Hearty Arugula Salad with Maple Sherry Vinaigrette

Easy, nourishing and satisfying, this Hearty Arugula Salad packs a punch in flavor! With arugula, butternut squash, goat cheese, pomegranate seeds, and pumpkin seeds tossed in a Maple Sherry Vinaigrette and drizzled with a Lemon Tahini, it is a perfect fall and winter salad.

Hearty Arugula Salad Maple Sherry Vinaigrette fall winter flavorful satisfying salad recipe gluten-free
Hearty Arugula Salad with Maple Sherry Vinaigrette

Easy recipe for a satisfying and flavor-packed Hearty Arugula Salad!

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So excited for you to try this nourishing + satisfying Hearty Arugula Salad with Maple Sherry Vinaigrette.

With a mix of arugula, roasted butternut squash, quinoa, pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds, chopped pecans and goat cheese all tossed with a Maple Sherry Vinaigrette and either drizzled or tossed with a Lemon Tahini, it is the most delicious and satisfying mix of flavors and textures!

A perfect fall and winter salad!

And you might have noticed, there is very little cooking involved so it comes together quickly!

Plus, naturally gluten-free, and easily dairy-free or nut-free, this salad is perfect for so many dietary needs and preferences..

It was inspired by this dish above left, that my son and I enjoyed in London this summer at a restaurant called Delamina. It was a quinoa dish with lots of fresh herbs, sweet potato, pomegranates, almonds, tahini and black grape molasses. We both adored the flavors and I knew I wanted to recreate the flavors at home.

So this salad is our version with lots of arugula rather than fresh herbs making it more of a salad than a side dish, with less quinoa and with the addition of goat cheese, pumpkin seeds and chopped pecans making it a heartier and more satisfying as a fall and winter salad.

Hearty Arugula Salad Maple Sherry Vinaigrette fall winter flavorful satisfying salad recipe gluten-free

What you will love about this Hearty Arugula Salad

* Only cooking/ prep is roasting the butternut squash and making quinoa if you don’t have any one hand. The butternut squash is super simple if you purchase already cut butternut squash which is offered in many food stores.

* Fabulous mix of nutrient-dense flavors and textures: fresh and spicy arugula makes the base of the salad, tossed with roasted butternut squash for some caramelized sweetness, juicy pomegranates, crunchy pumpkin seeds and chopped pecans, creamy goat cheese, hearty quinoa + a Maple Sherry Vinaigrette and Lemon Tahini balance out the flavors.

* Super satisfying salad! It’s the type of salad that could be a meal on its own (I love it for lunch!) but it’s equally perfect served with a simple protein of choice — either added in or on the side. It would be great with chicken, chickpeas or salmon which is my personal go to easy protein.

*Naturally gluten-free, easily dairy-free (skip or substitute the goat cheese), and easily nut-free (skip the chopped pecans and add extra pumpkin seeds) making it great for many dietary needs and preferences.

* Ready in about 45 minutes (but hands on time is about 15 minutes). Can be prepped ahead and assembled last minute.

Hearty Arugula Salad Maple Sherry Vinaigrette fall winter flavorful satisfying salad recipe gluten-free

How to Make the Hearty Arugula Salad with Maple Sherry Vinaigrette

This is one of the easiest salads to prepare!

You will need the following ingredients:

arugula

roasted butternut squash

cooked quinoa

pomegranate seeds

pumpkin seeds

chopped pecans

goat cheese

Maple Sherry Vinaigrette

Lemon Tahini

Hearty Arugula Salad Maple Sherry Vinaigrette fall winter flavorful satisfying salad recipe gluten-free

Step by Step How to Make the Hearty Arugula Salad

This salad comes together in 4 simple steps with minimal prep (best kind of cooking!).

The only cooking involved is roasting the butternut squash, and cooking quinoa if you don’t have any one hand, both of which can be done simultaneously.

And the Maple Sherry Vinaigrette and Lemon Tahini can be whipped together while they cook.

  1. Roast Butternut Squash, and cook quinoa if you don’t have any on hand.
  2. Whisk together Maple Sherry Vinaigrette.
  3. Stir together Lemon Tahini
  4. Gather remaining ingredients: arugula, pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds, chopped pecans and goat cheese and add all ingredients to a bowl when ready to serve. Toss with Maple Sherry Vinaigrette and drizzle with Lemon Tahini and toss again or serve with the drizzle.

How to Make Maple Sherry Vinaigrette

One of the easiest and more flavorful salad dressings, all you do is whisk the following ingredients together.

olive oil

sherry vinager

shallot

Dijon mustard

maple syrup, and

salt and pepper to taste

Whisk well so they are well combined. And I like to make this while the butternut squash roast so that flavors have a few minutes to mix together.

How to Make Lemon Tahini

The lemon tahini is the best finishing touch to this Hearty Arugula Salad whether you drizzle it on top or mix it in.

It adds a creaminess and richness of flavor that both contrasts and pairs well with the sweeter roasted butternut squash.

All you do it mix with a small spatula or spoon the following ingredients:

tahini (you want to use creamy tahini not the hard bottom of the jar)

cold water (cold water helps the tahini get smooth as you mix it)

lemon juice

salt

How to Open a Pomegranate Easily and Remove Arils/ Seeds

Pomegranates add the best juicy flavor to this salad!

You can often purchase containers of pomegranate arils or seeds, but they are so much fresher if you purchase a whole pomegranate and remove the seeds yourself.

