With changing colors, cooler temps and pumpkins abound, there’s no doubt autumn has arrived. What better way to celebrate Halloween than with our festive, original recipe for Butternut Squash Salad served in a pumpkin bowl? Whether served as a Halloween party buffet centerpiece in a large pumpkin or plated individually in mini pumpkins, this recipe will delight your guests and deliver a burst of flavor and nutrition in every bite.
(You may not need the full amount of recommended ingredients depending on the size of the salad.)
Or, X mini pumpkins (for individual servings)
3/4 cup of Olive Oil (to cook chicken and squash)
Salt and pepper
1 (3.5 oz.) package of dried cranberries
1 (3.5 oz.) package of candied walnuts or pecans (or, to candy the nuts yourself, follow this recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/dawns-candied-walnuts)
1 (4 oz.) log of goat cheese
2-3 packages of pre-cut butternut squash (or 1 whole butternut squash)
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
¾ cup olive oil
- Carve the pumpkin as you would for a jack-o-lantern. Carve out a lid wider than usual to create the serving bowl. Next, scrape out and remove stringy, pumpkin innards until the interior is completely smooth. (To save time, prepare pumpkin(s) up to 2 days ahead.)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place butternut squash pieces on a cookie sheet (if cooking a full squash cut in half and place skin side down) drizzle with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 -30 minutes, or until tender.
- Let squash cool (for full squash, peel away outer skin and cut into 1” squares).
- While squash is cooking, place chicken tenders in a skillet over medium heat.
Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken. Next, drizzle chicken with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until chicken is tender or no longer pink.
- In a small mixing bowl or carafe, stir all dressing ingredients together.
- Remove butter lettuce leaves from head. Wash thoroughly and pat dry with paper towel or a salad spinner.
- In a separate mixing bowl, mix gently torn lettuce leaves, chicken and squash in a
bowl. Crumple goat cheese over lettuce; add nuts and cranberries and gently toss.
- Transfer salad to mini pumpkins or large serving pumpkin.
- Pour a light coating of dressing over pumpkin filled salad and serve.