Warm Butternut Squash & Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing ♥ Recipe

Warm Butternut Squash & Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing, another healthy vegan dinner ♥ A Veggie Venture. Weight Watchers Friendly. Weeknight Easy. Gluten Free.
Today's weeknight-easy dinner idea: A warm salad, just cubes of spiced and roasted winter squash tossed with chickpeas and a lemon-brightened tahini dressing.

Fresh & Seasonal, Perfect for a Cozy Mid-Winter Dinner. Easy Weeknight Supper. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free.

What Do Followers Want from A Veggie Venture?

Last fall, I asked readers what they wanted more of from A Veggie Venture. The answers followed two paths.
More of the Same – Thanks for that vote of confidence!
More Vegetarian Suppers – Okay, got it. Great idea!

But the truth is, at the moment, my diet includes more meat than it has for many years, so vegetarian meals require more planning, less habit. My new tactic, for my own flexitarian lifestyle and to satisfy readers' requests, is to set aside one day a week for a vegetarian meal, you know, like a Meatless Monday. With any luck, it'll work out for everyone!

First up, this warm salad made from roasted winter squash. It is an extremely satisfying salad, warm and aromatic, with good texture contrast between the roasted squash and the chickpeas. The tahini dressing is especially good, a definite keeper.

"I made this the other day. Isn't it delicious ..." ~ brandin + kari
"Yum! ... Raves from everyone over 15!" ~ Kirsten
"It was a success! Both my dinner guest and boyfriend liked it. I loved the color and the taste." ~ Anonymous
"... it is delicious." ~ moo
"It was totally delicious! I'm excited just thinking about my leftovers..." ~ Anonymous

Warm Butternut Squash & Chickpea Salad Made the List!
Favorite Vegetable Recipes


Hands-on time: 40 minutes
Time to table: 1-1/2 hours
Makes about 5 cups

1 large butternut squash, washed, peeled, seeded and cut into bite-size pieces (here's how to peel and cut a butternut squash without losing a finger)
Olive oil (allow about 1 tablespoon per pound of edible squash)
Spices (allow about 1/2 teaspoon per pound of edible squash)
Garlic (allow about 1-1/2 cloves per pound of edible squash)
Kosher salt to taste

1 clove garlic, minced
Zest and juice of one lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
1-1/2 tablespoons tahini, stirred well
Hot water to thin to desired consistency

Roasted Squash
1/4 cup very finely chopped red onion (skip if using Spiced Pickled Red Onions)
15 ounces canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
Tahini Dressing to taste

Arugula or other fresh greens
Spiced Pickled Red Onions, optional but recommended
Sesame seeds, optional but nice

ROAST THE SQUASH Heat the oven to 425F/220C. Prep the squash and if you can, weigh it to determine how much olive oil, spice and garlic to use. In a large bowl, toss the squash with the oil, spices, garlic and salt; really get in there to stir, making sure all the pieces are equally coated. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet, roast for 25 - 40 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the squash is fully cooked and beginning to brown.

TAHINI DRESSING Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. Here, this makes about 6 tablespoons dressing, you may/may not use it all, that will depend on how much squash there is and how "dressed" you like a salad like this.

ASSEMBLE THE SALAD In the same large bowl, toss the Roasted Squash, fresh red onion, chickpeas, parsley or cilantro with Tahini Dressing to taste. In individual bowls, arrange the arugula or other greens, top with the still-warm squash-chickpea mixture then with Spiced Pickled Red Onions and a scattering of sesame seeds.

SQUASH SIZES Oh my, such variance! Little ones, big ones and everything in between. To yield 5 cups of the salad, start off with a squash that weighs just under 3 pounds, it will yield about 1-3/4 pounds of edible flesh. With such variance, that's why I state the oil, spices and garlic according to how much squash there is.
MIXING UP THE SPICES The inspiring recipe calls for allspice. But my favorite spices with butternut squash are curry and ginger so I recommend them. I've also used a mix of cumin and smoked paprika, excellent. Really, anything will do, think of the spice that will best complement the rest of the meal or is your own favorite.
SWEET POTATO? CARROT? Once, I was short on butternut squash so added a sweet potato. This added both color and flavor variation which I loved. But the squash cooked faster than the sweet potato so to compensate, if using both, make sure the sweet potatoes are cut slightly smaller. I suspect that carrot would be excellent too.
HOW MUCH DRESSING? Both I and other cooks have found the full amount of dressing to be "too much". But other times, it's quite enough. I suspect that once again, it's because of the variability in squash sizes. Use what you like!
BIG BOWLS! I like to use a really big bowl for tossing vegetables for roasting. It makes it easier to use less oil and still coat the vegetable pieces really well.
LEFTOVERS The squash reheats beautifully but the chickpeas turn into little bullets. Think about pulling them out before re-warming any leftovers.

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Still Hungry?

