This pumpkin and feta salad is a delicious fall meal. Seasonal vegetables like pumpkin, broccoli, and celery, paired with yummy feta cheese and roasted walnuts and topped with homemade balsamic dressing. I have the printable recipe for you at the end of the post.
Fall is in the air, you guys! I love the change of seasons, I love the cool air, I love the falling leaves, I love the autumn garden, I love hunting season (and processing deer meat)… The list goes on and on because it’s such a fabulous time of the year…
However, I have to admit that most of all I love pumpkins.
There is just something about the shape of a pumpkin that does something to the soul, do you agree?
It’s so round and orange, it’s so full of delicious seeds (that I roast with garlic and cumin and that are very healthy!) and its flesh is so filling and creamy… I think it’s the ultimate vegetable because it’s both beautiful (as in, to decorate the house with!) and delicious and stores so well.
Pumpkin and Feta Salad Recipe…
The only thing that is wrong with pumpkins is the fact that the bugs love them just as much as I do. But how can you blame them?
It hasn’t been the best pumpkin season in the garden but rest assured that it’s not going to prevent me from making low-sugar pumpkin bread, lentil pumpkin salad, pumpkin soup, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin and beetroot salad, or all the other delicious pumpkin recipes.
Between the pumpkins we pick at the local pumpkin patch and maybe a couple from the grocery store simply because I can’t control myself, I know I’ll have more than enough pumpkins on the front porch this season.
Today, I want to share with you this delicious roasted pumpkin and feta salad. My mother and I kinda brainstormed it over the phone one day and I thought it sounded delicious.
So I tried it and oh my… It was more than I expected! So of course, I had to share it with you!
Kitchen Tools We are Going to Need…
Before we start making this delicious salad, let’s go over the kitchen tools that we need for the job…
Kitchen knife – whichever knife you prefer for cutting vegetables.
Cutting board – I love to use wooden cutting boards when cutting vegetables.
Baking sheet – we are going to roast the pumpkin, broccoli, and walnuts. We are going to use one baking sheet for all of them so you only need one.
Slotted turner – to remove the roasted vegetables from the baking sheet.
Oil spray bottle – we are going to coat the vegetables that we roast with olive oil. I still don’t have this spray bottle but I can imagine it will be so much easier to spray the oil instead of brushing it on the vegetables.
Kitchen oil brush – since I don’t have the spray bottle that I linked to above I’m brushing my olive oil with a kitchen brush.
1 cup measuring cup – you don’t really need this… I write the measurements in cups since I have to give you an idea of how much I am using. So for example, 2 cups of broccoli, but really, it’s a salad and nothing has to be exact. Feel free to just eyeball it.
Large mixing bowl – so we have enough room to mix all the ingredients together.
Smaller serving bowl – this salad serves two. If you are by yourself, don’t drizzle the dressing on the whole thing. Just add to a smaller serving bowl whatever portion you’d like and dress that. I’ll show you below.
Half-pint jar – for mixing the ingredients for the dressing.
1 tablespoon measuring spoon – to measure the ingredients for the dressing.
All right friends, gather those tools and let’s get started! We are going to start by roasting the pumpkin.
Roasting the Pumpkin…
I got this gigantic pumpkin at the grocery store. Usually, you can find the small pie pumpkin and this larger one. I think they sell the larger one for people to carve, but I eat it.
You can use both kinds of pumpkins, the pie pumpkin is much smaller so easier to handle and the flesh is a bit more creamy but it doesn’t make that big of a difference to me, I really like them both.
You can learn more about the difference between the two kinds of pumpkins here.
I start by sticking my knife into the pumpkin and cutting around the stem…
Until I make a full circle and I can pull the stem out.
Next, I cut the pumpkin in two…
And use my hands to clean it. I remove the seeds right into a bowl and set them aside. I’ll later wash them, dry them, and roast them.
If there are any stringy pieces of pumpkin that I can’t remove with my hands, I use my knife to cut them out. You can also use a spoon to scrape the inside of the pumpkin.
I keep cutting the pieces of the pumpkin in half a couple more times until I have manageable size pieces. The pieces that you see here are 1/16 of that huge pumpkin.
