Roasted Squash Salad with Crispy Shallot & Balsamic Reduction

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Adding balsamic drizzle over our Roasted Squash Salad with Nut Cheese

This may be one of my favorite salads to date! And that’s saying a lot considering we have heavy hitters like our Loaded Kale Salad and Garlicky Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas (both of which are total home runs).

This seasonal salad relies on winter squash, my favorite 5-Minute Macadamia Nut Cheese, pepitas, and dried currants for ultimate flavor. And the 1-ingredient dressing? Yeah, it’s that easy (and utterly delicious). Let me show you how.

Wood cutting board with acorn squash, shallots and other ingredients for making a delicious plant-based fall salad

This salad comes together with 10 ingredients in 30 minutes!

It all starts with roasted acorn squash, which only takes about 10-15 minutes to roast. While that’s happening, start your balsamic reduction (which is simply balsamic vinegar reduced by half until you achieve a dreamy glaze).

Roasted acorn squash slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet

Another amazing element to this salad is the crispy sautéed shallot. Simply slice shallot, toss in brown rice flour and salt, and sauté until crispy. It’s pure magic and you’ll never want to eat a salad again without these on top. I promise you.

Batch of crispy shallots cooking in a cast-iron skillet

We hope you love this salad! It’s:

Super flavorful
Easy (+ quick!) to make
& So delicious

This would make the perfect side dish for the holidays! Or make it a main by adding our Actually Crispy Baked Chickpeas.

If you’re into salads, be sure to check out our Abundance Kale Salad With Savory Dressing, Roasted Vegetable Salad With ChimichurriCurry Roasted Fennel Salad with Rosemary Tahini Dressing, and Curried Cauliflower Grape and Lentil Salad.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Using salad tongs to grab a serving of Roasted Squash Salad with Nut Cheese and Balsamic Reduction

Roasted Squash Arugula Salad with Crispy Shallot and Balsamic Reduction

An incredibly flavorful fall roasted squash salad with macadamia nut cheese, crispy shallot, and balsamic reduction! A hearty side or main. Just 30 minutes and 10 ingredients required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Using salad tongs to grab a scoop of Roasted Squash Salad with Nut Cheese and Balsamic Reduction
5 from 30 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 (Side servings)
Course Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2-3 Days



  • 1 medium acorn squash (or similar winter squash // pick one with green and orange skin)
  • 1 Tbsp avocado or olive oil
  • 1 pinch each salt and black pepper


  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar


  • 2 medium shallots (thinly sliced)
  • 3 Tbsp brown rice flour
  • 1/8 tsp each sea salt
  • ~2 Tbsp olive oil or avocado oil (for cooking – if avoiding oil, omit and use a non-stick pan)


  • 1/4 cup macadamia nut cheese (or similar store-bought)
  • 2 Tbsp roasted or raw pepitas (we preferred roasted)
  • 5-6 cups arugula
  • 2 Tbsp dried currants (or other dried fruit, such as cranberries)


  • Preheat oven to 425 F (218 C). To prepare squash, use a sharp knife to carefully cut in half lengthwise (from root to tip), then remove seeds with a spoon or ice scream scooper. Slice squash halves into even wedges and leave the skin on.
  • Arrange squash on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with oil, salt, and pepper and toss to coat. Spread in an even layer.Roast squash for ~15-20 minutes or until tender and golden brown.
  • In the meantime, prepare dressing by adding balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil. Then allow to simmer until it is reduced by half and looks thick (about 10-15 minutes). Watch carefully near the end as it can go from reduced to burnt quickly. You’ll know it’s done when, swirled, it coats the sides of the pan.
  • At this time, prepare the nut cheese (link to recipe above), or if using store-bought, skip this step.
  • If toasting pepitas, add to a dry skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned – about 3-5 minutes (being careful not to burn).
  • Next, add sliced shallots to a small bowl with brown rice flour, salt, and pepper and toss to coat. Heat a medium (preferably cast-iron) skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil and floured shallots and sauté, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden brown and crispy – ~5 minutes.
  • To serve, arrange arugula on a platter or serving bowl and top with roasted squash, crispy shallots, dollops of macadamia nut cheese, pepitas, and cranberries or currants. Drizzle with dressing.
  • Best when fresh, but leftovers can be stored covered in the refrigerator up to 2-3 days (preferably without dressing and squash separate from greens).



