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A leafy green salad in a bowl with apples, chicken, blue cheese, and squash

Autumn Harvest Salad

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  • Author: Jenni
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Salads & Dressings, Mains
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


Indulge in the vibrant flavors of the season with this Autumn Harvest Salad. A mix of peppery arugula and sweet butter lettuce provides the perfect base for tender roasted delicata squash, sweet Honeycrisp apples, toasted pecans, and creamy blue cheese. This fall salad is finished with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Enjoy as a side dish paired with your favorite main course or top with crispy sliced chicken for a hearty dinner salad!


  • Optional: Chicken tenders
  • 350 g delicata squash (1 medium or 2 small)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus more to dress the salad
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 120 g (1 cup) pecans
  • 4 oz arugula
  • 4 oz butter lettuce (can swap for an extra portion of arugula)
  • 1 large apple, cored and sliced
  • 4 oz (2/3 cup) blue cheese, crumbled
  • Balsamic vinegar, to taste
  • Optional: Flaky sea salt, to taste


Prepare the Chicken Tenders (Optional)

If you are including chicken tenders in your salad, bake them according to the package directions then slice and reserve to the side.

Prepare the Delicata Squash and Roast the Pecans

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220 Celcius) -- This is usually the same temperature you'll bake the chicken at if you want to roast it on another pan at the same time.
  2. Slice both ends off of the delicata squash and discard them. Then, slice the remaining squash in half lengthwise. The easiest way to do this is to stand it on one stable end and carefully slice it in half from top to bottom. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds and discard them. Slice the remaining squash flesh into equal half-moons, about 1/4 inch wide.
  3. Transfer the squash to the reserved baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the squash and then toss it by hand to ensure even coating. Once oiled, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and dried dill.
  4. Transfer the squash to the oven to roast for 20-25 minutes or until tender and slightly golden brown on both sides. During the final 4 minutes of roasting the squash, it's an ideal opportunity to roast the pecans. Simply scoot the squash to one side of the baking sheet to make space for the pecans. Return the baking sheet to the oven for 4 minutes. Since pecans can quickly become over-roasted, this brief period is typically sufficient. If you find that the squash needs a bit more time, wait to add the pecans separately to prevent burning.

Assemble the Salad

You can choose to serve this autumn salad family-style in one large bowl or create individual salads for a more even distribution of ingredients. Personally, I prefer the latter approach, as it allows each person to customize their salad with oil and vinegar to their liking.

  1. Portion butter lettuce and arugula into 4 bowls. Top with roasted delicata squash, toasted pecans, sliced apples, blue cheese, and cooked chicken (if using).
  2. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and a bit of olive oil over the ingredients. I like to finish the salad with an optional crack of black pepper and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt before serving.


Nutritional information on Whip & Wander is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.

Nutrition was calculated without the optional chicken or flaky sea salt. I estimated 1 1/2 tsp each of olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dress each serving of salad.


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 434
  • Sugar: 10 g
  • Sodium: 755 mg
  • Fat: 37 g
  • Carbohydrates: 22 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Cholesterol: 14 mg