Thanksgiving Butternut Squash Salad with Roasted Brussels sprouts, Pecans, and Cranberries is one of the best holiday side dishes you’ll ever try! Perfect recipe for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve or any time you like! This salad is full of vegetables and nuts. It’s healthy, gluten free, vegetarian, and packed with fiber!
Thanksgiving and Christmas are two of my favorite holidays! I love the kinds of food we cook this time of year, bursting with Fall and holiday flavors. While we all love good old regular side dish recipes that we are so accustomed to this time of year (green beans, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, etc.) I hope you will also give a try to this Thanksgiving Butternut Squash Salad.
This holiday side dish recipe will bring so many colors and lots of flavors to your holiday menu thanks to the roasted Brussels Sprouts, Cinnamon Butternut Squash, Pecans, and Cranberries.
Thanksgiving Main Courses to serve with this side dish:
- Roast Duck – an ultimate Thanksgiving main course! This Roast Whole Duck has tender and juicy meat, crispy skin, and it’s glazed with the honey-balsamic glaze to give the duck a beautiful roasted look.
- Roasted Cornish Hen – roasted paprika Cornish hen with root vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes) and onions.
- Roasted Turkey Breast (Boneless) with Garlic Herb Butter – this is a rolled turkey breast recipe and is a great alternative when you don’t feel like cooking the entire turkey.
Don’t want to use pecans? Try this recipe with pumpkin seeds:
- Roasted Butternut Squash with Pumpkin Seeds, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and Cranberries – this delicious Autumn salad features all our favorite seasonal ingredients!
Other amazing Thanksgiving salads:
- Winter Fruit Salad with Maple Lime Dressing – the holiday ingredient list includes red apples, pears, clementine oranges (or mandarin oranges), kiwi fruit, dried cranberries, and pomegranate seeds.
- Butternut Squash and Spinach Salad with Pecans, Cranberries, Pomegranate – perfect healthy Thanksgiving salad with Poppy Seed Honey-Lime Dressing.
- Honey Mustard Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cranberries and Pecans – this holiday salad is all about crisp, shredded Brussels sprouts tossed with slightly sweet honey mustard vinaigrette, dried cranberries and chopped pecans. One of the best Fall salads you’ll ever make!
Other delicious Thanksgiving Side Dishes:
- Garlic and Bacon Green Beans – crispy and crunchy green beans sautéed with garlic and bacon in olive oil and butter on stove top.
- Creamy and Crunchy Salad with Peas, Bacon, and Pecans – easy and beautiful side dish for Thanksgiving!
- Dijon Mustard Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Apples, and Gorgonzola cheese – Brussels sprouts smothered in heavy cream and mustard with bacon, apples, Gorgonzola cheese and nutmeg. Cooked on stove top. Comforting recipe for those cold Fall and Winter nights.
What I love the best about this butternut squash salad is that it fits so well with classic Thanksgiving side dishes. It’s such a perfect addition to a holiday table. It will look (and taste!) perfect next to traditional Thanksgiving recipes, such as green beans, potatoes, and stuffing.
And, I love the combination of ingredients here! Even if you don’t like Brussels sprouts, you’ll love them here. Roasted Brussels sprouts taste great when combined with all the classic Autumn flavors. Cinnamon butternut squash provides a nice, sweeter contrast to the Brussels Sprouts. And, you get a little bit of crunch from pecans and dried cranberries.
Potato Side Dishes for Thanksgiving:
- Scalloped Potatoes – Easy Scalloped Potatoes with Garlic, Thyme, and Parmesan cheese – delicious, super cheesy potatoes made with white cheese only (no Cheddar cheese).
- Cheddar, Thyme and Beer Potatoes Au Gratin – creamy and cheesy thin sliced potatoes that are deliciously seasoned with fresh thyme and baked to perfection with Cheddar cheese and dark beer!
- Buttery Mashed Potato Pie with Herb and Garlic Cream Cheese – a wonderful combination of potatoes, cream cheese, and buttermilk baked in the shape of the sliceable pie.
