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This roasted pumpkin salad is made with quinoa, feta, arugula (rocket), walnuts, and a simple balsamic dressing. It’s a hearty side salad that can be enjoyed warm or cold. Recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free, and can be made vegan.

Overhead photo of a roasted pumpkin, arugula, feta, and quinoa salad on a white plate.

It’s no secret that I LOVE roasted butternut squash, but for whatever reason I’ve never tried roasting its “cousin” pumpkin before! While the flavour profile of the two winter squashes are similar, I find that pumpkin has a slightly earthier, nuttier, and less sweet flavour of the two.

Both are so delicious though, and I experimented with roasting pumpkin when I made this salad for my family over Canadian Thanksgiving this year! It’s a tasty side salad perfect for any holiday gathering (or even just as a healthy lunch idea ;)).

In this post I’ve shared some tips on choosing the right pumpkin for cooking, as well as how to cut it. As a dietitian, I’m happy to share that pumpkin is packed with nutrition benefits, too!

Want more delicious, hearty salad recipe inspiration? Check out my roundup of 15+ easy, healthy fall and winter salad recipes for more ideas!

Closeup photo of a roasted pumpkin, arugula, feta, and quinoa salad on a white plate.

Ingredients Needed

All you need to make this pumpkin salad recipe are 11 simple ingredients:

Full ingredient measurements and detailed instructions are located in the recipe card at the bottom of this post!

Recipe Modifications & Ingredient Swaps

  1. If you can’t find sugar pumpkins at your local grocery store, you can use butternut squash (the most similar) or another winter squash (like kabocha or delicata) in its place. These winter squashes are often more commonly available!
  2. For a vegan version of this recipe – swap feta cheese for a vegan alternative and use maple syrup instead of honey in the balsamic dressing.
  3. Quinoa can be swapped with another grain, like wild rice, millet, or farro.
  4. Dried cranberries could be swapped with raisins, if preferred. You could also try something like pomegranate.
  5. Walnuts can be swapped with another nut – I’d recommend pecans or almonds. Or you could use roasted pumpkin seeds (store bought, or try roasting the seeds from the pumpkin itself)!
Overhead photo of small bowls of ingredients on a wood cutting board.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of pumpkin do you cook with?

Not the kind that you use to carve Jack-o’-lanterns! I recommend using a sugar pumpkin, which tends to be smaller and sweeter than a typical carving pumpkin.

If you’re not familiar with sugar pumpkins, simply ask someone to help you identify one at your grocery store. I wasn’t too sure what they looked like the first time I purchased one either 😉

How to cut and peel a pumpkin for roasting?

Prepping the pumpkin was definitely the most labour-intensive part of this recipe. You’re going to want a sharp chef’s knife for this part!

  1. Start by cutting off the pumpkin stem.
  2. Then, lay the pumpkin upright on its (newly) flat end.
  3. Take your knife and cut the pumpkin in half down the middle (lengthwise).
  4. Use a spoon to scoop out all the seeds and fleshy-stringy parts.
  5. Using a vegetable peeler, you can now peel the skin off.
  6. Slice each half into roughly 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch thick wedges, then cut those wedges into smaller cubes.

Is this salad meant to be eaten warm or cold?

That’s totally your preference!

You can add the roasted pumpkin and cooked quinoa to the rest of the ingredients and eat it immediately (enjoying it warm). Or, you can prepare the ingredients in advance and enjoy it chilled or at room temperature.

How long will this recipe keep in the fridge?

This salad will stay fresh for about 1-2 days in an airtight container in the fridge, although it is best enjoyed fresh. There’s no need to reheat the pumpkin or quinoa – simply enjoy it cold!

Overhead photo of roasted pumpkin cubes on a baking sheet.

Pumpkin Nutrition Benefits

Pumpkins are a great source of dietary fiber, which helps to support our digestive and heart health.

