This autumn pasta salad with roasted butternut squash, pear, arugula and pumpkin seeds will surprise your taste buds in the most unexpected and pleasant way! This salad offers it all. It’s sweet and savoury, crunchy and creamy, with every bite offering something new. Tossed in a tasty dressing featuring Dijon mustard, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar, this salad is perfect for a fall dinner or lunch. And, as an added bonus, it’s 100% plant-based.
This less than traditional pasta salad makes use of fall favourites: pumpkin and pear. Two unexpectedly delicious pairings. A match which you may already be familiar with, as they also make a great choice for an autumn soup. But, this duo has the power to go beyond just soups.
I hope you love this fall pasta salad with butternut squash and pear. It‘s fresh tasting, satisfying and so delicious.
How to adapt this autumn pasta salad recipe
- I simply love butternut squash as it is slightly nutty tasting and roasting it brings out its sweet flavor. It can be compared somewhat to sweet potato. Which by the way, makes a great substitution, Or try Hokkaido pumpkin, it also has a delicious sweet, nutty taste, that resembles chestnuts. And the great thing about Hokkaido pumpkin is that in doesn‘t need to be peeled, as the skin is completely edible.
- Pumpkin seeds can be traded out for toasted walnuts or pecans. You could also caramelise them with a little brown sugar and butter on the stovetop.
- Arugula could be traded out with your favorite greens, however I think the peppery flavor goes with with the sweetness of the pumpkin and pear. Choose young arugula greens for a milder flavor and more tender texture.
If you like this pasta salad recipe, you might also like:
- Broccoli Pasta Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
- Winter Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables & Buttermilk Dressing
- Roasted Cauliflower Pasta Salad with Chickpeas
- Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad
Autumn Pasta Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash
For the salad:
- 1 small butternut squash, cubed into 2,5 cm pieces (max 1kg)
- 1 large pear (firm but ripe), peeled, cored and cubed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 350 g dried pasta (e.g Torchiette or other small pasta)
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 50 g pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
- 3-4 handfuls arugula leaves
For the dressing:
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (Unfiltered)
- 1 ½ tablespoons whole grain mustard
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, or to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F / 200ºC (180°C fan-assisted) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Transfer the cubed butternut squash and pear to the prepared baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, spread into an even layer and season with salt. Roast in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, gently tossing halfway through, until fork tender.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water, according to package directions, until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water (this stops cooking and removes excess starch). Shake off excess water and transfer to a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the dressing (oil, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, garlic, spices, salt, pepper) ingredients.
Add chopped seeds to a small pan over medium heat and toast for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
When the pasta is done cooking, drain and add to a bowl, then add parsley and stir together. Add in vegetables, dressing and toasted nuts and toss to combine until well coated. Serve and enjoy!
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