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Roast Pumpkin Salad with Charred Corn

Roast pumpkin salad with charred corn, avocado and toasted seeds is a versatile salad that works great as either a main meal or side salad. This roast pumpkin salad is vegan, but if you’re not vegan then you can crumble over a little cheese to add a touch of saltiness to the finished dish.

The inspiration for this simple roast pumpkin salad was a great tasting squash salad I had on holiday. I’ve played around with the flavours and added those ingredients that I like to eat.

What started off as a pumpkin spinach salad has had some other ingredients added to it. I wanted to include some charred corn, creamy avocado and just a nice amount of chilli heat – not too much though as I didn’t want the chilli to overpower the other flavours in the dish.

The salad I tried was a roast pumpkin and walnut salad, which tasted great. However, I swapped out the walnuts for some toasted hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds instead.

Wensleydale cheese is a great tasting cheese with a crumbly texture which works well with the soft pumpkin and avocado. However for a Vegan roast pumpkin salad, use a vegan cheese or leave the cheese off the dish entirely.

Can you eat the skin or a pumpkin or squash?

Most varieties of pumpkin and squash do have an edible skin, although some are tougher than others. Delicata squash has a really thin edible skin. Some varieties have a tougher skin that I wouldn’t recommend eating.

However, pumpkin skin is high in beta-carotene which is good for you, so it is really down to personal taste. In my house we are dividend, some of us like the charred, slightly chewy and caramelised skin, others less so. I will happily eat the charred, soft skin of something like butternut, carnival or acorn squash.

Do you need to peel pumpkin before roasting?

It is entirely down to personal preference. I always roast pumpkin with the skin on and then if I want to remove the skin I do this once it has been roasted. It is a lot easier to do once the flesh has softened.

Leaving the skin on and roasting the pumpkin skin side down means that the pumpkin will not stick to the roasting dish, so you don’t leave half the pumpkin on the tray.

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • The perfect balance of flavours and texture from the sweet pumpkin and corn, creamy avocado, salty cheese, fresh chilli, slightly sour pumpkin salad dressing and crunch from the toasted seeds and nuts.
  • Feed a crowd as this recipe can be easily doubled up.
  • A great way of adding to your 5-a-day as this pumpkin spinach salad is full of veggies.

How to make roast pumpkin salad:

Various small pumpkins with spring onions, chillies, avocado, corn and smoked paprika on a wooden chopping board.
  • Look out all the ingredients ready to start.

How to roast pumpkin:

Wedges of pumpkins tossed with smoked paprika on a baking tray.
  • Preheat the oven to 180CFan/200C.
  • De-seed the pumpkin or squash and cut into wedges.
  • Place the pumpkin onto a non-stick tray and add the olive oil, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
  • Give everything a good toss together so the pumpkin is well coated.
  • Now place the pumpkin skin side down in the tray.
  • Place the tray into the oven and roast the pumpkin for 30 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender and just starting to catch around the edges.

Preparing the pumpkin salad:

2 corn on the cob being charred on a hot grill pan.
  • While the pumpkin is roasting, heat a char-grill pan over a medium high heat and place the corn on the cob into the pan.
  • Take care to char the cobs of corn evenly, turning the cobs regularly.
Slicing charred corn kernels from the cob.
  • Once lightly charred remove the cobs of corn from the pan and using a sharp knife, remove the sweet corn from the cob and set aside.
Toasted hazelnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
  • Place the hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds into a dry non-stick pan and place the pan over a medium high heat.
  • Toast the seeds and nuts lightly in the dry pan, keeping everything moving so that everything toasts but does not burn.
  • When coloured and the seeds are starting to pan, remove the seeds and nuts from the pan and set aside to cool.

Pumpkin salad dressing:

A creamy french style salad dressing in a jar alongside a bottle of apple cider vinegar.
  • Make the pumpkin salad dressing my placing all the ingredients into a jam jar and seal with a lid.
  • Give the jar a good shake to so that the ingredients meld together, forming the salad dressing.
  • Set aside until ready to plate.
  • Note: leftover salad dressing can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. When ready to use just give the jar a good shake.

