This Roast Pumpkin and Lentil Salad recipe makes a rich, nutritious, and healthy fall dish that can be served warm or cold. This recipe is plant-based & gluten-free!
It’s still not officially sweater weather in our country and we can’t believe the temperatures we’ve been having. I mean, wearing a t-shirt outdoors in November? It’s crazy!
And before the temperatures drop, let us enjoy some more fresh seasonal dishes, like this colorful Roast Pumpkin and Lentil Salad.
Why make this Roast Pumpkin and Lentil Salad?
We like this lentil salad as it is a delicious and healthy salad that you can eat as a main dish with maybe a slice of bread, or have it as a side to your protein. The salad can be served warm or cold, and it is perfect to make ahead as part of your meal prep. Just take a meal container out of the fridge and dig in!
You can make the cooked lentils, roasted pumpkin, and nuts up to a day ahead, and just combine them before serving. For even faster preparation, swap cooked lentils for canned ones.
To make this Roast Pumpkin and Lentil Salad you will need the following ingredients:
- cooked brown lentils – you can either cook the lentils from dry yourself, as it only takes about 40 minutes, or use canned lentils for less work and speedier execution. Green lentils are also ok to use in this recipe, but red or yellow lentils are too soft and tend to fall apart once cooked.
- a pumpkin. We like to use red kuri (hokkaido) or a butternut squash in this recipe – these are the ones that are most readily available in our country, but you can use other types of pumpkins.
- baby spinach for some extra greens. You could also use arugula or kale instead.
- red onion or a sweet onion that is good to eat raw, shallots work as well
- olive oil
- salt, pepper, and thyme for seasoning
To make the crunchy nut topping you will need:
- pecans or walnuts, but we like pecans better
- pumpkin seeds
- maple syrup for sweetness; you could also use honey if you are not plant-based
- salt and pepper
- cinnamon, trust us on this one, cinnamon goes splendidly here!
For the delicious dressing you will need 4 simple ingredients:
- apple cider vinegar
- maple syrup
- olive oil
How to make Roast Pumpkin and Lentil Salad
Let’s start with the lentils! You can use either dry brown or green lentils that you cook yourself or canned cooked lentils that you simply rinse under the water and drain.
If using dry lentils: wash about 100 grams of dry brown lentils under running water, then cook them in salted water for 30-40 minutes until soft.
We recommend using canned lentils that have been pre-cooked for you. Simply rinse them under running water before using them. Saves so much time and it means less washing up.
Next, we prep the pumpkin.
We like to use a red kuri (hokkaido) pumpkin or a butternut squash in this recipe. Red kuri is convenient as you don’t even need to peel it. Just slice it up, remove the seeds, season with salt, pepper, and thyme, and bake for 20 minutes at 200°C / 390°F (you can do this in the oven or in an air fryer). You will know the pumpkin is done when the flesh softens and darkens around the edges.
While the oven is hot, we’ll roast some nuts as well. First, lower the heat to 160°C / 320°F.
Roughly chop some pecans and pumpkin seeds. Then, drizzle them with maple syrup, and season with salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Mix to coat, then bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 160°C / 320°F. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside to cool. They will harden and turn crisp once cooled.
Make the dressing by simply adding apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, and minced garlic to a jar with a lid. Close the jar and give it a good shake.
Lastly, wilt some spinach in a pan on medium heat, stirring it around the pan until wilted.
At this point, I like to add the canned lentils to the spinach in the pan, just enough to warm them up.
Time to combine everything into a delicious salad!
Add the spinach and lentils to a large bowl, add the baked pumpkin and slice a red onion thinly. Drizzle the dressing on top, add the crushed nuts, and toss everything to combine.
That’s it! Time to enjoy this hearty salad.
Serve immediately, or store refrigerated. This salad is very filling and can be served as the main dish.
You could serve it also as a side to some baked sliced tofu, or as a burrito filling!
This dish is perfect for meal prep and makes a lovely on-the-go quick lunch.
Store this lentil salad refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.
More similar recipes:
- Endive Salad with Crispy Chickpeas
- Chickpea Lentil Coconut Curry
- Italian Lentil and Chestnut Stew
- The Best Vegan Lentil Meatballs
- Vegan Lentil Bolognese Pasta
- 400 grams cooked brown lentils
- 500 grams pumpkin
- 100 grams baby spinach
- 1 red onion
- Olive oil
- 3/4 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- salt, pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- If using dry lentils: wash about 100 grams of dry brown lentils under running water, then cook them in salted water for 30-40 minutes until soft. Alternatively, use 400 grams of canned lentils that have been pre-cooked. Wash and drain the canned lentils.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 390°F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper - a large tray, and a smaller pan.
- Cut the pumpkin open, remove the seeds, then slice it into cubes. You will need about 500 grams (1 lb) Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Drizzle the pumpkin with some olive oil, and season with salt, pepper, and thyme to taste. Place the pumpkin into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes at 200°C / 390°F. When the pumpkin softens and darkens at the edges, remove it from the oven and set it aside. Lower the oven heat to 160°C / 320°F.
- Prepare the topping: roughly chop 3/4 cup of pecans and 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with 1 tbsp maple syrup, and season with salt, pepper, and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. Mix to coat all ingredients, then place in a baking pan lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 160°C / 320°F. Bake until the nuts turn golden brown, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool. They will harden and turn crisp once cooled.
- Make the dressing by adding all ingredients to a jar - 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 4 tbsp olive oil, and 1 minced garlic clove. Close the jar with a lid and give it a good shake.
- Wash and drain 100 grams of baby spinach, then place it in a heated pan on medium heat with a drizzle of oil, and stir it until it wilts.
- Add cooked lentils to the spinach to warm it up, then drop everything in a large bowl. Add baked pumpkin and 1 sliced red onion.
- Drizzle with the dressing, give it a toss to combine, then sprinkle some crushed nuts on top.
- Serve immediately, or store refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 336Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 212mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 9gSugar: 10gProtein: 9g
Nutrition data is automatically calculated using Nutritionix and may not be accurate.