Tray of our Sweet and Spicy Roasted Squash Salad topped with Cinnamon Sugar Pecans
5 from 7 votes

Sweet & Spicy Roasted Squash & Pecan Salad

A sweet and savory squash + sweet potato salad with coconut sugar pecans and pomegranate molasses dressing! A simple but impressive 9-ingredient side dish that's perfect for the holiday season.
Author: Minimalist Baker
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Category: Side Dish
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? Best when fresh.



  • 5 cups peeled, cubed butternut squash and/or sweet potato (I used both)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (more to taste)
  • 1 healthy pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup (more depending or sweetness of squash/potato)


  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses* (to make at home: 1 cup (240 ml) pomegranate juice, cooked down for 20-25 minutes into a semi-glaze consistency*)

THE REST optional

  • 2 cups organic arugula or mixed greens
  • 1/2 medium lemon, juiced (yields ~2 Tbsp or 30 ml as original recipe is written)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 pinch sea salt + black pepper
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). If using both sweet potato and butternut squash, spread on different bare baking sheets (as they require different baking times // use more baking sheets, as needed, if increasing batch size).

  2. To the squash and sweet potato add the coconut oil, sugar, cayenne, salt, cinnamon, and maple syrup and toss to combine.
  3. Bake the squash for 15-20 minutes, and the sweet potato for 25-30 minutes or until both are fork tender, sweet, and golden brown. Toss occasionally to ensure even baking.
  4. Add the pecans to a separate baking sheet and bake on a separate rack in the oven for 8 minutes. Then remove and add coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut sugar, cayenne, salt, and cinnamon. Use a spoon to carefully toss until well coated. Then return to the oven and bake for 5 minutes more, or until golden brown and fragrant. Set aside.
  5. While the vegetables + pecans are roasting, make the pomegranate molasses (if using store bought, skip this step), by adding pomegranate juice to a small saucepan and bringing to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue simmering until the liquid has reduced into about 1/4 cup. Pour into a serving dish - it will continue to thicken once cooled.
  6. To serve, either place the squash and pecans on a serving dish and drizzle with pomegranate molasses OR add the arugula to a serving bowl/platter and drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine. Then add onion, squash and/or sweet potato, pecans, pomegranate arils, and pomegranate molasses. Enjoy immediately. Best when fresh.


*1 cup pomegranate juice yields ~1/4 cup pomegranate molasses.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with butternut squash, all of the pomegranate molasses and the pecans, and without any additional toppings (arugula, pomegranate arils, onion).

Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 6)