- Irish Mashed Potatoes with Bacon (Colcannon) – potatoes, cabbage, kale and bacon all combined with butter and heavy cream. Yum!
This Butternut Squash Salad makes a beautiful presentation, too – it’s a perfect Holiday side dish that will make a great addition to both Thanksgiving and Christmas menus.
How to make butternut squash salad:
- Toss Brussels sprouts in olive oil and salt. Roast in the preheated oven at 400 F for about 20 minutes.
- Toss cubed butternut squash in olive oil, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Roast in the preheated oven at 400 F for about 20 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted cinnamon butternut squash, cranberries, and lightly toasted pecans.
- Add a small amount of maple syrup and toss!
Tips and Tricks
- To save time, roast both Brussels sprouts and butternut squash on 2 separate baking sheets at the same time, on the same rack in the oven.
- Adding maple syrup to the salad at the end is optional. If you do decide to add it, add small amounts. Start with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, then add more, if desired, and toss with the salad ingredients to combine.
How to reheat it:
- First, if you plan to make this a day ahead, don’t add nuts. Add nuts only when ready to serve (to make sure they are crunchy).
- Reheat this dish in a shallow pan, such as a sheet pan or a sheet cake pan lined with parchment paper. Spread the ingredients on a parchment paper lined sheet pan. Reheat for about 15 minutes in the preheated oven at 350 F. Then add toasted pecans, when ready to serve.
- You can also serve this dish cold, if you like. Just add toasted pecans right before serving, so that they are crunchy.
If you want a healthy side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year's Eve, try this Butternut Squash Salad with Roasted Brussels sprouts, Pecans, and Cranberries! is one of the best holiday side dishes you'll ever try! This salad is full of vegetables and nuts. It's healthy, gluten free, vegetarian, and packed with fiber!
- 3 cups Brussels sprouts ends trimmed, yellow leaves removed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt to taste
- 1 1/2 lb butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cubed into 1-inch cubes (Yields about 4 cups of uncooked cubed butternut squash)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups pecan halves
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 2-4 tablespoons maple syrup optional
Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease the foil-lined baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Trim ends of Brussels sprouts and remove yellow leaves.
Then, slice all Brussels sprouts in half.
In a medium bowl, combine halved Brussels sprouts, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt (to taste), and toss to combine.
Place onto a foil-lined baking sheet, cut side down, and roast in the oven at 400 F for about 20-25 minutes. During the last 5-10 minutes of roasting, turn them over for even browning, the cut sides should be nicely and partially charred but not blackened (see my photos).
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease the foil-lined baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- In a medium bowl, combine cubed butternut squash (peeled and seeded),1 tablespoon of olive oil, maple syrup, and cinnamon, and toss to mix.
- Place butternut squash in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once half-way through baking, until softened.
Note: You can roast both Brussels sprouts and butternut squash on 2 separate baking sheets at the same time, on the same rack in the oven – that’s what I did.
Toast pecans in the preheated oven at 350 F
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Toast the pecans for about 5 minutes (maybe a bit longer) in the preheated oven at 350 F until they get darker in color.
Note: pecans burn really fast, so make sure to check the nuts after 5 minutes and frequently afterwords.
In a large bowl, combine roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted butternut squash, pecans, and cranberries, and mix to combine.
(OPTIONAL): For more sweetness, add 2 or 4 tablespoons of maple syrup, if desired – do not add all maple syrup at once, start with 2 tablespoons, then add more, if desired, and toss with the salad ingredients to combine.
Watch how to make this butternut squash salad:
Other Butternut Squash Recipes:
- Butternut Squash and Spinach Tortellini
- Butternut Squash and Spinach Salad with Pecans, Cranberries, Pomegranate Seeds
- Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna
- Butternut Squash Chili
- Black Bean and Butternut Squash Enchilada Casserole
- Black Bean and Butternut Squash Soup
The recipe was originally published on October 22, 2015 and republished with cooking tips and updates in November 2018.