The FAMOUS Roast Pumpkin Salad with Feta, Pine Nuts & Baby Spinach recipe is so simple to make and is the perfect vegetarian side dish for your next BBQ, family dinner or celebration.
This healthy salad recipe is so, so delicious.
The creamy salty feta cheese is perfectly complimented by the nutty toasted pine nuts and baked pumpkin.
Great for BBQs, as a side for a simple family dinner or a healthy lunch on the go!
Most Popular Pumpkin Salad Recipe
This is by far one of my most popular and most requested salad recipes!
Here's why everyone loves it:
- 4 Ingredients - the salad (not including the dressing) is made using just 4 ingredients! So simple.
- Can Be Prepped Ahead Of Time - see my tips below about preparing the roast pumpkin, pine nuts and dressing ahead of time so that you can simply assemble and serve in just a couple of minutes.
- Versatile - mix and match with your favourite ingredients (see my substitution ideas below)
- Healthy Recipe - this recipe is made using nutritious pumpkin, baby spinach and nuts.
- Perfect For BBQs - whether you're having a weekend summer BBQ or a celebration with friends, this roasted pumpkin salad is perfect!
- Vegetarian Salad - this meat-free salad is perfect for vegetarians.
What You Need (Plus Substitutions)
Note: scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom for the ingredient quantities and detailed method.
For the salad:
- pumpkin - you can use any variety of pumpkin you like - I generally use butternut or Kent. You can also substitute the pumpkin for roasted sweet potato if you prefer.
- baby spinach leaves - or substitute with regular spinach (chopped into smaller pieces) or rocket (arugula).
- feta - you can use Greek feta, soft danish feta or goats cheese for this recipe. Alternatively, you can replace the feta with grilled halloumi which is also a salty cheese.
- pine nuts - lightly toast the pine nuts until golden. You can substitute the pine nuts with toasted walnuts if you prefer.
How To Make The Honey Balsamic Dressing
The dressing can be made by whisking olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and pepper together until combined.
Alternatively you can use a store-bought dressing such as balsamic dressing, balsamic glaze or a creamy sesame dressing (one of my favourite alternatives).
How To Roast Pumpkin
Roasting pumpkin in the oven is so simple!
Cut the skin off the pumpkin and chop into small slices/chunks.
Place the pumpkin pieces onto a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Bake for 20 minutes or until tender and slightly soft.
TIP: Do not overcook the pumpkin or it will become mushy in the salad
Assembling A Roast Pumpkin Salad
Lightly toast the pine nuts in a frying pan over medium/low heat. Stir them regularly until golden.
TIP: Keep a very close eye on the pine nuts as they burn easily!
In a serving bowl or dish layer the baby spinach leaves, roasted pumpkin, crumbled feta and toasted pine nuts.
Pour over the dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Storing (Plus Make Ahead Tips)
This roast pumpkin salad is best served on the day it is prepared.
Store in the fridge until needed and then pour over the dressing just before serving.
Store any leftovers in the fridge for 1-2 days.
Make Ahead Of Time Option:
Cook the pumpkin, allow to cool and store in an airtight container for 2 days.
Toast the pine nuts and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Prepare the dressing and store in an airtight jar or container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
When ready to serve, assemble the salad, pour over the dressing and toss to combine.
Roast Pumpkin Salad Tips & FAQ
This roast pumpkin salad is so simple to make. Here's some of the questions I am commonly asked:
Yes! You can use roasted sweet potato if you prefer.
Yes - simply omit the pine nuts or substitute with dried cranberries or fresh pomegranate.
You can serve this dish on its own or serve it with your favourite grilled meats or seafood.
Absolutely! Halloumi has a very different texture but the same salty savoury flavour as the feta and it makes a delicious substitution.
This salad can be stored in the fridge and the leftovers consumed within 1-2 days.
It's best to pour the dressing over the salad and toss it through immediately before serving (as it will start to cause the baby spinach to wilt).
Absolutely! If you prefer to use a store-bought dressing, that is completely fine. I recommend either a balsamic dressing or a creamy roasted sesame dressing.
More Healthy Salad Recipes
There are so many flavour-packed, delicious and healthy salad recipes to be enjoyed!
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Roast Pumpkin Salad with Feta, Pine Nuts & Baby Spinach Salad
For the salad
- 600 g pumpkin skin removed and cut into slices or chunks
- 2 tbs olive oil
- salt and pepper to season
- 75 g pine nuts
- 150 g baby spinach leaves
- 80 g feta crumbled into small chunks
For the dressing
- 1 tbs honey
- 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbs olive oil
- salt and pepper to season
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius (fan-forced).
- Chop the pumpkin into small slices or chunks and remove the skin.
- Drizzle a flat baking tray with the olive oil, add the pumpkin pieces and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender (but not too soft). Set aside.
- Place the pine nuts into a small frying pan over low/medium heat. Cook, while stirring regularly, until lightly golden (keep a close eye on them as they can easily burn). Set aside.
- Layer the baby spinach, pumpkin, pine nuts and feta cheese in a serving bowl or dish.
- To make the dressing, place the honey, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper into a small bowl and whisk with the fork until combined.
- Pour the dressing over the salad, toss to combine and serve immediately.
- pumpkin – you can use any variety of pumpkin you like – I generally use butternut or Kent. You can also substitute the pumpkin for roasted sweet potato if you prefer.
- baby spinach leaves – or substitute with regular spinach (chopped into smaller pieces) or rocket (arugula).
- feta – you can use Greek feta, soft danish feta or goats cheese for this recipe. Alternatively, you can replace the feta with grilled halloumi which is also a salty cheese.
- pine nuts – lightly toast the pine nuts until golden. You can substitute the pine nuts with toasted walnuts if you prefer.
My favourite summer salad. Every time I make it. It's a winner