Updated: Nov 17, 2019
This salad is as delicious as it is good for you. Delicate spinach, salty pancetta, and warmly spiced butternut squash come together perfectly to make the perfect fall time salad. This is a wonderful side to any kind of roast or even a light lunch. It is also a great addition to a holiday meal.
Ingredients for Spinach Salad with Pancetta and Butternut Squash:
6 ounces baby spinach
2 1/2 ounces pancetta, diced
3/4 - 1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into about 1" cubes
1/2 honeycrisp apple, diced
2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons maple syrup
pinch of nutmeg
Time-Saving Tips: The butternut squash can be roasted a few hours before preparing the rest of the salad. The pumpkin seeds can also be done ahead.
Let's see what we need.
Now let's start cooking.
Preheat the oven to 400-degrees. Cut the squash into roughly 1-inch cubes. Place in a glass baking dish. Add the 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sage, cayenne, cinnamon, black pepper, and salt. Toss to combine. Roast for about 45 minutes or until tender but still firm. Stir once or twice. Once cooked set aside.
Place the pancetta in a dry pan. Cook over medium heat until brown all over. Remove from pan and set aside.
In a dry pan saute the pumpkin seeds until they start to brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
Add all of the dressing ingredients in a small jar. Shake well and set aside. If you don't have a small jar just mix dressing in a small bowl. Set aside.
Place the spinach in a large bowl. With the help of my favorite kitchen scale, I was able to determine how much spinach was 6 ounces. Click HERE to learn more about the Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale.
Then add the squash, pancetta, apple and then sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds. Now give the dressing another shake and pour some of it over the salad. Do not pour the entire amount over the salad. You might have a little extra.
It's ready! This salad is really really delicious. It makes any meal special or it can even be a meal all on its own. Give it a try, I know you will love it.