*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with all of the dressing and with a combination of avocado and olive oil.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 Servings Calories: 311 Carbohydrates: 37 g Protein: 4.8 g Fat: 16.5 g Saturated Fat: 2.4 g Sodium: 139 mg Potassium: 692 mg Fiber: 6 g Sugar: 16 g

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My Rating:

  1. Vysturbed says

    This salad is sure to impress even for those who don’t like to eat salad (like me). Highly recommend making this for yourself!

  2. Hang Hockley says

    I made this for dinner guests using goat cheese and I already had a bottle of balsamic glaze and a jar of crispy fried shallots from the store on hand so this recipe came together super quick!
    I wouldn’t skip any of the ingredients; all together, they are perfect. I am not a salad type of person, (especially salads with arugula) but this really hits the spot. Filling, super flavourful, and delicious!

  3. Maggie says

    I’ve made a variation of this salad for the last few holidays and it’s always a hit! I usually use a delicata squash and goat cheese, omit the dried fruit and sometime omit the salads – it’s super simple this way and still a filling and festive salad.

  4. Janice says

    Absolutely fantastic salad! I used cornstarch instead of brown rice flour, and feta in place of the macadamia nut cheese. I also added some leftover chickpeas from your Chickpea Shawarma Sandwich. and found it delightful. The flavors really melded beautifully and added another level to this wonderful salad. Thanks for all the yummy goodness!

  5. Anna says

    Delicious! I didn’t make the vegan cheese, I already had balsamic glaze, and I used normal all-purpose flour. This is definitely moving into my “staple” category. Easy, filling, healthy, and super yummy.

  6. Tali Biselman says

    This salads looks amazing.
    Can I use another kind of flour for the shallots? I don’t have brown rice flour on hand…

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tali, white rice flour or chickpea flour would be the next best options. Hope that helps!

  7. Brooke Austin says

    WOW! This is one of my favor MB recipes. Loved the sweetness of the squash, mixed with the crispy shallots and zing of the balsamic. My boyfriend loved it too. On the list as a Thanksgiving salad and on to my second week in a row of making it. I used arrowroot starch and they did kind of glob together but I just kept adding oil and more heat until they crisped up. Then I just chopped them afterwards. If you use the arrowroot, just give it some extra time- they’ll crisp up!

  8. Katherine says

    Soooo good! What a great combination. I bought vegan cheese (Kite Hill) and used balsamic glaze from Trader Joe’s, but used her recipe for delicata squash and crispy shallots and the combo was delish!

  9. Kimberly says

    OMG…. This is absolutely amazing. I have been plant based on and off for a number of years. I recently found your blog of 18 plant based salads and this was on it. My mouth is SO HAPPY! LOL! I used delicatta squash although I don’t think the type of squash matters much, I also used cranberries because I did not have currants on hand.

    This is my first food review ever. THANK YOU!!! I will definitely be making this again!

  10. Kriszta says

    Hi, i saw this salad on Instagram, and it inspired me. I used hokkaido squash, which is my favorite, I added baby spinach leaves, and next to the squash I baked a big beetroot. I’m new in the plant based foods so I wanted to make it really complete, I was afraid that the man in the family won’t feel satiety, so I cooked a little puy lentils as well. My vinaigrette was also a bit different I used the balsamic vinegar, and some lemon, I added a little olive oil and a teaspoon of seed mustard. At the end I sprinkled the salad with some sunflower and pumpkin seeds and a little camborzola cheese. I know it sounds a bit too much, but it was a big succes. I fed three man and they were quiet and enjoying every bite, with the different textures and flavours.Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Kriszta. We are so glad everyone enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  11. Kira says

    Delicious salad. I made extra crispy shallots since they were so tasty and used a store balsamic glaze to save time. Even my big meat eater boyfriend loved this salad! It is a real crowd pleaser.

  12. Anne says

    This is the first vegan dish that I have made, together with MB Grilled Romaine Ceasar Salad with Herbed White Beans – so easy and quick to make, absolutely delicious and made me look like a One Hat Restaurant Chef! My husband and I loved the combination of flavours and despite having full plates, the email was very light. Absolutely love Minimalist Baker and can see 50 recipes that I want to make. Thank you for sharing your wonderful knowledge, skills and culinary delights!

  13. Anna says

    This salad tasted incredible. It’s great to know what I’m eating not only tastes good, but is good for me! I used goat cheese, since that’s what I had on hand, dried blueberries and mixed spring greens. All around delicious. Looking forward to making it again and again :)

  14. Amelia Swaggert says

    I didn’t want to buy brown rice flour just for this, so i used Arrowroot starch and it was off— the shallots didn’t crisp up. They got kind of stretchy and chewy. Still tasted alright but not as good had they been crisped up!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, I haven’t tried this with arrowroot, but would’ve guessed it’d have been fine. My best subs for brown rice flour are white rice flour or chickpea flour!

