This healthy fall harvest salad is made with roasted butternut squash and pasta, toasted pumpkin and pomegrante seeds, kale, feta cheese, and rotini gluten-free pasta. The hearty, festive pasta salad is perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas or a fall potluck gathering.
This fall harvest pasta salad is perfect to enjoy for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any holiday gathering. You will love to enjoy this Autumn salad made with a delicious homemade salad dressing of olive oil, maple syrup, lime juice, and Dijon mustard.
It was inspired by my summer fresh Greek pasta salad recipe but I made an autumn fall harvest version instead.
- 💖 Why You'll Love This Butternut Squash and Pasta Recipe?
- ❓ What Makes This Butternut Squash and Pasta Salad Delicious and Healthy?
- 🥣 Fall Pasta Salad Ingredients
- 👩🍳 How To Make a Fall Harvest Pasta Salad With Chicken
- 🧡 Learn How to Make a Fall Harvest Salad Recipe
- 📖 Recipe
- 💙 Substitutions
- ❄️ Storage
- 🍴 Variations
- 😀Enjoy This Butternut Squash and Healthy Harvest Pasta Recipe!
- ❤️ You Might Also Love These
- 🍁 Fall Into Healthy Nutrition Challenge
- 📚 References
- 💬 Comments
💖 Why You'll Love This Butternut Squash and Pasta Recipe?
- Easy to Make for a Crowd - Looks fancy, but so easy to make.
- Loaded With Fall Vegetables - Perfect way to use up hearty fall veggies.
- High in Nutrients - Great source of fiber, protein, healthy fats, and vitamin A and C.
- Healthy Potluck Recipe - Simple, healthy potluck salad recipe for fall or winter.
❓ What Makes This Butternut Squash and Pasta Salad Delicious and Healthy?
Fall and autumn are brimming with delicious hearty vegetables. So why not take advantage of these fall flavors and enjoy a hearty fall salad recipe.
I like this pasta salad recipe as the perfect healthy potluck recipe to bring to any larger gathering. You can also bring this to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. The colors are vibrant with all the flavors of fall.
Pomegranate seeds are wonderfully rich in fiber, polyphenols, and antioxidants. These little gems are loaded with vitamin C. Ellagitannins, is an antioxidant which pomegranates contain, which can help reduce inflammation in the body.
In addition, ellagitannins create urolithin A, a compound that is produced in the gut shown to be quite beneficial to reduction in inflammation and protective in nature to brain cells.
🥣 Fall Pasta Salad Ingredients
To make this fall pasta salad, you will simply need to gather a few key ingredients that create the prettiest and most delicious pasta salad recipe.
Creamy butternut squash is the perfect root vegetable in this salad recipe for fall. Butternut squash is a root veggie that I make many times during the fall and winter months. I like to make my Butternut Squash Curry Soup and my Sheet Pan Chicken with Squash while the butternut squash is in season.
I prefer to buy the prepackaged cubed butternut squash to save time and effort, but feel free to cut up the squash into cubes yourself.
I like Lacinato kale (Dino) for this recipe. Be sure to chop the kale thinly and massage well with the Maple Lime Vinaigrette salad dressing.
These little pomegranate seeds are packed full of juicy flavor, but also with nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and folate. Also, contain good amounts of antioxidants, which is especially important during the cold and flu season.
I like SuperSeedz gourmet pumpkin seeds. They are a great plant-based protein source with 8 grams of protein per serving. They are the perfect allergy friendly snack because they are a great swap for most nuts that some individuals can be allergic to.
Lately, I have been swapping my regular onions for green onions because they are more suitable for a low histamine diet. If you suffer from histamine intolerance or mast cell activation syndrome, then try swapping traditional onions for green onions instead.
Feta cheese or goat cheese are perfect for that salty, creamy bite you need in a harvest fall salad. If dairy-free, swap for dairy-free cheese or simpy omit.
Gluten Free Pasta
You can use any gluten-free pasta of your choice. Rotini, penne, or bowtie pasta will work well in this recipe.
Maple Lime Vinaigrette Dressing
This vinaigrette dressing is easy to make with a few simple ingredients that combine maple syrup, lime juice, olive oil, and Dijon mustard. It also works well on many other salad recipes or even a delicous protein marinade.
