Havest lentil salad has roasted butternut squash, arugula, pomegranates, goat cheese and pumpkin seeds. Make a meal out of it or serve as a side dish.
I am a big fan of the 'big salad'. My ideal 'big salad' is packed full of goodies including veggies, protein, something sweet, something crunchy, and cheese.
This harvest lentil salad is my latest big salad addiction! Full of delicious goodies including butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, pomegranates and goat cheese, it is great served as a main course but also makes a delicious side salad as well.
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Reasons you'll love harvest lentil salad
- you can prep the ingredients ahead and toss together just before serving
- make it vegan by leaving out the goat cheese
- it's full of protein, so it can work as a meal in itself
How to make it
I used canned lentils to cut back on the prep time. You can cook your own from scratch, if you'd like, just stay away from red lentils which tend to get mushy. I'd go for brown lentils and use this tutorial to cook them!
- roast butternut squash. I used this Maple Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash recipe and it added a nice dimension of flavor to the recipe.
- shake together the vinaigrette. I used my favorite White Wine Vinaigrette recipe but added a smidge of cinnamon to just give this salad a more 'fall' flavor.
- de-seed your pomegranate. Here's a video tutorial showing how I de-seed my pomegranates...it makes really quick work of it!
- toss everything except the goat cheese together- don't do this step until just before serving.
- sprinkle with goat cheese last so it doesn't dissolve into the dressing.
Which lentils can I use?
I used canned brown lentils. I think green lentils would work great as well, but stay away from red lentils which can tend to get mushy.
How long does this salad recipe keep?
Unfortunately harvest lentil salad doesn't keep for very long, which is why I recommend only adding the dressing just before serving. If you're looking to meal prep this salad, you can pre-roast the butternut squash, de-seed the pomegranate and shake up the dressing 2-3 days ahead, then assemble when you're ready to eat.
Can I swap an ingredient?
Yes! This is a really flexible recipe. Here are some ingredient swaps you could make:
- make it vegan- omit the goat cheese
- swap the butternut squash for sweet potato (it might need a touch longer in the oven)
- swap the arugula & spinach blend for kale or romaine lettuce
- swap the lentils for chickpeas or quinoa
- swap the goat cheese for feta cheese
- swap the white wine vinaigrette for this 4 Ingredient Balsamic Vinaigrette or this Balsamic Reduction
- swap the pumpkin seeds for pecans, almonds or walnuts
Serve it with
This salad goes well with a number of recipes. Here are some ideas:
- Perfect Baked Chicken Breast
- Perfect Baked Chicken Thighs
- Broiled Salmon or Maple Glazed Salmon
- one of these 7 Easy Rice Recipes or these 7 Cauliflower Rice Recipes
- it would be fantastic as part of your Thanksgiving or Christmas menu!
- I chopped my butternut squash with my favorite knife
- I recommend my trusty salad dressing shaker or a simple half pint mason jar to whip up the salad dressing
- Looking for more simple salad recipes? Check out this Autumn Apple Farro Salad, this Asian Slaw with Sesame Vinaigrette, and our Staple Kale Salad
- Check out my post on How To Open a Pomegranate for tips and a video!
maple cinnamon butternut squash
- 4 cups butternut squash (cut into 1 inch cubes)
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon paprika
- salt & pepper
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon dijon
- salt & pepper
harvest lentil salad
- 1 ½ cups canned brown lentils (or cook your own from scratch)
- 4 cups arugula & spinach blend (loosely packed)
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 pomegranate (de-seeded)
- ¼ cup goat cheese (crumbled)
Maple Cinnamon Butternut Squash
- Heat oven to 425°F. Toss butternut squash cubes with maple syrup, olive oil, cinnamon, paprika and salt & pepper.
- Arrange on a baking sheet. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes. Stir the butternut squash cube up and flip, then return to the oven for another 10-20 minutes, until a fork goes into the squash cubes easily.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool before adding to the salad.
Harvest Lentil Salad
- Shake together the vinaigrette. In a large bowl, toss together all salad ingredients except for the goat cheese.
- Sprinkle goat cheese over top and serve.
To Prep Ahead
- This salad does not keep well after the dressing is added but some ingredients can be prepped ahead: roast your butternut squash, de-seed your pomegranate and shake together the vinaigrette 2-3 days before serving.
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