  15. liz says

    I loved this salad! I substituted in dried cranberries, goat cheese, and added delicata squash cut on the cross section to make pretty flower shapes. Also, I used Nonna Pia’s balsamic reduction instead of making my own, and added a thin drizzle of olive oil. It was beautiful and delicious! Thanks for a great recipe.

  16. Katie says

    One of the tastiest salads I’ve ever had! Would be perfect for Thanksgiving as well. The only change I made was to use honey goat cheese and dried cranberries. My husband raved about it. I’ll slice my acorn squash thinner next time – got a huge one at the market and it was a bit cumbersome but still delicious. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you both enjoyed it, Katie! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications!

  17. Valerie says

    This looks amazing. If I do not have rice flour, what else could I use to make the crispy shallots which sounds amazing!!! Many thanks

  18. Melanie says

    This salad almost seemed too simple that I wasn’t going to try it. I’m glad I didn’t write it off though because it will now be on my rotation! I made this salad using a butternut squash and my, OH MY was this delicious! I don’t know if I’ve been getting “bad” squashes or just not roasting them at the right temperature but this time the butternut squash got so candy-like and carmelized. Then, the crispy shallots and crisp nuts. OOHHH! ? For anyone wondering, this is a pretty sweet but hearty salad. My sister isn’t a fan of squashes and sweet salads but my parents and I both enjoyed the dish.

  19. Maryse says

    I didn’t made the recipe yet, it’s on my list!
    But, scrolling through all the recipes, I find it difficult for me to find recipes without nightshades or just a specific type of recipes. It would be nice to classify the recipes better then super large categories. It would be faster and easier to find vegan-breakfast or nightshade-free dinner!
    Keep the good work! :)

  20. Christy Backman says

    This was amazing. The ONLY dish people went back for seconds at Thanksgiving dinner. I did have a few leftovers with it all mixed together-dressing and squash-and had it for lunch the next day and it was magical.
    Making it again for lunch tomorrow with some butternut squash for my après ski meal and wine.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes, though we haven’t tested this recipe with other flours and can’t offer suggestions! If you experiment with it, report back on how it goes. Good luck!

  21. Alexis says

    This salad is beautiful and met some of my omnivore partner’s likes (arugula, dried berries, pepitas, basalmic reduction), but not all (squash is suspect).
    This was amazing. I wasn’t sure as I brought it all together, my attempt at the shallots was lackluster and since we don’t do squash a lot I was worried that it wasn’t done enough. I cooked an extra 5 minutes as my slices were chunky.

    It was amazing. Definitely going into the meal planning rotation. We both loved it.

    Dana-you are amazing. Thank you.

  22. Julie says

    The store didn’t have any squash (other than spaghetti) but I was DETERMINED to make this so used roasted cauliflower instead. Obviously changes the flavoring but was still SO delicious. However, I am (slightly) ruined because I now need crispy shallots on every salad going forward.

  23. Karlie says

    I made this for a work potluck and it was a huge success. Normally I would be turned off by squash with the rind still on, but it actually adds a nice texture. I was pressed for time so I subbed Kite Hill Ricotta for the macadamia nut cheese and it was dreamy. I’ll be making this again.

  24. Brooke says

    I followed this recipe to a T, adding everything optional. It was off the charts good. It was beautiful and gourmet, and all the flavors melded so wonderfully. My husband said it was the best salad he ever had. The macadamia cheese was the bomb. The shallots…dang! Just everything I about it. Thank you!!!

  25. Bree says

    Just made this today. Such a good recipe. Every ingredient added so much awesome flavor. Even picky eaters in the family loved it. Very yummy fall/winter salad.

  26. Elizabeth says

    Fantastic recipe! Made it for my Thanksgiving contribution and forgot the balsamic reduction at home. And it was still delicious! Thanks!

  27. elizabeth joseph says

    I meant to say after the amount of water needed I had to slowly add an addtional tablespoon of water to make the paste for the cheese.

  28. elizabeth joseph says

    I made the macadamia cheese after soaking it for one hour in hot water; but my Cuisinart Food Processor made it slow; it took ten minutes and as you mentioned 1tbs more each time. It is perfect; the squash I had used was already cut and frozen (organic); they are a little mushy but that is okay, it is for me only; I wanted greens and cranberry sauce; instead I got a salad that has dried cranberries, squash and argula; this is a wonderful way to eat well and enjoy the day. I love your recipes thank you.

