A fresh fall salad is a healthy addition to your dinner table.


Credit: Jennifer Causey; Food Styling: Melissa Gray; Prop Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Recipe Summary

30 mins
30 mins

As the weather cools off, butternut squash tends to get all the attention, but this fall, we're highlighting some of the fantastic ways to use lesser-known squash varieties. This Roasted Acorn Squash Salad with Sorghum-Tahini Vinaigrette will be the prettiest addition to your autumn table.

Sliced into pretty half-moons, acorn squash is the undeniable star of this cold-weather salad. This humble winter squash is remarkably easy to prepare. When roasted, its skin is edible, which means there's no peeling required. Can we get a hallelujah? In this salad, the roasted acorn squash is tender, complemented by the crisp kale, which maintains a bit of bite. Sunflower seeds offer a nice crunch, while dried cranberries add sweetness. The fresh herbs (parsley and thyme) bring a delightful flavor that makes this acorn squash salad stand out. The vinaigrette hits your palate in three notes: You get acidity from the apple cider vinegar, sweetness from the sorghum syrup, and earthy, nutty flavors from the tahini.

Serve as a side with dinner or enjoy for lunch at work. You could add shredded rotisserie chicken to make this a main-dish salad.


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Using a sharp knife, slice each acorn squash in half lengthwise; remove and discard stems. Using a spoon, scoop out seeds and pulp, and discard. Slice each squash half crosswise into ¾-inch-thick wedges. Toss squash wedges with 1 tablespoon of the oil, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper in a medium bowl. Arrange squash slices on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and roast until tender, 30 to 35 minutes, flipping squash halfway through. Remove from oven; cool until ready to use.

  • While squash are roasting, place shallot slices in a medium-size heatproof bowl, and set aside. Bring ½ cup water, ½ cup of the apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of the sorghum syrup, and 1 teaspoon of the salt to a gentle boil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Carefully pour hot brine mixture over shallots, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let stand 10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, whisk together tahini, parsley, thyme, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and remaining 2 tablespoons sorghum, 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, and ¼ teaspoon pepper until combined. Slowly drizzle remaining 3 tablespoons oil into sorghum mixture, whisking until well combined.

  • Using tongs, toss together kale and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl until well combined and tender, about 2 minutes. Add sorghum vinaigrette, apple slices, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds, and continue tossing until well combined. Divide salad among 4 plates; top with roasted squash wedges and drained pickled shallot rings.