This is a hearty Pumpkin Salad substantial enough for dinner and will keep you satisfied and energized for hours. We roasted the pumpkin cubes in exotic Moroccan spices added some gorgeous baby spinach and crunchy seeds.
This Pumpkin Salad with Spinach & Moroccan Spices calls for one of my most favourite spice blends - Ras el Hanout which translates to "top of the shop". It originated in the Meghribi villages of North Africa, and it is a complex and distinctive medley of fragrant spices. I have included my version of Ras El Hanout in case you are unable to find it.
For a sweeter salad, try our Sweet Potato Salad, or if you are looking for something extraordinary, you simply must try our Moroccan Salad with Roasted Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)
Table of contents
- Do not overcrowd the pumpkin in your roasting pan as this stops it from turning a nice golden brown colour and forming those gorgeous crusty edges.
- For even heat distribution place your roasting tray in the middle rack of your oven.
- Use a salad spinner to spin dry your spinach leaves for a tastier salad as the dressing is not diluted by the water in the leaves.
- Leave out the spinach and it makes a great vegetable side for roast dinners.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Butternut Pumpkin - I chose butternut pumpkin because it is so much easier to cut and hey I just don't have the muscles to tackle the hardier varieties! But if you have done all your workouts then you can use your favourite pumpkin variety or even sweet potatoes are great in this salad.
- Baby Spinach - used as a base in this salad, feel free to substitute with any hearty greens such as kale, silverbeet or even rocket/arugula.
- Sesame & Pumpkin Seeds - for crunch and nutty flavour, or use any of your favourite seed varieties or even some nuts such as pecans, almonds or walnuts.
- Ras el Hanout Vinaigrette - this is an aromatic vinaigrette with a slightly Asian note to it, this is the best thing about this salad but if you are in a hurry you can replace it with a balsamic glaze.
- CONSIDER ADDING - SOME CRUMBLED FETA OR GOATS CHEESE FOR SOME SALTY CREAMINESS.
You Will Need
How to Prepare Butternut Pumpkin for Roasting
- First of all, wash the pumpkin to remove any dirt and grime then pat dry.
- Hold it carefully to prevent it from rolling while you cut off the ends with a sharp chef’s knife.
- Cut it in half horizontally through the middle to separate the bulbous bottom of the pumpkin from the slender neck.
- Stand up each half.
- Use a heavy-duty Y-shaped vegetable peeler to remove the skin until you come to the yellow flesh.
- Then cut the two ends in half again.
- Scoop out the seeds with a spoon from the bulbous end (you may keep them for roasting).
- For this pumpkin salad you will need to cut it into medium cubes.
How to Make this Salad
1 - ROAST PUMPKIN
2 - ROAST SEEDS
3 - SHAKE-UP DRESSING
4- ASSEMBLE YOUR ROAST PUMPKIN SALAD
Common Questions (FAQs)
Yes, this is a great salad to make in advance; keep it in the fridge or in a cool place until you are ready to serve.
Roast your pumpkin a couple of days in advance and keep it covered in the fridge until you are ready to use; just bring it to room temperature before adding to the spinach leaves.
Make the vinaigrette 4-5 days in advance in a sealed container (glass jars are perfect) so that it can be shaken up before adding to your salad. Just bring it to room temperature first.
Keep it in a covered container in the fridge, and it will be good to eat for at least 2-3 days after it has been dressed.
I love the leftovers in an omelette or frittata with some crumbled feta cheese.
Also great as a pie filling with cheese (I love halloumi or mozzarella).
Make sure that your spinach leaves are completely dry for this; otherwise, they could go limp and soggy.
Portion the pumpkin salad into your containers; keep the dressing in a separate container to add to the salad just before eating.
You will need a good quality sharp knife to cut through the pumpkin skin.
A heavy-duty Y-peeler or even a vegetable peeler to peel the pumpkin.
For super dry salad leaves a salad spinner.
This salad is great for vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free and nut-free eaters as we use seeds.
Not great for keto and low carb eaters as it has a high carb count - 25 grams of net carbs per serve.
What to Serve it with
A great salad to serve with winter roasts, great with tagines or even warming casseroles or stews. Try it with...
- Salad Spinner
- 1 medium butternut pumpkin (just under 1 kg or 2.2 pounds)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2-3 teaspoons Ras el Hanout (depends on how much spice you like)
- Sea salt & cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons pepitas (toasted)
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (toasted)
- 100 grams rocket/arugula (approximately 3.5 ounces or 3 full cups)
- ½ tablespoon1 sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon1 Ras el Hanout
- 1 tablespoon1 soy sauce (low salt)
- 1 tablespoon1 olive oil (extra virgin)
- Preheat oven to 180°C degrees and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
- Peel your pumpkin, remove the seeds2, then cut into 2.5cm pieces, place them in a colander and wash them under cold running water, then drain well.
- Place your pumpkin on your tray add your oils and Ras el Hanout and mix well until the pumpkin is well coated with the oils, spice and season with salt and pepper.
- Spread pumpkin out evenly on prepared baking sheet, making sure the pieces don’t touch so that they brown evenly, add a little water.
- Put your baking tray in the middle section of your oven and roast until soft and golden brown (approximately 30-40 minutes). Once it is done allow to cool.
- Wash your rocket/arugula well and spin a salad spinner to remove excess water. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Place all the dressing ingredients in a glass jar and shake until emulsified.
- Add your cooled pumpkin to your rocket, add most of the pepitas and sesame seeds (reserving a few to add on top as a garnish). Pour your dressing over your salad, toss until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
- Arrange in a salad bowl, scatter the reserved pepitas, sesame seeds and the pumpkin seeds (if you are using) on top. Serve when you are ready.
- You will need to taste and adjust to the vinaigrette and adjust depending on the strength of the soy sauce and sesame oil that you use. Sometimes soy gets a bit salty and sesame oil can sometimes be overpowering.
- You can wash your pumpkin seeds and roast them to add to your salad if you like.