This Beet Butternut Squash Salad with Apple Maple Vinaigrette is the perfect combination of fall flavors, boasting bright colors and bold flavors from the combination of barley, roasted squash and beets with creamy goat cheese crumbles.
Add it to your Thanksgiving dinner for a light, bright, nutritious side dish!
This post is sponsored by Whole Foods. All opinions are my own. Thank you, Whole Foods, for teaming up with me for this recipe!
So, where is the fall going you guys? Seems like, I turned my head and it was time to run my first marathon. I turn my head again and it’s ALMOST THANKSGIVING.
That means I need to start thinking about Christmas presents soon.
I’m pretty much a sucker for the fall, though. The weather in Charlotte is much milder than the New England falls I’m used to. However, the foliage can’t compare.
The crisp air, though, has me drooling over all the fall produce, which happen to be some of my favorites. I’m ready for pumpkin and butternut squash recipes.
I could probably subside on just those produce ingredients (pumpkin + apple baked oatmeal is my soul sister) alone for the next few months and be totally satisfied.
One of my favorite recipes ever is a butternut squash quinoa salad. That actually inspired this recipe for this roasted butternut squash and beetroot salad.
But, instead of quinoa, I chose to use barley because I wanted a thicker grain.
In addition, you know what else is great about my current living location? I’m less than two miles from Whole Foods. Well, I guess it’s also a little dangerous because I go there a lot.
Which means, when I need a kombucha, Americano or sweet treat, I’m there.
No Need to Look for More Butternut Squash Recipes for Thanksgiving
Seriously, this is the only recipe you’ll need!
A butternut squash arugula salad with beets, barley and cheese checks all the boxes.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Not just for the food, but moreso the whole thankful part. Thanksgiving is a holiday I NEVER miss with my family. We have always made sure to be together for this one.
Growing up, we would all gather at my grandparents’ house with all nine cousins, and we would hold hands in a circle. Everyone would go around and say what they’re thankful for. We still do it to this day, and it seems that each year, I get a little more grateful for life’s bigger picture.
Prefer a Beet Salad with Feta? Other Substitution Ideas
I’ve used both goat cheese and feta cheese in this Mediterranean barley salad, but I really love the idea of a beet salad with feta – it’s a great flavor combo!
And please don’t be intimidated by beets! Yes, I try to use fresh ones when I can because they’re beautiful and I like the way they taste. But, canned beets work just as well in this raw beet salad.
And if you don’t like squash, you could even make this a beet potato salad. Potatoes are a great substitution because they are also starchy. The starchy ingredient makes this barley salad more complete!
What Other Grains Could You Use in This Butternut Squash Salad?
While in Boston last month, I realized how whole grains are currently thriving. Though I have always been a quinoa salad girl myself, I am branching out to things like freekah, sorghum and millet.
In addition to fiber and protein, these guys are also chock full of B vitamins, iron and other micronutrients. Furthermore, whole grains can take on whatever flavor you choose.
I love barley because it’s a little thicker and fluffier and provides a great bed for flavor! But, if you don’t like barley or don’t have any, you could use any other thicker grain, like freekah, sorghum or millet.
Quinoa would work also, but it’s just a lot smaller so won’t “stick” as well. You could even use lentils, but they would give a stronger flavor.
How To Make the Maple Vinaigrette Dressing
Don’t we all love a good apple cider vinaigrette recipe? Because truthfully, a maple and apple vinaigrette is the perfect flavor combination for fall.
Let’s just say the salad would not be the same without it. The maple apple vinaigrette dressing is the perfect delicate balance of sweetness and tartness, and light enough to not take away from this beetroot salad flavors.
To make, just mix your dressing ingredients in a small mason jar or covered container and shake well.
The best news is that the dressing gets better with time. I prefer to add it to the barley salad only right before eating because I don’t want it oversaturated, but you do you!
- 1 ½ lbs butternut squash, cubed (about 4 cups)
- 3 medium beets, peeled and diced
- 4 cups barley, cooked
- 2 cups arugula
- ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
- ¼ tsp thyme
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- For the dressing:
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Wash and cut squash and beets and season with thyme, salt and pepper. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for 35-40 minutes
- While the butternut squash and beets are baking, cook your barley according to package directions.
- While the barley is cooking, mix the ingredients for your dressing in a covered mason jar and shake to combine.
- Mix the arugula and barley for your salad base, and top with baked butternut squash and beets. Add goat cheese crumbles, dressing and mix well. Enjoy!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 325 Total Fat: 11g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 9mg Sodium: 224mg Carbohydrates: 51g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 8g Sugar: 11g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 8g
What Should You Pair This Butternut Squash Salad With?
While creating extravagant meals aren’t really my specialty (I prefer quick and easy recipes), I’m pretty confident in rocking out with colorful, nutritious sides, like my crispy parsnip fries and sheetpan maple balsamic roasted vegetables.
Therefore, I’m in charge of bringing the butternut squash recipes for Thanksgiving.
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Do you have any family Thanksgiving traditions? Has anything changed as you’ve gotten older?