Pumpkin, Cranberry and Almond Salad

Pumpkin Cranberry Almond Salad
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My roasted Pumpkin, Cranberry and Almond Salad is perfect for any occasion or family gathering.

However, I’m thinking that with Christmas just around the corner, this roasted pumpkin salad will be ideal as a colourful and nutritious side dish. As an added bonus, for those who have family or friends with specific dietary requirements, it is also vegan, gluten free and dairy free.

Don’t be deterred by the fact that you need to roast the pumpkin. I do understand that many salads comprise ingredients that don’t require cooking and are quick to get on the table. However, this really is extremely easy to prepare. There’s a total of 30 minutes cooking time. The end result is pleasing; the gentle caramelisation that occurs with the roasting intensifies the pumpkin’s sweet flavour. Whilst that is occurring, you can get on with preparing the other ingredients.

On a large serving platter, I first prepare a bed of peppery rocket.

Into the oven, whilst the pumpkin is roasting, I add a small tray of flaked almonds. The roasting makes them crispy and enhances their nuttiness. I pick the leaves from a few stems of fragrant mint and have my dried cranberries ready. That’s the ever-so-simple salad part. The Apple Cider Vinaigrette is equally simple; place all the ingredients into a screw-top jar and shake well to emulsify them.

I’ve decided to make roasted butternut pumpkin the star of the salad. Peeling and slicing a butternut pumpkin is much easier than most pumpkins. Some require a great deal of strength to remove the skin and slice through the flesh. Although, to be honest, depending on the dish I am making, I don’t always remove the skin. Leaving the skin on increases the nutritional value and becomes sufficiently soft to eat. The negative with some pumpkins is that, without sufficient attention, they quickly become soft and mushy. So that’s another point in favour of the butternut; it holds its shape, which is much more aesthetically pleasing.

When the pumpkin is roasted, allow it to sit for a few minutes to settle. Fresh from the oven, it would quickly wilt the rocket. After a brief time, arrange the pumpkin on the rocket. The soft, slightly warm, squash is a great contrast to the cooling greens. Distribute the dried cranberries, toasted flaked almonds and mint leaves, and then drizzle with the dressing.

This salad is not only nutritious, but it is full of delicious flavours. The combination of the roasted pumpkin with the tangy, dried cranberries is complemented by the peppery rocket, toasted, crunchy almond flakes and the sweetness of aromatic mint. It is an appetite-stimulating combination.

You can easily customise the salad according to your taste and the ingredients you have on hand.

I sit the roasted pumpkin on a bed of rocket, but baby spinach leaves or watercress are sufficiently sturdy to stand up to the roasted pumpkin. I use dried cranberries, the slightly sweetened ones. However, pomegranate arils or golden raisins would also work well. And you could switch up the flaked almonds. Toasted pumpkin seeds, pine nuts or pecans would also be suitable.

If you would like to make the salad more substantial, whilst still keeping it vegan, you could add some canned chickpeas. Some crumbled, fresh, goat cheese is also a delicious vegetarian option if you don’t need to keep it vegan. And if you’re catering for a large number of people, simply increase the number of ingredients.

I love the colours of the salad; the orange of the pumpkin, the deep red of the cranberries and the vibrant green accent of the rocket and mint. To obtain maximum nutrition, a health tip these days is to “eat a rainbow”. You’re off to a good start with this recipe.

If you try it, please let me know in the comments below.

You may also like to check out some more Delicious Salad Recipes!

Xx Alex

5 from 44 votes
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Pumpkin, Cranberry & Almond Salad

This quickly made salad is perfect for any occasion or family gathering. It is not only nutritious, but it is also full of delicious flavours and textures. As a bonus, friends and family, who have specific dietary requirements, will also be able to enjoy it. It is vegan, gluten free and dairy free.

Course Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish, Starter
Cuisine Australian
Keyword christmas, dairy free, gluten free, roasted vegetables, salad, vegan, vegetables, vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 283 kcal
Author Alexandra

Ingredients

Salad

  • 500 g butternut pumpkin (squash) after peeling *
  • 20 ml olive oil extra virgin
  • 10 g flaked almonds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries * slightly sweetened
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves fresh
  • 50 g rocket/arugula leaves *
  • sea salt flakes and ground black pepper to taste

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

  • 60 ml olive oil extra virgin
  • 20 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp caster sugar superfine
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • sea salt flakes and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200 Degrees C (400 F).

  2. Prepare the ingredients for the Apple Cider Vinaigrette.

    In a small glass with a tightly fitting lid, add all ingredients and shake to combine.

    Taste the dressing and if the taste is not to your palate, adjust the ingredients accordingly until it has the balance you enjoy.

  3. Peel the pumpkin.

  4. Cut the pumpkin into 3cm/1” cubes.

    Wash and dry the pumpkin well.

  5. Place the pumpkin in a bowl, toss well with the olive oil, salt and pepper.

    Turn the pumpkin onto a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper.

