This beautiful and simple salad with crispy, roasted pumpkin, pine nuts, creamy goats cheese and rocket is everything you look for in a salad! Full of earthy flavours and textures, this fresh and healthy pumpkin salad recipe makes a fantastic side dish, or a complete meal on its own. Perfect for entertaining, easy lunches, backyard barbeques and special occasions!
Whenever I am asked to “bring a salad”, this easy recipe is always my go-to! Aside from being full of incredible flavours, it is much more interesting than a simple green salad, so easy to throw together and guaranteed to impress.
You’ll find the most incredible combination of flavours here. Juicy roasted pumpkin with crispy edges, salty and creamy goats cheese, earthy pine nuts and peppery rocket (arugula if you’re browsing from the US!). You won’t even need a dressing with these flavours. Just a light drizzle of olive oil is all that is required.
Next time you need a simple but fancy salad, give this one a try! It is perfect for Christmas celebrations, family gatherings or even a simple Sunday lunch.
Why you’ll love this recipe
Quick and easy – all you need is 5 ingredients (plus a little olive oil and salt) and around 30 minutes to put this salad together.
Make ahead – this salad can be prepped ahead of time, making it perfect to transport or store ahead for entertaining or easy lunches. And I think it tastes even better the next day!
Healthy and adaptable – make some easy swaps to suit your tastes. Add some extra roasted veggies or your favourite add-ins like feta, spinach or even some quinoa.
What you’ll need
Pumpkin – I use Kent, Butternut (called butternut squash in the US!) or Jap pumpkin, or a mix.
Rocket – Rocket (arugula) gives this beautiful salad a lovely, peppery flavour. But if you prefer something milder, you can also swap it for baby spinach, or use a mix of both.
Goats cheese – Goats cheese gives a lovely creamy and slightly salty flavour to the salad, but you could also use feta or grilled haloumi too, if you prefer.
Pepitas and pine nuts – can be found in most supermarkets. Pine nuts are a little more expensive, but you don’t need much and they give such a lovely, earthy flavour to balance the salty cheese and sweet pumpkin. Mix them with some pepitas, or even sunflower seeds. Or, swap them for your favourite nut of choice.
Step by step instructions
There is nothing complicated about this recipe! Simply roast the pumpkin, cool and then toss!
The pumpkin needs to be diced and tossed through some olive oil before roasting until it is golden and crispy around the edges.
Once the pumpkin is cooked, allow it to cool on the tray before tossing the salad ingredients together, to prevent the cheese from melting.
Which pumpkin is best for roasting? Kent or Jap pumpkins are my go-to for roasting and salads. Butternut pumpkin/squash is also a good option.
How do I store pumpkin and pine nut salad? If you are not serving it immediately, store the salad in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days.
- For a little extra sweetness in the roasted pumpkin, toss the pieces through a little maple syrup before roasting.
- Add a mix of your favourite roasted vegetables, like potato, sweet potato, capsicum, carrot or beetroot.
- Roasting pumpkin for salad is the same as roasting it for other uses. However, it is important not to over-cook the pumpkin or it will become mushy. Cook the pumpkin so that it is golden and crispy, but still slightly firm and holding its shape.
Looking for some more easy and fresh salad recipes for lunch or entertaining? Give these ones a try!
- Italian pasta salad with salami
- Creamy potato salad
- Blood orange and rocket salad
- Greek lamb salad with tzatziki
- Asian noodle salad
Have you tried this pumpkin salad recipe? Let me know if you prefer them with puff pastry or mountain bread! Leave a comment below and let me know how you went, or send me a message.
Roast Pumpkin Salad Recipe with Pine Nuts
- 1.5 kg pumpkin Kent or Butternut, cut into small 1-2cm cubes
- 120 grams goats cheese broken into small chunks
- 4-6 cups rocket leaves torn
- ⅓ cup pine nuts toasted
- ¼ cup pepitas
- salt to taste
- 4 tbsp olive oil plus extra to drizzle over at the end
- Pre-heat the oven to 240 °C (464 F).
- Cut the pumpkin into small, 1-2 cm sized cubes and arrange over a baking tray in a single layer. If required, use two trays. Toss the pumpkin pieces through the olive oil and add a little salt.
- Roast the pumpkin in the oven until it is golden and crispy on the edges, but still holding its shape (around 20-25 minutes). You may need to turn the pumpkin halfway through roasting.
- Allow the pumpkin to cool on the tray while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Add the pinenuts and pepitas to a dry frying pan (no oil). Using a wooden spoon, stir the nuts over low heat, until the nuts have browned slightly. Stir continuously to avoid burning. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- In a large salad bowl, mix the roasted pumpkin, goats cheese and rocket together until combined. Add a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle the pine nuts and pepitas over the top. Serve while warm, or cover and store in the refrigerator and serve cold when required. Enjoy!
- Rocket is also called arugula.