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plated autumn salad with apple, pecans, and pumpkin in background

Autumn Spinach Salad with Roasted Pumpkin

Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pumpkin salad, roasted pumpkin, spinach salad
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Putting it together: 6 minutes
Total Time: 46 minutes
Servings: 3
Calories: 384kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey
This seasonal salad made with roasted pumpkin, apples, pecans, cranberries, red onion, pumpkin seeds, and spinach, makes a perfect main-course salad or side for your holiday events.
Print Recipe


  • baking sheet
  • oven


The Roasted Pumpkin

  • 4 cups pumpkin skin removed, skin removed - see notes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil more for the dressing - see below

Dijon Balsamic Dressing

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup


  • 5.25 ounces baby spinach see notes
  • 1 apple washed, cored, and cut/chopped, see notes
  • ½ cup pecans chopped
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries I used craisins
  • ¼ cup pepitas
  • ½ cup red onion thinly sliced


  • Preheat the oven to 375° and prepare a large baking pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Wash and dry the baby spinach it's not already washed.

Roasted Pumpkin

  • Wash, peel, and removed the seeds from a pumpkin or winter squash of choice. I used the green pumpkin - a Japanese Kabocha squash. This winter squash does not need to have the skin removed.
  • Cut the prepared pumpkin into small one-inch pieces. You will need four cups which is about 1/2 of a med/small pumpkin. Place the cubed pumpkin into a medium-sized bowl.
  • Toss the cubed pumpkin with the salt, black pepper, and olive oil.
  • Spread onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Place in the preheated oven and cook for 20-25 minutes. The edges should start to brown and the roasted pumpkin will be fork-tender. Remove from the oven and allow to sit while prepping the salad.


  • While the pumpkin is roasting, prepare the balsamic salad dressing. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard and maple syrup. Set asid.


  • As soon as the roasted pumpkin has been removed from the oven, begin putting the salad together. You will want the pumpkin to be warm but not piping hot when you add it to the salad.
  • Slice the red onion very thin. Wash, slice or dice the apple. You don't need to peel it but you do need to core and remove the seeds. Chop the pecans if they aren't already chopped.
  • To a large bowl, add the washed and dried baby spinach, sliced onion, diced apple, chopped pecans, dried cranberry, and pepitas.
  • Add the slightly cooled roasted pumpkin and toss together with the prepared dressing.


Some winter squashes can be roasted and consumed with the skin intact. I used Kabocha squash which can be eaten with the skin on, once roasted. Deletica squash is another one that comes to mind that can be consumed with the skin intact. Make sure to wash and remove any "weird" bumpy, scarred, damaged parts first before roasting.
5.25 ounces is the size of most bags and containers of pre-washed and prepped baby spinach. If you choose to buy it loose, make sure to wash and dry thoroughly. This will measure to about 5- 6 cups of spinach. 
Use any variety of apple you'd like. I like one with a little "snap" to it and so would not choose a red or golden delicious. I used a gala apple. 
This will make three large main-course sized salads or 4-5 smaller side salads. 


Calories: 384kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 489mg | Potassium: 1047mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 17867IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 4mg