  6. Roast the pumpkin in the pre-heated oven for 20-30 mins, turning once or twice, until the pumpkin is tender when tested with a skewer.*

  7. Meanwhile, place the flaked almonds on a small baking tray and roast in the oven for about 4-5 minutes.*

  8. Place the rocket leaves on a large serving platter.

    When the pumpkin is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it cool for about 5 minutes.

    Distribute the pumpkin on the rocket.

  9. Evenly sprinkle with the cranberries, flaked almonds and mint.

  10. Pour dressing over the salad, and serve immediately. 

Recipe Notes

*The butternut pumpkin, AKA squash, weighed about 540 gm before peeling.

*The pumpkin is easily peeled with a regular vegetable peeler.

*If it suits you better, you can make the roasted pumpkin ahead of time and keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Return it to room temperature prior to serving.

*Keep an eye on the flaked almonds – they tend to burn the moment you turn your back.

*My cranberries were plump and moist. If your cranberries are dry, you will need to re-hydrate them. Measure out the cranberries and put them in a bowl. Pour over hot water to cover them. Cover the bowl, stand for 20 minutes. Pour off the water and strain the cranberries.

*To make a larger salad, use a larger quantity of greens.

*I prefer to use caster/superfine sugar as it is easily dissolved. However, if you choose to avoid refined sugar, you could use honey, or, to keep it vegan, pure maple syrup.

*The nutritional data is per serving, based on 4 servings, and assumes that all the dressing is consumed. In actual fact, some of the dressing remains in the salad bowl so calories will be less than shown. 

 

Nutrition Facts
Pumpkin, Cranberry & Almond Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 283 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 24mg1%
Potassium 519mg15%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 13705IU274%
Vitamin C 29mg35%
Calcium 93mg9%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pumpkin, Cranberry and Almond Salad

Vegan Pumpkin, Cranberry and Almond Salad - It's Not Complicated Recipes #vegan #pumpkin #salad #easyrecipes #cranberry #almond #vegetarian
Vegan Pumpkin, Cranberry and Almond Salad - It's Not Complicated Recipes #vegan #pumpkin #salad #easyrecipes #cranberry #almond #vegetarian

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About the Author

Alexandra

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I'm Alex – a passionate foodie and writer. I love sharing delicious and simple recipes to inspire you in the kitchen. Try a recipe? I'd love to see your creations! #itsnotcomplicatedrecipes

244 Comments on “Pumpkin, Cranberry and Almond Salad”

  1. 5 stars
    Yum, this looks like a tasty salad. I just love cranberries. I’ll have to make this for lunch one day.

  2. 5 stars
    Looks tasty. I can honestly say that other than carving a pumpkin out for Halloween I have never touched one let alone eaten one…. may have to try this.

  3. 5 stars
    WOW this looks seriously delicious, love coming across new vegan recipes that I haven’t tried before. Kinda wish that I had been able to make this on Thanksgiving.

  4. I’m totally having this for breakfast tomorrow so you should just go ahead and add that the the ‘recipe type’ 😉

  5. Love butternut squash! And this looks beyond yummy!!! Already pinned and ready to make this weekend!

  6. 5 stars
    This salad is exactly the kind of thing I love to make. I eat a lot of salads for my health and let me tell you, I am SO over boring salads. I can’t touch another one. Thanks so much for this!

  7. This salad is so beautiful, and would be perfect for holiday hosting! Not to mention it looks absolutely delicious!

  8. This sounds great! I love making salads using butternut squash. Gotta try this 🙂

  9. I think that you truly nailed the combination of flavors here. Bravo! Your recipes never disappoint.

  10. This is a great way to cook butternut squash. Roasting vegetables is a great way to cook and eat veg because somehow it retains all the veg goodness.

  11. 5 stars
    I’ve always wanted to cook with butternut squash! This seems like something I can do without messing it up! Lol

  12. Oh my goodness! This looks so fabulous and fresh! and look at all those flavors. I always a love a good salad with a little crunch! Thanks for sharing!

  13. 5 stars
    I only recently discovered how great almonds and cranberries taste in a salad. Adding pumpkin seems like a no-brainer now. Thanks for sharing.

  14. This sounds absolutely amazing! I’m (embarrassingly) pretty picky haha, but this is right up my alley!

  15. 5 stars
    I love having salad on my every meal and this one looks really delicious and such a perfect appetizer to serve on our family get together.

  16. Ooh this looks so delicious and healthy! I love all the colors and especially the cranberry! I need to make this soon 🙂

  17. This looks so yummy, and like what I imagine fall to taste like. I am going to have to try this on my next girls night!

  18. This looks awesome! My only problem is the mint leaves, I’m just not the biggest fan.
    Is there a substitution you would suggest?

  19. This is a great idea for Christmas. I’ve never seen such perfectly placed pieces of pumpkin!

  20. 5 stars
    What a great idea to use pumpkin in a salad honestly never thought about it but the combination sounds so yummy. Love the addition of the almonds too.

