Butternut Squash Salad

Served as a buffet centerpiece in a large pumpkin or plated individually in mini pumpkins, this recipe delivers a burst of flavor and nutrition in every bite.

1 medium-to-largePumpkin
8 miniPumpkins
1 package (1.17 pounds)Boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders
¾ cupOlive oil
Salt and pepper
1 package (3 ½ ounces)Dried cranberries
1 package (3 ½ ounces)Candied walnuts or pecans
4 ouncesGoat cheese, crumbled
2-3 packages Pre-cut butternut squash
1-2 headsLive Gourmet Living Butter Lettuce or Grower Pete's Certified Organic Living Butter Lettuce
¼ cupRed wine vinegar
1 tablespoonDijon mustard
1 tablespoonHoney
¾ cupOlive oil


Carve the pumpkin as you would for a jack-o-lantern. Carve out a lid wider than usual to create the serving bowl. Next, scrape out and remove stringy, pumpkin seeds and fiber, until the interior is completely smooth. (To save time, prepare pumpkin(s) up to 2 days ahead.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place butternut squash pieces on a cookie sheet. (if cooking a full squash cut in half and place skin side down.) Drizzle with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 -30 minutes, or until tender.

Let squash cool. (For full squash, peel away outer skin and cut into 1 squares.)

While squash is cooking, place chicken tenders in a skillet over medium heat. Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken. Next, drizzle chicken with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until chicken is tender or no longer pink.

In a small mixing bowl or carafe, stir all dressing ingredients together.

Remove butter lettuce leaves from head. Wash thoroughly and pat dry with paper towel or a salad spinner.

In a separate mixing bowl, mix gently torn lettuce leaves, chicken and squash in a bowl. Pour a light coating of dressing over salad.

Transfer salad to mini pumpkins or large serving pumpkin.

Crumple goat cheese over salads. Sprinkle with nuts and cranberries.

Serves 8.

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