I like to cube up some chicken breast from a prepared rotisserie chicken that I purchase at my local grocery store. You can also cook up some fresh grilled or roasted chicken breat to use in this recipe. However, I like to keep things fairly simple and just use a prepared rotisserie chicken.
See the recipe card for quantities.
👩🍳 How To Make a Fall Harvest Pasta Salad With Chicken
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss butternut squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and pinch of sea salt and roast for 20-30 minutes, until soft. Remove from oven and set aside.
In a mason jar or small bowl combine maple syrup, lime juice, olive oil, and sea salt. Shake your mason jar until well combined or whisk together until the vinaigrette is emulsified.
Thinly slice your kale and green onions and cube your cooked chicken breast.
In a large bowl, combine 8 ounces cooked pasta, roasted butternut squash, cubed chicken breast, pumpkin and pomegrante seeds, kale, feta cheese, and green onions.
Pour the prepared maple lime vinaigrette dressing over salad and gently toss to combine.
Vegan Note: You can omit the chicken breast completely or swap it for a vegan protein source, like cubed firm tofu.
🧡 Learn How to Make a Fall Harvest Salad Recipe
Learn how easy it is to make an easy pasta fall salad recipe that comes together quickly.
Roasted Butternut Squash And Pasta Fall Harvest Salad
Roasted Butternut Squash Ingredients:
Roasted Butternut Squash Instructions:
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Toss butternut squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and pinch of sea salt and roast for 20-30 minutes, until soft.
- Remove from oven and set aside.
Maple Lime Vinaigrette Instructions:
- In a mason jar or small bowl combine maple syrup, lime juice, olive oil, and sea salt. Shake your mason jar until well combined or whisk together until the vinaigrette is emulsified.
Fall Harvest Salad Instructions:
- If you haven't already cooked your pasta ahead of time, prepare your pasta according to your pasta instructions.
- Thinly slice your kale and green onions and cube your cooked chicken breast.
- In a large bowl, combine 8 ounces cooked pasta, roasted butternut squash, cubed chicken breast, pumpkin and pomegrante seeds, kale, feta cheese, and green onions.
- Pour the prepared maple lime vinaigrette dressing over salad and gently toss to combine.
Laura's Recipe Tips
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Making a healthy fall harvest pasta salad recipe is quite easy, but sometimes the ingredients don't fit into your dietary needs or preferences. Check out some easy substitutions and variations to customize this recipe to your liking.
- Kale - Try this with spinach or arugula instead.
- Butternut Squash - Swap with sweet potatoes.
- Feta Cheese - Swap with goat cheese or a similar vegan cheese.
- Pumpkin Seeds - Sunflower seeds are a similar substitute.
- Pomegrante Seeds - Try dried fruit like cranberries or even better is some delicious fresh cranberries.
You can store any leftover fall salad for 4 days, but keep the vinaigrette separate until ready to serve. You can also prepare this pasta salad recipe a few days in advance of a fall potluck gathering. The maple lime vinaigrette will keep in your fridge for up to a week.
Here are a few variations for the autumn harvest pasta salad.
- Vegan: Omit the chicken breast and swap for a vegan friendly protein choice like seitan or firm tofu. Be sure to season your tofu with some of your favorite spices.
😀Enjoy This Butternut Squash and Healthy Harvest Pasta Recipe!
So, were you surprised at how easy it was to make a fall healthy harvest pasta salad recipe? Will you try this fall pasta salad for your next holiday gathering or fall potluck?
In addition, I would also love to hear what you think, or take a photo and tag me @Eat_Your_Nutrition on Instagram. I love seeing your photos. #EatYourNutrition #LauraVillanueva
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🍁 Fall Into Healthy Nutrition Challenge
6-Week fall healthy eating nutrition challenge. Fall wellness topic on digestion and immune health. Ready for delicious fall recipes?
- Toney AM, Fox D, Chaidez V, Ramer-Tait AE, Chung S. Immunomodulatory Role of Urolithin A on Metabolic Diseases. Biomedicines. 2021 Feb 15;9(2):192. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines9020192. PMID: 33671880; PMCID: PMC7918969.