Roasted Kabocha Squash Spinach Salad with an Orange Honey Pistachio Vinaigrette

A weird thing happened recently.  I’ve headed hit a major salad rut.  They just don’t sound appealing.  This has left me completely confused, as I’m typically a salad lover.

However, I figured out the problem.  It was due to the mundane combination I’ve made time + time again.  It has been our go-to with dinners for the past 2 years and it’s finally time to be retired.  At least for a few months…

hemp oil + apple cider vinegar + balsamic + lettuce + carrots + cucumber + pepitas

Once in awhile something different is thrown in the mix but that is the standard.  It’s been far too long since I’ve made a more jazzed up dressing and included a wider range of ingredients.

The idea started with this local kabocha squash.  I couldn’t get over the vibrant orange color.

I wanted to keep this salad seasonal, so pears were added to the mix.

Fall foods are so richly colored.  I just love it.

It seems like pistachios are an often ignored nut in recipes.  I decided to use them in the dressing recipe along with adding them to the salad for crunch and flavor. 

Roasted + tender.

Finally, a new go-to dressing.

It’s slightly sweet, with a kick of garlic, and a bright orange flavor.

Roasted Kabocha Squash Spinach Salad with an Orange Honey Pistachio Vinaigrette

gluten-free, grain-free // serves 4-6

  • 1 kabocha squash
  • 1.5 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • salt + pepper
  • washed + dried spinach
  • 2 pears
  • pistachios
  • feta or goat cheese

Orange Honey Pistachio Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted pistachios
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 tablespoons honey
  • 1.5 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a large pan with parchment paper.
  2. Quarter the kabocha squash then cut 1/4-1/2” slices.
  3. Place on the pan and pour the melted coconut oil overtop along with a generous amount of salt and pepper.  Rub the slices to coat and place in a single layer.
  4. Roast for about 35 minutes flipping over once halfway through.
  5. Let cool and carefully cut the skins off of each slice.
  6. While roasting, combine all dressing ingredients in your blender.
  7. Blend, starting at a medium speed and working to high until smooth.
  8. Taste and add more salt, pepper, or honey if desired and blend again until smooth.
  9. The dressing will thicken as it sits or once refrigerated.  Store in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  10. Assemble salad with spinach, thinly sliced pears, cooled squash, pistachios, dressing, and cheese if desired.

notes: For a vegan version sub maple syrup instead of honey and leave off the cheese. 

The salad love is back.