  29. Leah says

    This recipe was way better then I expected it to be (and I was expecting it to be great)!! I make a lot of your recipes, but this is the first time I’ve commented. You come up with such wonderful recipes and I hope I can be as creative as you someday!

    I didn’t have a lemon for the cheese but it really needs it. I can still add it to the leftovers though. I was tempted to add sugar to the reduction because I wanted something thicker (and sweeter), but I didn’t for health reasons. I added some cornstarch and it thickened up beautifully.

    When everything came together its was soooo good! Thanks!

  30. Amanda says

    This salad is a. maz. ing! So many beautiful flavors coming together make it a perfect fall salad. I am not vegan so I used crumbled feta for the cheese and it was delicious. I also substituted sweet potatoes for the squash. Really, really loved this. I immediately marked it as a favorite and will be making it again. Yum!!!

  31. Robin says

    Hey Dana! I made this for a lunch birthday today. :) One question, “1/8 tsp each sea salt,” does that mean 1/8 per shallot, since you said “each?” I did just a 1/8, and that taste right, but just making sure for Thanksgiving! Looks amazing!
    *this may post twice-since I’m posting againa after not seeing comment!*

  32. Robin says

    Hi Dana!

    Is it 1/8 tsp per shallot? When you wrote “1/8 tsp each sea salt,” the “each” confused me. Thanks! Serving this for a birthday lunch today. :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Elle! It will taste much different with chickpea flour. If you can I’d recommend another neutral gluten-free flour, such as white rice or even cornstarch or arrowroot.

  33. Margie says

    Didn’t make this but I will. Every recipe I’ve ever made of yours are fantastic. I absolutely love your work and tell everyone that is trying to go plant based about your website. Thanks for being fabulous humans.

  34. Christine Stoeber says

    Will a diff type of flour still work well with this recipe? I have a TON of chickpea flower I’m dying to use, do you know if it will have the same effect?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, it will taste much different. If you can I’d recommend another neutral gluten-free flour, such as white rice or even cornstarch or arrowroot.

  35. Kasandra says

    I made this and forgot the pepitas! Taste was amazing but I really missed that crunch. Next time I will remember! Love the balsamic reduction, I could actually eat that on it’s own. And the mac cheese was great! My first time making vegan cheese and it really wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I’m beginning to really love nutritional yeast.

  36. Ellen says

    Can you make the fried shallots and advance or only right before you serve the salad? Making it tonight for dinner party, looks amazing !

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I’ll add more details to the instructions. But you slice the squash into half lengthwise, remove seeds, then slice into even wedges / slices. Leave the skin on.

  37. Christina Biedebach says

    To prepare the squash:
    Cut in half scoop out seeds. Leave skin on.
    Place on counter and slice into thin slices. Place on baking sheet and bake in oven as directed above. It’s THAT simple :) hope this helps all of you!

  38. Pamela says

    This looks so yummy! I would appreciate some advise in preparing the squash. Maybe next time you could video the steps between “whole” acorn squash and “arrange on a cookie sheet”? It never goes well for me! Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

  39. Kelly Lynn Coxe says

    I don’t really know how to prepare the acorn squash. Can someone explain? just cut it up with the skin on? Do you eat the skin?

    • Christina Biedebach says

      To prepare the squash:
      Cut in half scoop out seeds. Leave skin on.
      Place on counter and slice into thin slices. Place on baking sheet and bake in oven as directed above. It’s THAT simple :) hope this helps all of you!

  40. Anne S. says

    I think you are missing some of the instructions on how to prepare the squash. How thick are the slices? Skin on? Any hints on slicing? If those are skin-on, gosh, that’s the thinnest skinned acorn squash I have ever seen! I think it would take me the 10 minutes of prep just to get to the point of putting the squash in the oven. I am going to try this with my excess of Sweet Dumpling squash, though – I don’t love squash by itself, but in a salad, that sounds great! I’ll reduce the roasting time.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Anne, you can really slice the squash however you want, as long as the seeds are removed and they’re in uniform, bite-size pieces! The skin stays on! Good luck.

  41. Stacey says

    Congratulations on your VegNews Best Blog win!!! You are incredible. Thank you for the generous sharing of delicious food with beautiful words and images that spotlight it. Grateful for your cookbook and the continual love and creativity you give to those of us who follow you on this blog. Congratulations on a well deserved win!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Stacey, that’s so kind! I didn’t know we’d won or been nominated, so that’s a great way to start my day. xoxo!