More Favorite Butternut Squash Recipes

~ My Favorite Winter Squash Recipes ~
~ How to Cut, Peel & Cube a Butternut Squash and Keep All Ten Fingers ~
~ How to Roast a Whole Butternut Squash ~

~ Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash Tagine ~
~ Savory Bread Pudding with Butternut Squash, Chard & Cheddar ~
~ Steamed Butternut Squash in a Collapsible Steamer Basket ~
~ Roasted Butternut Squash with Maple Glaze ~
~ more winter squash recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple ~
~ Chicken & Wild Rice Soup ~
~ Squash Puff ~
~ more winter squash ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2009 & 2020 (repub)

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. This recipe looks awesome! I LOVE winter squash. What a great lunch or light main dish idea.

  2. Beautiful!

    We've managed to work our way to meatless probably twice a week. I think that veggie burgers have helped my husband the most. He's the one that misses the meat if it's missed. I think I could be totally veggie pretty easy.

  3. I think the most important part of any salad is a variety of textures, and it looks like you did a smashing job of achieving that here! Both the butternut squash and chickpeas can easily range from super soft to toothy, making for a satisfying winter salad :) Great recipe!

  4. I made this the other day! Isn't it delicious. HOWEVER, I had sooo much dressing left over. I hardly dressed it at all.

  5. Joanne ~ It made for a great lunch one day, then the 'vegetable' for supper the next. Very versatile.

    Tanna ~ Thanks! Good for you. I've somehow gone from perhaps 4x a week, now am working back up to 4x a month. Oh dear ...

    Chris ~ Soft to toothy, what a great description!

    AnticiPlate ~ It's one of those recipes that's just easy to move to the kitchen with, yes? I agree re there being a lot of dressing, that's why my version uses only half. It's more than plenty!

  6. oooh...i love both squash and chickpeas, but the combination sounds awesome!

  7. What a refreshing variation on roasted vegetables! This sounds delicious.

  8. VeggieVixen & Lisa ~ Thanks so much for the encouragement. It means the world - I really am having a harder time than imaginable to build in vegetarian and vegan meals. Crazy, I know, but true.

  9. How delicious...this recipe has all of my favorite ingredients, but I never thought to put them together this way. Can't wait to try this one out!

  10. This isn't specifically about this recipe, just a general thank you! I've been getting a "harvest box" of organic, mostly locally grown, fruits and veggies for a few months now. My subscription is for delivery every two weeks, but because I'm single that still sometimes leaves me with a bunch of one kind of veggie to use up before it spoils or the next box arrives. This site has been a life saver -- or more accurately, a veggie saver. I can always find something new and original to do with the plethora of produce I'm blessed with. Thanks again.

  11. ECSH ~ They're winners, for sure.

    Cassie R ~ What a totally GREAT thing to hear from you. I am soo glad that A Veggie Venture is a resource for you, that's exactly what I'm aiming for, not just 'new' recipes but making all the recipes in the archives (about 1000 these days) easy to find, so that you CAN find what you want. Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know, it is sooo appreciated.

  12. You make such creative food!

  13. Oh man that looks good! Does anyone know about the connection between tahini and tee nuts? I think I had an allergic reaction to some tahini that had a tree nut allergy warning, but I bought the orange and brown Joyva tahini that doesn't have a tree nut warning, but I think I had a reaction to it. Any ideas?

  14. Liz,
    My son has a tree nut allergy. We found out later that he is also mildly allergic to sesame...a few seeds are OK but tahini could be a problem. Have you been tested for an allergy to sesame?
    Best wishes!

    LOVE this website Alanna, thanks from everyone in my family!

  15. Yum! I made a batch of this (as written, sans sweet potato) and shared it with friends and family. Raves from everyone over 15!
    (what do those uncultured young palates know?)

  16. I made this warm salad for dinner tonight. It was a success! Both my dinner guest and boyfriend liked it. I loved the color and the taste. Thanks!

  17. Hi Alanna, Kirsten shared a goodly portion with us, and it is delicious. I would just use fresh ginger, along with the garlic. Roasting veggies is very easy. We will make this with volunteer squash that grew in Fred's Community Garden last summer.

    Am into tahini in Tahin & Pekmez, from your friend Binnur's Turkish Cookbook. A dessert. Called Energy Bomb by Turkish Army conscripts.

    It's OK to eat meat now and then .Margie O.

  18. I made this for the 2nd time last night...the 1st time was without the dressing because my tahini had gone bad. It was totally delicious! I'm excited just thinking about my leftovers...My only issue was that the dressing was too lemony, I don't know if it needs the juice of 1 whole lemon, I'll probably do 1/2 next time.

  19. AnonymousJuly 19, 2011

    This is one of my favorite recipes with butter squash! It always goes down a treat and impressively to anyone who might taste it!

    However, I keep finding this reprinted on so many foodie blogs/websites......


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna