I think I might be finally be emerging from my Thanksgiving food coma.

Yes, I understand it’s been a full week.

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday – really, what could possibly top a day devoted entirely to family and friends and feasting?  (Specifically feasting on carb-laden wonders such as stuffing and pies, that is.)

For years, I greedily parsed through a stack of glossy November food magazines, obsessively planning exactly what I would add to the Thanksgiving table. But lately, I’ve come close to settling on my own personal slate of favorite recipes.  My yearly go-tos include  an Apple, Sage and Sausage Stuffing, a Spiced Cranberry-Pear Compote, a Brown-Butter Bourbon Pecan Pie, and a Dutch Apple Pie.

But this year, we hosted a party of 18 at House Morell… a fantastic Friendsgiving.   The Thanksgiving control-freak in me briefly toyed with the idea of cooking everything myself, but that moment of insanity evaporated when our friends offered to deep-fry turkeys in our back garden.   You know you are blessed with seriously awesome friends when they show on Thanksgiving with turkeys and a deep-fryer.

Each guest contributed a personal favorite to our Thanksgiving mosaic … We started with amazing Bacon-wrapped dates to a to-die-for melted Jarlsburg cheese dip.  Friends spoiled us with bottles of gorgeous wine, and the college kid set up a bar for made-to-order cocktails.

A delicious spiral sliced ham from the Organic Butcher joined the turkey on the buffet.  Pot-luck sides included a traditional from-the-back-of-the-Campbell’s soup can Classic Green Bean Casserole, balsamic roasted brussels sprouts, rich and creamy mashed potatoes, and Pillsbury Crescent rolls – a must at House Morell.

A note on those rolls.  My dear Australian friend Fiona, who is a simply exquisite cook, offered to either bake rolls with her sour-dough starter, or order them from Dean and Deluca.   In her several years here in the US, she had never been introduced to the preservative-laden wonders that simply MUST grace our Thanksgiving table.  I filled her in, texted her a picture, and send her to the refrigerated section of the local supermarket because OF COURSE that’s where rolls live.  I think she has been converted.  Or perhaps simply being polite.

Every year I still need to try a few new dishes.  I just can’t help myself. This year, I finally discovered a perfect cornbread – the New York Times’ Brown Butter Skillet Cornbread … and created this lovely Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Red Onions, Goat Cheese and Pecans.


I feel a Thanksgiving table wouldn’t be complete without a bit of squash, and this seemed a lovely way to make it happen.  And it’s conveniently super simple to throw together.  Just toss the diced squashed and slivered red onion in a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast it on high heat until the squash is tender and the onions have wilted into sweetened strands of yumminess.  Then simply layer the roasted squash and onions onto a bed of greens tossed with a quick balsamic vinaigrette, then add generous portions of goat cheese and pecans.

Our youngest son deemed last week’s gathering “The Best Thanksgiving Ever.”  And I believe it was.  We have so much to be thankful for…

Including this salad.  I’m going to make it all winter long to remind us of that awesome gathering.


4.5 from 2 reviews
Roasted Butternut Squash, Red Onion, Goat Cheese and Pecan Salad
Serves: 10-12 as a side
  • 6-8 cups mixed spring greens
  • 1 large butternut squash, cut into ½ inch cubes (about 3-4 cups)
  • 1 small red onion, thinly slivered
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 cup roasted salted pecans
  • Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Toss the butternut squash and the slivered red onions with a generous drizzle of olive oil, and sprinkle generously with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  4. Place in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.
  5. Take out of the oven and set aside.
  6. Make the vinaigrette: place the balsamic vinegar and olive oil in a small jar with a lid. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover, and shake until the the vinegar and olive oil are combined.
  7. Place the greens on a platter, or in a large salad bowl. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss. I like a light coating of dressing, so only use about ⅓ of the dressing. Next, decoratively layer the butternut squash and onions, the goat cheese and the pecans on the salad and serve.

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24 Responses to "Roasted Butternut Squash, Red Onion, Goat Cheese and Pecan Salad"
  1. I’ve been LOVING butternut squash in salads lately! I had one with goat cheese, pumpkin seeds, and cranberries (SO good!) and I made with with wild rice, pomegranates and pistachos (loved it!) so this is next on my list 🙂

    • mb says:

      Wow… great flavor combinations Liz… those salads sound wonderful! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  2. Ah! What a beautiful way o bring squash to the Thanksgiving table. I simply love all the colors in this dish. I’m glad your Thanksgiving food coma is almost over, so you can begin to cook and bake tons of holiday treats. Happy FF, and have a marvelous weekend!

  3. Susan says:

    Wow! What a beautiful Salad. I think this is going to be our dinner tonight. I am going to cheat and get the butternut squash already cut up in bags at TJs. Thanks for sharing, it looks scrumptious!

  4. Beautiful shots, here, that certainly want me to dig in to this healthy plate! Love the combination of flavors and nutrients. Squash is loaded with Vitamin A to keep our immunity strong to guard us against winter colds and flu. Thanks!

  5. Arielle says:

    This looks ahhhmazing. And totally necessary to balance out holiday indulgences!

  6. Fiona says:

    This salad tastes as spectacular as it looks. Thank you for sharing it and a wonderful Thanksgiving feast with us.
    Crescent rolls: yes I am truly a convert! I may have to tuck some of these little cylinders in my luggage for our Christmas feast on the beach in Australia this year. Thank you for the introduction 🙂

  7. Beautiful salad MB! I am emerging from the food coma as well and planning for the next opportunity for the next food coma!

  8. I’m so obsessed with butternut squash and I’d never thought to use it in a salad. Plus, you added pecans and goat cheese!!! I’m in!

  9. Welcome to FF, MB, and thank you for bringing your salad. I am a lover of butternut squash not just in fall but year round and love it in salads too! I love the pairing of chèvre and salty pecans in your gorgeous salad. Your Friendsgiving was right on trend this year and I suspect that might become a new word in the American Webster Dictionnary! I sure would have loved to partake in this salad and a lot of the other goodies you mentioned. For me it’s all about the sides at Thanksgiving?

  10. Tracey says:

    Perfect flavor combination. Love it.

  11. Stef says:

    OMG this just looks so beautiful and colourful and fresh!! I love it, YUMMY!!

  12. Julia Bleck says:

    Yum! This salad sounds fresh and perfect for the season.

  13. Hilda says:

    Such good colours and flavours. Will give this a try with some of the butternut squash I have waiting for just such an occasion.

  14. Liz says:

    What a beautiful salad, so colorful. I also love winter squashes in a salad with nuts and this one sounds delicious.

    Thank you for brining it to Fiesta Friday.

  15. Suchitra says:

    The roasted butternut squash salad looks super delicious. I am saving the recipe.I wish I could taste it. Your thanksgiving party sounds like a great fun affair!

  16. Petra says:

    What a gorgeous salad! Anything with salad and goats cheese together and then to add the butternut and the pecans is just lush! 🙂

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