Try this delicious roasted pumpkin salad that is so versatile and easy to put together. Topped burrata cheese, pomegranate seeds, crispy bacon and sweet pears, this healthy recipe is a great way to use seasonal pumpkin. A light and refreshing white balsamic dressing finishes the salad off, making it a perfect side dish for all your Fall celebrations.
I love tossing together a unique seasonal salad to take me away from the boring salads I sometimes whip up for myself. I love my Healthy Fall Pasta Salad, but I wanted something a little lighter. This pumpkin salad recipe definitely fits the bill and makes a great lunch or side salad, perfect for Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving.
Why this recipe works
- Fall flavors perfect for the holidays. Walnuts and pumpkin are a great flavor combo on their own, but add in the fruity tang from the pomegranates, crisp pears, salty bacon and creamy burrata, you’ll be craving this dish long after the season has passed.
- Makes great use of seasonal ingredients, which allows you to “eat with the seasons”, saving you money and affording you fresher produce that tastes great.
- Uses up leftover pumpkins you may have around the house after the holidays.
- Quick and easy & only 7 ingredients that tosses together effortlessly with just a handful of simple ingredients
- Gluten free and can be made vegetarian by leaving out the bacon.
- Pumpkin, cut into 1″ small pieces. I recommend using a pie pumpkin, a little sugar pumpkin or Jap pumpkin, which is actually what Americans call kabocha.
- Leafy greens for the base of the salad, such as arugula or baby spinach.
- Pomegranate seeds
- Walnut pieces
- Sliced pear or apple
- Crispy cooked bacon pieces
- Burrata cheese is what I would recommend because of its creamy flavor and smooth texture. It perfectly offsets the other salad ingredients, but a tang goat cheese or feta cheese crumbles would also be nice.
How to make this roast pumpkin salad
Peeling and cubing the pumpkin
Begin by prepping the pumpkin. Take a large chefs knife and cut off the top of the pumpkin. Then slice off the peel in sections, being mindful to cut away as little flesh as possible. Use the same technique as you would to cut off the skin of a pineapple.
Next, cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy bits. Once cleaned out, cut into small cubes.
Roasting the pumpkin
In a rimmed baking sheet, toss the pumpkin cubes in olive oil, salt and pepper and some seasoning of your choice. For a warmer, savory flavoring, sprinkle with 1-2 teaspoons of curry powder. For a slightly sweeter flavoring, use 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice and 1 tbsp of maple syrup.
Roast at 400 degrees f for 15-20 minutes, till fork tender. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
Assemble the pumpkin salad
In a large serving bowl or platter, begin to assemble this delicious healthy salad.
Start with the salad greens, then layer in each ingredient, ending with the burrata. You can certainly toss the salad before topping with burrata, but I kinda love how it looks in colorful layers, where each ingredient is visible and ripe for the picking.
To make the white balsamic vinaigrette
This simple salad dressing is so easy and delicious, you’ll want to make a double or triple batch to have extra on hand. For this single serving though, mix about 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar together with 6 tablespoons olive oil in a lidded mason jar. Add in a squeeze of Dijon mustard, about 2 teaspoons, as well as 1-2 teaspoons of honey. Place lid on jar and shake vigorously, then give it a taste. Add salt and pepper to taste, and additional vinegar if you want a punchier, more tart dressing.
If you don’t have white balsamic vinegar, you can sub it for white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar.
Dress the salad and serve right away. It makes a great side dish for Thanksgiving dinner, or a light meal for a quiet night at home. If you want to make this tasty salad a main meal, add a piece of grilled salmon on top. You’ll get a wonderfully nutritious meal in one, with a good balance of healthy fats, protein and starchy carbs.
If you think you may have leftovers, do not dress the entire salad. Instead, allow guests to add dressing as they wish. Then store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Jack-o-lantern pumpkins are great for roasting pumpkin seeds or making pumpkin puree, but I find the flesh bland and even bitter. Using smaller, sweeter pumpkins will really yield tastier pumpkin.
Absolutely feel free to use butternut squash or even sweet potatoes. Whatever you happen to have on hand and suits your personal preference.
I hope you give this perfect salad a try and add your own unique spin to it! It’s great for Fall or the winter months ahead. And if you love all things pumpkin like I do, check out these other great recipes using fresh pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin.
More pumpkin recipes
How to cook a whole pumpkin in the Instant Pot, plus learn how to make pumpkin puree.
Fresh pumpkin spice smoothie is high in protein and a great way to start the day.
Pumpkin banana muffins with a streusel topping make for a great Fall morning breakfast.
Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Burrata and Bacon
For the salad
- 2 cups pumpkin peeled and cut into small cubes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp curry powder or pumpkin pie spice optional to flavor the roast pumpkin
- 5 slices bacon cooked and sliced
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 pear thinly sliced
- 8 ounces burrata cheese 4, 2 ounce balls
- 5 ounces arugula
For the vinaigrette
- 3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar may use white wine vinegar
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tsp honey
- 2-3 tbsp water to adjust flavor as needed
- salt and pepper to taste about 1-2 tsps each
- Begin by roasting pumpkin. Preheat oven to 400 degrees f. Peel and remove seeds, then cube into small 1" pieces. Toss with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper and any additional seasoning you prefer. Roast for 15-20 minutes till fork tender.2 cups pumpkin, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp curry powder or pumpkin pie spice
- Plate arugula on a platter or large salad bowl, then layer in all ingredients, ending with burrata cheese.
- Combine all ingredients in a lidded mason jar and shake vigorously. Dress salad and serve immediately.3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar, 6 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp dijon mustard, 2 tsp honey, 2-3 tbsp water to adjust flavor as needed, salt and pepper to taste