This roasted acorn squash salad with maple tahini dressing is a unique side dish for your upcoming Thanksgiving menu.
I was pretty shocked to realize this weekend that Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK. Can you believe it? You’d think as food bloggers we’d be a bit more on top of important food ho
lidays like Thanksgiving. Although these last few weeks have been crazy busy, and we’re just now getting to our menu planning.
We almost always host Thanksgiving at our house (our kitchen is extra crowded on Thanksgiving Day!), so we have our basic menu pretty locked down. However, each year we like to sub in a few new recipes and get creative.
Honestly, over the last few years, typical Thanksgiving dinner just hasn’t been doing it for me. Mostly, probably, because I don’t eat meat, so it’s up to the side dishes to fill in.
Don’t get me wrong – I love mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce as much as the next person. I believe it’s more satisfying to throw in some unexpected components, like the Maple Tahini dressing that tops this salad!
This year, we’re also adding some herb roasted mushrooms to the mix, and potentially roasted cauliflower for a vegetarian main dish. Any suggestions on meatless Thanksgiving recipes? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Now on to this salad. Tender, roasted acorn squash is delicious on its own, but it’s even better over a bed of fresh arugula. If you don’t like arugula, this also works with baby kale and/or spinach.
Maple tahini dressing is a go-to in our house. We typically mix plain tahini with a squeeze of lemon, roasted garlic, salt & pepper to use as a dipping sauce.
We wanted to bring out warm Thanksgiving flavors in this salad to complement the naturally sweet acorn squash and pomegranate seeds, so we opted for a touch of maple syrup, a squeeze of fresh orange juice and a dash of cinnamon & sea salt. Verdict: delicious!
Optional garnishes include chopped pecans, and fresh herbs (we used sage). In addition with pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, or whatever else your heart desires.
Serve this as a side dish on Thanksgiving Day, or enjoy as a pre-Thanksgiving dinner! It’s relatively hands-off (slicing the squash is hands down the toughest part), and it’s easy to double or triple the recipe if you’ll be serving a large crowd of hungry relatives.
More fall salad recipes
- Rainbow Carrot Sesame Salad
- Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad
- Fall Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing
- Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Quinoa
- Fall Harvest Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Wild Rice
- Roasted Beet Kale Salad
A slightly sweet, nutty tahini dressing pairs perfectly with roasted squash, refreshing greens and bright pomegranate seeds!
- 1 large acorn squash
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Black pepper
- 4 cups fresh arugula
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 2 tbsp warm water
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Slice squash (carefully) in half lengthwise. Place flat side down and slice into half moons.
- Toss with olive oil, salt & pepper and roast on baking sheet for 35-40 minutes, or until slightly browned and tender. (We leave ours in the oven closer to 40 minutes, as we like a slightly crispy edge.
- While squash is roasting, toss arugula lightly with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Let sit to absorb flavors.
- In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for tahini dressing. If the texture begins to clump and thicken up, you may need to blend in a food processor. Typically, a small amount of warm water also helps loosen the sauce up!
- Arrange arugula on platter. Top with acorn squash, drizzle liberally with tahini dressing, and finish with fresh pomegranate seeds.