Pumpkins are particularly high in micronutrients like:

  • vitamin A
  • vitamin K
  • vitamin E
  • copper
  • iron

In addition to the above micronutrients, pumpkins are also a source of the following vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts:

  • magnesium
  • vitamin B6
  • vitamin C
  • potassium

Because of their high beta carotene (vitamin A) content, they’re also a good source of powerful antioxidants!

Overhead photo of a roasted pumpkin, arugula, feta, and quinoa salad tossed together on a white plate.

More Fall & Winter Salad Recipes

Did you give this Roasted Pumpkin Salad Recipe a try? Let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below!

If you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or Pinterest – seeing your creations always makes my day. You can also subscribe to my email list to never miss a new recipe or nutrition education post!

Get the Recipe: Roasted Pumpkin Salad With Quinoa & Feta

This roasted pumpkin salad is made with quinoa, feta, arugula (rocket), walnuts, and a simple balsamic dressing. It's a hearty side salad that can be enjoyed warm or cold. Recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free, and can be made vegan.
Overhead photo of a roasted pumpkin, arugula, feta, and quinoa salad on a white plate.
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Ingredients

  • 4 cups sugar pumpkin, peeled + cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (for roasting pumpkin)
  • 1/3 cup quinoa, dry (or 1 cup cooked)
  • 4 cups baby arugula, packed
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (unsweetened if possible)
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • Salt + pepper, to taste

Balsamic dressing:

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • CUT PUMPKIN: Remove tough stem from pumpkin using a sharp chef's knife, then lay upright on its flat-cut end. Then, cut the pumpkin in half down the middle (lengthwise). Use a spoon to scoop out all the seeds and fleshy-stringy parts. Remove the skin using a vegetable peeler. Slice pumpkin into roughly 3/4-inch cubes.
  • Place cubed pumpkin onto the baking sheet and toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread in a single layer and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, until lightly browned and fork tender.
  • Meanwhile cook quinoa according to package directions (or follow this detailed post!)
  • Then, make balsamic dressing by whisking all dressing ingredients together in a small bowl or shaking together in a jar with a lid. Set aside.
  • If you want to toast the walnuts, you can spread them on a small baking dish and add them to the oven for 7 minutes, until they're lightly browned and fragrant (watch for burning!) Otherwise, you can add them to the salad raw.
  • Add arugula, cooked quinoa, and roasted pumpkin to a large serving dish or mixing bowl. Top with toasted walnuts, dried cranberries, and feta cheese. Drizzle with balsamic dressing and season with extra salt and pepper, as desired. Toss to combine well and serve!

Notes

*WARM OR COLD? This salad can be enjoyed warm or cold – it’s totally your preference! You can add the roasted pumpkin and cooked quinoa to the rest of the ingredients and eat it immediately (enjoying it warm). Or, you can prepare the ingredients in advance and enjoy it chilled or at room temperature.
*STORAGE: This salad will stay fresh for about 1-2 days in an airtight container in the fridge, although it is best enjoyed fresh. There’s no need to reheat the pumpkin or quinoa – simply enjoy it cold!
*RECIPE MODIFICATIONS:
  • If you can’t find sugar pumpkins at your local grocery store, you can use butternut squash (the most similar) or another winter squash (like kabocha or delicata) in its place. These winter squashes are often more commonly available!
  • For a vegan version of this recipe – swap feta cheese for a vegan alternative and use maple syrup instead of honey in the balsamic dressing.
  • Quinoa can be swapped with another grain, like wild rice, millet, or farro.
  • Dried cranberries could be swapped with raisins, if preferred. You could also try something like pomegranate.
  • Walnuts can be swapped with another nut – I’d recommend pecans or almonds. Or you could use roasted pumpkin seeds (store bought, or try roasting the seeds from the pumpkin itself)!

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @walderwellness on Instagram. I love seeing your beautiful creations!

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Pinterest graphic for a roasted pumpkin salad with feta and quinoa recipe.
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