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Butternut Squash and Arugula Salad

Butternut squash and arugula salad recipe
Lauren Salkeld
Cook Time:
35 mins
Prep Time:
10 mins

Chef notes

While fall recipes tends to lean heavy, I’m all about making dishes light and bright, regardless of the season. Enter this arugula salad that gets studded with roasted butternut squash, hazelnuts and chickpeas for a celebration of autumn bounty. While this makes a perfect side for a Thanksgiving table, I also like to eat it as a main all on its own. Better yet, this dish comes together in under 30 minutes, making it a great contender for a true weeknight dinner. 

To start, butternut squash gets tossed in olive oil and maple syrup and roasted until tender. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of the squash while the maple gives it a caramelized, nutty flavor. Simultaneously, the chickpeas get roasted until their exteriors are crispy and the insides are tender and creamy. The arugula gets dressed with a simple vinaigrette made with olive oil, shallots, lemon juice and mustard, which adds a punchiness to cut the sweetness of the squash. 

The joy of this recipe is that it’s a blank canvas for making use of what’s in your pantry. If you don’t have hazelnuts on hand, try walnuts, pecans or even pistachios. If you don’t have chickpeas, use another variety of canned white beans. 

Technique Tip: If you don’t want to go through the process of peeling and cubing butternut squash, which can sometimes feel a bit unruly, buy pre-cut squash in the refrigerated section of the produce aisle at your local grocery store. 

Swap Option: You can make this salad with different types of winter squash, though some will need to be roasted with their skin on and trimmed once they come out of the oven.


  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can chickpeas
  • pounds butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ small shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 5 ounces baby arugula
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries
Fulfilled by



 Preheat the oven to 400 F.


Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. Spread the chickpeas on the paper towels and let dry.


Line a second rimmed baking sheet with foil. Arrange the squash in a single layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, maple syrup and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.


While the squash is in the oven, remove the paper towels from underneath the chickpeas. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and toss to combine. Roast, stirring occasionally, until crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, 25 to 30 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt. Set aside.


In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil with the shallot, lemon juice and mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


In a large bowl, toss the arugula, butternut squash and red onion together. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with the chickpeas, hazelnuts and dried cranberries or cherries.