I am only going to use one of those pieces for this salad, but I roast a few and keep them in the fridge for meals for the next few days.
You can only imagine how many salads you can make from one pumpkin! But, of course, I use the rest of the pumpkin for other things like pumpkin bread and such or I roast it without seasonings and can pumpkin cubes or freeze pumpkin puree.
For this pumpkin and feta salad, I place the pumpkin on a baking sheet and drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil…
Then brush to cover the pumpkin with the oil…
Next, I sprinkle the pumpkin with salt and black pepper and stick it in a 375 Fahrenheit pre-heated oven for 40 minutes.
The time might change according to the size of your pumpkin pieces so make sure to check. We want the pumpkin soft (check if it is by sticking a knife in it).
Roasting the Broccoli…
While the pumpkin is roasting in the oven, I cut 6 or 7 flowers off of a broccoli head…
Then I cut them into smaller pieces. We need about two cups of broccoli.
When the pumpkin is done roasting, I transfer it onto the cutting board and use the same baking sheet to roast the broccoli.
This is going to be very quick because I like my broccoli still crunchy and not completely soft. So I turn the oven heat to 400 Fahrenheit and roast it for a very short time.
Before it goes into the oven I do the same thing that I did with the pumpkin.
I drizzle with olive oil…
And season with salt and a little bit of black pepper. I give it a good mix and send it to the oven for 6 minutes.
If you like your broccoli a bit softer you can roast it a little bit longer.
Cutting the Roasted Pumpkin…
We are back to the pumpkin. It’s now roasted and has had a little bit of time to cool…
I slice a piece of the pumpkin into 1/2 inch thick slices…
Then, turn each slice on its side and use my knife to remove the skin…
Then, I cut it further into smaller pieces.
Like the broccoli, we need about two cups of pumpkin cubes.
By this time, the broccoli is done. Take it out of the oven and use a spatula to move the broccoli onto the cutting board or to a plate to cool.
Roasting the Walnuts…
All right, I lower the oven heat to 300 Fahrenheit now for the walnuts.
While the oven cools down a bit I chop 1/2 cup of walnuts into smaller pieces and place the walnuts on the baking sheet. Then I stick them in the oven (make sure to wait until the oven cools down to 300F!)
Nuts roast really fast so this is not the time to go take a shower! I pretty much stay by the oven so I don’t get distracted. I roast the nuts for 2 minutes, then take the baking sheet out of the oven and shake it a bit to move the nuts. Then I put it back in the oven for two more minutes.
I take the nuts out of the oven and turn it off. We are done with the roasting part!
Chopping the Celery…
Those of you who follow me for a while know that I have a major issue with celery in America. For some reason that is unknown to me someone is doing the unthinkable and chopping the tops of the celery with all of its glorious leaves before selling it at the grocery stores.
Why someone would do such a thing is a mystery that I am still trying to solve but until then, in order to get as many celery leaves in my salad I have to use the heart of it (I am still trying to figure out how to grow my own celery. It ain’t simple!).
So I peel off the outer stalks and keep them for cooking and use the center of the celery for salads.
I don’t like large pieces of celery so I chop mine pretty small. If there is a wide stalk I slice it down the center and then chop it.
Here too, we need about two cups of chopped celery.
Building This Pumpkin and Feta Salad…
Ok, let’s put all this yumminess together.
To a large mixing bowl, I add the celery first…
The broccoli on top of it…
And then the pumpkin…
I give it the tiniest mix…
And then add the feta cheese. I had to buy feta at the grocery store because we ate all of the homemade feta I had in the freezer. That’s why the cheese crumbs that you see in the photo are so perfectly tiny. When I use my homemade cheese the cheese crumbs are usually larger.
Anyway, at this point we are done with the vegetables and the cheese. The dressing and the nuts should be added right before you serve this salad.
This will probably serve two people (as a meal. If you serve it as a side it can serve three or even four). If you are by yourself, scoop some of the salad into a smaller bowl and add some of the dressing and some of the nuts only on what you are going to eat.
I cover the rest with food plastic wrap and place the bowl in the fridge. I ate it for breakfast the next day and it was an amazing filling breakfast to start the day with.