  21. Hello Alexandra. Once again, I was a little befuddled by the Australian and American word differences, which I also find interesting. At first, I thought I didn’t know what rocket is but looked it up and see that it is what we call arugula. Then, I was thinking that I would replace the pumpkin cubes with butternut squash cubes. I can buy it already peeled and cubed in stores near me. Then, I realized that you were actually talking about butternut squash. 🙂 I see that you did include the alternate terms in the list of ingredients, but I had to scroll down to see those. Anyway, it looks delicious, a nice blend of flavors that look pretty on the plate. I have been trying to lose weight and eat healthy for several months now, and it is always good to find a new way to eat salads and veggies, different combinations so things are not boring. 🙂

    1. Hello Susan,
      Isn’t it interesting the differences!? 🙂
      So glad that this sounds like a nice salad for you – I agree, it is good to have variety! Boring food is no fun!!

  22. Uhh this looks sooo good! I have to make this. I’ve been trying to incorporate more greens in my life lately so I’ll be adding this baby. Squash is so nice in the fall and winter. Pinning this now!
    xo Chelsea | https://completelychelsea.com

  23. 5 stars
    I love the soft and crunchy together in my salads. The more stuff I can put in it the better.

  24. 5 stars
    With the holidays coming up, the more salads I can fit in, the better. I love that it has pumpkin in it. What a perfect holiday addition.

  25. Oooh the store by my apartment makes a really similar pre-prepped salad that I have been living on lately! Now, that I have this recipe, I’ll have to try making it myself! Yum. Thank you!

  26. 5 stars
    I am not big fan of pumpkin. But this recipe looks delicious and healthy. I would love to try this for sure.

  27. What a delicious and filling meal! This looks so simply to make and best of all, is healthy!

  28. 5 stars
    Such a tasty looking salad – I would never have thought to include pumpkin in a salad. Definitely need to make this!

  29. Been looking for some new salad variants and good thing I was able to see this. Having the recipe is also a great pick! No need to research instead print immediately.

  30. I have an almond allergy, but I feel like they could easily be left off of this recipe and it would still be quite delicious!

    Thanks for sharing! x

    Michelle
    dressingwithstyle-s.com

    1. Definitely, Michelle! Even swapping them out for some croutons would be great – something else with a slightly crunchy texture would work well! x

  31. This is a very unique salad recipe and I would like to try making it at home. Love the idea of using pumpking.

  32. 5 stars
    I don’t think I have ever used roasted pumpkin in a salad. It does sound very good though, especially with the freshness of the cranberry and rocket, and the crunch of the almonds.

  33. I so love cranberry and almonds that i often put the two in every cookie and brownie i bake. I will certainly try your salad. that looks so healthy and yummy.

  34. 5 stars
    I haven’t tried roasting the pumpkin but oh boy your recipe looks delicious. I would love to try this as well!

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  39. This sounds phenomenal and so perfect for the FALL!! I wish fall were coming instead of summer – that being said, hey, FALL IS COMING, it’s just right after all these crazy hot months! It will be a gift to me for dealing with summer, LOL!

    1. We are currently enjoying autumn (fall). It is my favourite time of year. But don’t despair, fall is on its way to you. 🙂 Perhaps you should try my Lemon Ice Cream recipe to help you make it through summer. 😉

  40. 5 stars
    This sound like a very intriguing salad. I never thought about combining the sweet pumpkin with the tangy cranberry.

  41. 5 stars
    Your new salad recipe is something I want to learn in addition to our healthier food lifestyle. I will prepare this for our weekend snacking!

  42. 5 stars
    This is exactly what I was looking for! I’m starting a new diet and I’m trying to incorporate more salads into it. After a while I get bored about the taste of my salads and didn’t know how to make it different. I’m trying this one for sure! I love the mix of pumpkin and cranberries.

    Candace Hampton
    http://www.thebeautybeau.com

  43. 5 stars
    Pumpkin pie is one of my favourite desserts so you better be sure I am trying to make this pumpkin salad as well. Not such a big fan of cranberry though, what do you think I can replace it with? 😀

    1. Hi Mandi, thank you for the great comments. I also agree about the importance of textures and flavours in food. Please let me know if you make the salad. 🙂

  44. I absolutely love butternut squash and I’m always looking at new ways to cook with it.

    My favourite is soup but this is a great summer alternative.

  45. Great recipe find for me today. I just got some butternut squash and I have been thinking what to do with it. Now I know! I will make a salad! Thanks for sharing this delicious and healthy recipe!

  46. 5 stars
    This will be a great recipe for the fall, no matter where you are in the world. It seems pretty easy to conquer, yet looks like you spent a lot of time on it.

  47. 5 stars
    This looks like the perfect way to keep warm this winter!! I just love this option as a salad during this time of the year!

  48. 5 stars
    Great recipe! the salad looks mouth-watering. Would love to try it out. I love cranberry and pumpkins along with it is unbeatable.

  49. 5 stars
    That sounds so great.. I love pumpkins, it taste great and so healthy.. Thanks for sharing this recipe.. ?

  50. 5 stars
    Alonds taste really great in salads.. But pumpkin, that’s what I haven’t tried before. I have to give it a try.. ?

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