Spice-roasted butternut squash, tender lentils, and a sweet maple dressing are the perfect fall trio of flavors in this hearty butternut squash lentil salad. Easy to meal prep for lunches or dinners!
Banger fall salad alert! We’ve got a winner coming in HOT.
Tender roasted butternut squash is paired with hearty lentils and allll the sweet + tangy maple vinaigrette in this loaded fall salad that I promise will leave you feeling full for hours.
We’ve even got crunchy pepitas, dried cranberries, and a generous sprinkle of tangy feta sealing the deal on this killer fall salad deal.
This salad is a dream to meal prep because nearly all of the components can be prepped ahead of time! Hello, new favorite lunch salad.
This Butternut Squash Salad features…
- Tender butternut squash roasted in spices and maple syrup
- Hearty cooked lentils, crunchy pepitas, dried cranberries, and fresh feta cheese
- A sweet and tangy maple vinaigrette
- Easy to prep ahead of time
Making the Butternut Squash Salad
(scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe)
Ingredients You Will Need
- Maple syrup
- Apple cider vinegar
- Whole-grain mustard
- Olive oil
- Dry lentils
- Bay leaf
- Butternut squash
- Spring greens mix
- Feta cheese
- Dried cranberries
Choosing Your Lentils
This recipe will work great with a variety of lentils! Green, brown, or black will all work great – see below for cook time adjustments depending on the lentil you go with.
- Green lentils – simmer 18-20 minutes.
- Brown lentils – simmer 20-25 minutes
- Black lentils – simmer 25-30 minutes
Tips for Perfect Butternut Squash Salad
- Cut butternut squash into uniform cubes – this will help it cook evenly.
- Do not overcook lentils – you don’t want mushy lentils so make sure you watch them closely while they’re boiling to ensure they don’t overcook.
- Cool butternut squash and lentils before assembling salad – this will keep the greens fresh.
- Toss salad with dressing just before serving – again, this will keep all the ingredients fresh and flavorful.
Try these ideas for a different twist on this salad.
- Use a different squash – try acorn, delicata, or even sweet potatoes in place of the butternut squash. Be aware that cook time may vary.
- Try a different dressing – speed along prep for this salad by using a bottled dressing such as honey balsamic.
- Swap out cheeses – try goat cheese, sharp cheddar, or gouda in place of the feta cheese.
- Try a different grain – try farro or couscous in place of the lentils.
Make Ahead Instructions
Follow these instructions for time-saving make ahead instructions.
- Roast the butternut squash – roast the butternut squash and store in refrigerator up to 3 days.
- Cook the lentils – the lentils may be cooked and stored in refrigerator up to 3 days.
- Make the dressing – the dressing stores well in refrigerator up to 1 week.
- Assembling salad – combine all salad components except for dressing and store in refrigerator up to 3 days. Drizzle dressing over top when ready to serve.
This salad is just the perfect medley of fall flavors! The tender lentils and soft roasted butternut squash are the perfect texture pairing while the maple dressing brings all the fall flavors in for a home run.
Fall lunch perfection for sure!
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More hearty fall salads to try next!
Butternut Squash Lentil Salad with Maple Dressing
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- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Butternut Squash Lentil Salad
- 1 cup dry lentils (green, brown, or black all work – see blog post for more details)
- 4 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2-in cubes
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 4 cups spring greens mix
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- In a small bowl, whisk maple syrup, vinegar, and mustard. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly until smooth. Season dressing with salt and pepper to taste.
Butternut Squash Lentil Salad
- Place lentils in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse well under cold water, removing any imperfect or bad lentils.
- Place lentils, water, and bay leaf in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and allow to cook 18-25 minutes until lentils are tender, but not mushy.
- Drain lentils, discard bay leaf, and allow lentils to cool in a large bowl in fridge.
- Preheat oven to 400F and lightly grease a medium sheet pan. Toss butternut squash, maple syrup, olive oil, cinnamon, and ginger together and lay in a single layer on sheet pan.
- Roast butternut squash at 400F 25-30 minutes until squash is tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
- In a large serving bowl, combine spring greens, lentils, butternut squash, feta cheese, pumpkin seeds, and cranberries. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss until coated. Serve immediately and enjoy!