The easiest (and least messy!) way to do this that we’ve found over the years is:

  1. Cut the pomegranate in half
  2. Fill a large bowl with cold water (in the kitchen sink preferably) and submerge the entire pomegranate half in the water and using your fingers peel back the edges so that the pomegranate seeds fall out and into the water.  The water will turn bright red from the pomegranate juice.
  3. Pour bowl of water and seeds into a fine mesh strainer, picking out any big pieces of pomegranate skin as needed.

Tips for Making Ahead and Plating:

Plating:

One of the things I love about this salad is that it can be plated in many ways.

The lemon tahini can be drizzled on top of the salad or mixed in depending on your mood.

And it can be prepped ahead and plated as individual bowls, or served in its entirety.

Pro Tip: If serving the entire salad at once, I highly recommend a “flatter” bowl or platter so that they heavier ingredients do not sink to the bottom of the bowl. Plus, I recommend garnishing with some extra pomegranates, pumpkin seeds and chopped walnuts.

Make ahead:

This salad is perfect for prepping ahead!

The only things you really need to prep is the butternut squash, quinoa, dressing and lemon tahini all which are quick, require minimal hands on time and store well.

In fact, while we are huge fans of arugula, the downside of it is that it wilts quickly. So we recommend prepping all the ingredients but not assembling the salad until ready to serve.

If you’re making it for lunch, add dressing close to serving if possible though it will taste great even it if wilts a bit!

Hope you love it!

For more Salad Recipes, click here.

For the Best Simple Side Salad, click here.

For Quinoa Salad with Roasted Squash and Caramelized Onions, click here.

For Asian Chickpea Salad with Miso Ginger Dressing, click here.

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Recipe

 

Hearty Arugula Salad Maple Sherry Vinaigrette fall winter flavorful satisfying salad recipe gluten-free
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5 from 1 vote

Hearty Arugula Salad with Maple Sherry Vinaigrette

Easy, nourishing and satisfying, this Hearty Arugula Salad packs a punch in flavor! With arugula, butternut squash, goat cheese, pomegranate seeds, and pumpkin seeds tossed in a Maple Sherry Vinaigrette and drizzled with a Lemon Tahini, it is a perfect fall and winter salad.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Salad, Salad Dressing
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Optional, Nut-Free optional
Keyword: hearty arugula salad, arugula squash goat cheese salad, maple sherry vinaigrette, lemon tahini dressing, hearty side salad, arugula squash pumpkin seeds salad, hearty winter salad, hearty fall salad
Servings: 4 -6 servings depening on if it is a main or side salad
Author: Healthy Gluten-free Family

Ingredients

Hearty Arugula Salad

  • 1 5oz container baby arugula about 5 cups
  • 4-5 cups cubed butternut squash approximately a 20 oz pre-cut container ; plus 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt for roasting
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa more or less to taste
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans , plus some for garnish skip if nut free
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, plus some for garnish more to taste
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, plus some for garnish see how to de-seed a pomegranate in recipe body copy above
  • 2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • Maple Sherry Vinaigrette as desired recipe below
  • Lemon Tahini as desired recipe below; adds a richness and creaminess to the salad that is so delicious!

Maple Sherry Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons maple syrup according to preference - start with 1 1/2 tablespoons and add more as desired
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 small shallot chopped, about 1 tablespoon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Lemon Tahini

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice start with 2 and add more as desired
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Roast Butternut Squash

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Either in the separate bowl or on the baking sheet, toss cut butternut squash in olive oil; spread on baking sheet so that cubes are not touching; sprinkle with kosher salt, and bake for 30-35 minutes. For crispy edges, bake on top shelf or move to top shelf for the last 10 minutes.
    Can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container. Tastes great in salad either warm or room temperature.
  • If you don't have cooked quinoa, cook it at this time as well. We tend to make the package suggested 1 cup dry quinoa: 2 cups water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Then we use extra for the week but adjust quantities as desired.

Maple Sherry Vinaigrette

  • In a liquid measuring cup add all the ingredients and whisk well to combine. Let sit while the butternut squash bakes for the flavors to combine.
    Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Bring dressing to room temperature and give a good shake or whisk before using.

Lemon Tahini

  • Add all the ingredients in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup and using a small spatula or spoon, stir vigorously to combine.
    Pro tip: make sure you're using cold water to thin out and smooth the tahini.
    Pro tip: add more cold water or lemon juice as needed to get texture you want.
    Stores well in the refrigerator in a sealed container.

Hearty Arugula Salad

  • When ready to serve, in a large bowl add arugula, roasted butternut squash, pomegranate seeds, chopped pecans, pumpkin seeds, goat cheese. Drizzle with Maple Sherry Vinaigrette and toss to combine. Drizzle with Lemon Tahini to taste and leave as a drizzle or toss to combine. Add more dressing and tahini as desired. Garnish with extra pomegranates, pumpkin seeds and chopped pecans as desired and enjoy!
    Pro tip: arugula is one of our favorite greens but it wilts quickly, so assemble close to serving or at a minimum toss with dressing close to serving. If you are prepping ahead for lunch, it still tastes great even if wilted a bit!
    Pro tip: Plate in a flatter bowl or flat platter if serving the entire salad at once so that you can see all the ingredients really well, and garnish with extra pomegranates, pumpkin seeds and chopped pecans.
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