegan salad I was forced to try the other day.

  15. I like this salad! I’m going to go out and hunt up some squash!

  16. Yum! This is my kind of food, Liz! xo

  17. mmmm…butternut squash! I wish I could find them here…The salad looks scrumptious, Liz.

  18. I’m a fan of butternut squash, and I’m a fan of the Barefoot Contessa. This looks like a no-miss recipe to me!

  19. Lovely salad my friend, I love butternut squash so much 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  20. I too have roasted sweet potatoes before and loved the. My taste buds are ready and willing to be converted!

  21. Pure

  22. I absolutely love butternut squash and in a salad with contrasts of both flavors and textures as this one, I love even more…

  23. I am a big fan of butternut squash I can eat this every day!

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