roasted pumpkin and chicken salad on a plate

Roasted Pumpkin and Chicken Salad

  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 11 cups 1x


Roasted pumpkin and chicken salad is a healthy fall recipe that’s perfect for Thanksgiving or for a party.  This fancy holiday salad is gluten free and low carb, and can be made ahead.  Just drizzle on the tasty lemon Dijon dressing right before serving.  Your guests will be wowed with all the special fall goodies in this hearty salad.



For the Roasted Pumpkin

  • 1 small sugar pumpkin, 2 1/2 cups cooked (483g)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (30 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened (14g)

For the Chicken

  • 1 extra large boneless skinless chicken breast (300g)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (15 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (14g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

For the Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette:

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (59 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (30 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (30 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (15 ml)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (78 ml)
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

For the Salad

  • 6 cups romaine hearts, washed, dried, and torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 Gala apple, cubed
  • 1 Golden Delicious apple, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 1/2 ounces smoked Gouda cheese, cubed
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds, shelled
  • 1/4 cup roasted and salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup raisins


Roasting the Pumpkin

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Wash and dry the pumpkin.  Make slits with a sharp knife all over the pumpkin for steam to escape.
  3. Place on a plate (stem side up) and microwave on high for 5 minutes.  This will soften the outer skin to make cutting easier.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Cut the stem off, then cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and pulp.  Keep seeds for roasting.
  5. Place on a foil lined baking tray, flesh side up.  Brush the flesh with olive oil and sprinkle with coriander, turmeric, sea salt, and black pepper.  Place flesh side down and roast for 35 minutes.  Half way through, turn the halves over with tongs so the flesh side is up.  The pumpkin is done when it can be easily pierced with a fork.
  6. Once the pumpkin has cooled, carefully scoop out the cooked flesh from the hard outer skin.  Brush the pumpkin flesh with butter to add flavor, then cut into 1/2 inch cubes.

Cooking the Chicken

  1. Wash, pat dry, and cube the chicken breast.
  2. Melt the butter in a small frying pan over medium heat.  Add the olive oil and chicken, then sprinkle with coriander, turmeric, sea salt and black pepper.  (The turmeric will turn the chicken a yellowish color.)  Cook until no longer pink inside, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.  Place the chicken in a bowl along with the juices.

Making the Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette:

  1. Whisk the first five dressing ingredients together, then slowly add the olive oil.  Sprinkle in some sea salt and black pepper, then adjust seasonings to taste.  Pour in a mason jar and refrigerate until ready to use.

Assembling the Salad

  1. Wash and dry the apples, then cut them in cubes, leaving the skin on for color.  Toss the apple cubes with two teaspoons of lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.  (If you’re doing a composed salad, keep the two kinds of apples separate.)
  2. For a composed salad, cover the serving platter with a layer of lettuce.  Mix the sunflower seeds, pepitas, raisins, and pecans together in a bowl.  Arrange the salad ingredients in stripes, starting in the middle and working out to the ends.  If not using right away, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.  When ready to serve, set the salad dressing out for guests or family members to pour on their own individual servings.
  3. If you want a mixed salad, carefully toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl, then add enough salad dressing to lightly coat.  Garnish with cheese, raisins, and pecans and sprinkle on top.  Serve immediately.


  • Feel free to make this salad ahead of time.  For the freshest taste, keep the ingredients separate until you’re ready to serve.
  • Want to make this vegetarian?  Omit the chicken and add wild rice or quinoa.
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: pumpkin, fall salad

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