Making Homemade Balsamic Dressing…
I mix the dressing in a half-pint mason jar since it’s easy to shake it this way.
I add olive oil, mustard (I used grainy), honey, balsamic vinegar, and salt (measurements in the recipe card below).
Just remember that feta cheese is salty so go easy on the salt, you can always add more later.
Then I close the jar and shake it well to incorporate all the ingredients.
A little tip here… Make sure to add the olive oil and then the honey, this way the honey slides right off of the tablespoon. I love this little kitchen hack!
Serving this Pumpkin Salad…
All right, when I am ready to eat, I drizzle some of the dressing on the salad…
And sprinkle the nuts on top. I make sure to keep the rest of the roasted walnuts in a zip lock bag in the fridge (if I don’t serve the whole salad) so they keep their crunchiness.
That’s it! Dinner time… Or lunch or breakfast time…
This salad is good any time of the day!
It’s so healthy and so filling. The roasted vegetables and the fresh celery fit together so well. Add to that the salty cheese, the crunchy nuts, and the sweet yet vinegary dressing and you have a fall party in your mouth.
If you already have the roasted pumpkin in the fridge then it’s a quick salad to make. If you need to roast the pumpkin it takes a bit longer but it’s simple and really worth the work.
If you are a homesteader, you probably have the pumpkin and the broccoli and maybe even the feta cheese and the celery coming from the homestead. But all the ingredients for this pumpkin and feta salad can be easily purchased at the grocery store as well.
I hope you liked this tutorial. If you make this salad, make sure to leave me a comment and let me know how you liked it. Or you can just leave me a comment anyway because I love comments!
Happy and tasty fall, my friends!
Here is the handy pumpkin salad printable…
- 2 cups roasted pumpkin cubes (instructions on how to roast below)
- 2 cups roasted broccoli (instructions on how to roast below)
- Some olive oil, salt, and black pepper for seasoning the roasted vegetables.
- 2 cups chopped celery (use the center of the celery and try to get as many leaves as you can)
- 4 oz crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped and roasted walnuts (instructions on how to roast below)
For the Dressing...
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Salt to taste
- To prepare the pumpkin... Cut around the stem and remove it. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds.
- Keep cutting the pumpkin until you have manageable size pieces. We only need 2 cups of roasted pumpkin for this salad so you can go ahead and roast all of your pumpkin and use the rest for other dishes or you can just roast whatever you need to make 2 cups of pumpkin cubes for the salad.
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Place your pumpkin on a baking sheet and spray or brush it with olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Roast until the pumpkin is soft (roasting time will change according to the size of your pumpkin pieces. Usually it's around 30 or 40 minutes but make sure to check your pumpkin once in a while). When the pumpkin is done, take the baking sheet out of the oven and transfer the pumpkin onto a cutting board to cool.
- Once the pumpkin has cooled a little bit, remove the skin and cut the pumpkin into small cubes. Set the pumpkin aside to cool (again, we need about 2 cups of pumpkin cubes).
- Turn the oven heat to 400F.
- Chop two cups of fresh broccoli, place the broccoli on the baking sheet (the same one we used for the pumpkin), drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Give it a good mix to cover with the olive oil and roast for 6 minutes. Take out of the oven and transfer the broccoli onto the cutting board or a plate to cool.
- Lower the oven heat to 300F.
- Chop 1/2 cup of walnuts. Place the walnuts on the baking sheet (the same one we used for the pumpkin and broccoli), roast for two minutes. Take the baking sheet out of the oven, shake the baking sheet to move the walnuts a bit and then place it back in the oven for an additional 2 minutes.
- In a bowl, place the celery, broccoli, and roasted pumpkin. Give this a gentle toss.
- Add the crumbled feta and mix it in gently.
- Add the ingredients of the dressing into a mason jar. Remember that feta is a salty cheese so don't use too much salt in the dressing (you can always add more later). Close the jar and shake it well to mix all of the ingredients together.
- Right before serving, drizzle the dressing on the salad and then add the roasted walnuts.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 319 Total Fat: 22g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 14g Cholesterol: 25mg Sodium: 915mg Carbohydrates: 28g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 17g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 7g