Plate the salad:

Sliced wedges of freshly roasted pumpkin straight from the oven.
  • Once the pumpkin has roasted you are ready to plate up the salad.
  • Serve the pumpkin in large wedges – you can choose to leave the skin on or take it off – it is entirely down to personal preference.
  • Place the wedges onto 2 plates or bowls.
Ingredients to make a charred corn and roast pumpkin salad.
  • Prepare the remaining salad ingredients and divide between the 2 dishes.
  • Drizzle over the salad dressing and finish the salad with a scattering of the toasted seeds and nuts.
  • Serve immediately.

Recipe ingredients & substitutions:

  • Pumpkin – I used a small acorn or carnival squash, but use any variety of pumpkin or squash. Butternut squash is readily available all year round.
  • Smoked paprika – adds a great flavour to the pumpkin. You can use either a hot or mild smoked paprika, depending on how much heat you want in the salad.
  • Corn on the cob – is charred and added to the salad for flavour and texture. Pushed for time, no problem you can add tinned sweetcorn if you prefer.
  • Avocado – adds a creamy texture to the salad and works perfectly with the pumpkin and the corn. Cut the avocado just before serving to avoid it oxidising and turning brown. If preparing in advance, squeeze some lime or lemon juice over the avocado to stop is discolouring.
  • Spinach leaves – add the leafy green to the salad. You can use any variety of leafy salad vegetable, watercress, rocket and some wilted kale would also work.
  • Spring onions – have a mild flavour which are perfect in any salad. You could swap the spring onion for finely sliced red onion or freshly cut chives which also give a mild onion flavour.
  • Coriander leaf – is added to the salad just before serving. You could substitute with fresh parsley.
  • Red chilli – is de-seeded and finely diced to add just a touch of chilli heat to the dish. If you want it hotter don’t de-seed the chillies, milder then only add half the amount of chilli. If you prefer no chilli heat then leave it off the dish.
  • Cheese – I have opted for Wensleydale cheese as it has a great crumbly texture, a Cheshire cheese or White Stilton would also work as would feta cheese, goat’s cheese or blue cheese. If serving to vegan diners use a vegan cheese.
  • Toasted seeds & nuts – add great texture and crunch to the finished salad. I have used a combination of hazelnuts with pumpkin and sunflower seeds. However, you could also make a roast pumpkin and walnut salad, or even swap the hazelnuts for toasted almonds.

Flavour variations:

If you fancy adding a little extra flavour to the pumpkin while it is roasting in the oven that is very easily done. I often remove the pumpkin from the oven 10 minutes before the end of the cook and brush the flesh with a Spicy Chilli Jam (see image below).

Just pop it back into the oven to carmelise a little. This doesn’t add too much heat, just a little, but it really does amp up the flavour.

Roasted pumpkin wedges being brushed with chilli jam at the end of the cooking process.

You could also use a spice paste like a Harissa Paste (I recommend Belazu Rose Harissa which is my favourite harissa paste).

You could also add ground cinnamon and nutmeg to the pumpkin in place of the smoked paprika as both these flavours work perfectly with squash. Ground cumin or coriander would also make a great substitute. Just don’t be too heavy handed with any of these spices.

Can I make ahead roast pumpkin salad?

I like to serve this salad while the pumpkin is still warm from the oven. I also like to prepare the corn on the cob and avocado just before serving.

However, there are elements of this salad that can be prepared in advance. For example make the salad dressing earlier in the day and store in the fridge – just give it a good shake before serving. Likewise, toast the hazelnuts and seeds and place into an airtight container on the counter top until you are ready to serve.

What to do with leftover roast pumpkin?

Roast pumpkin is super versatile so if you have a leftover roast pumpkin, it can be used in a number of different ways. Here are some suggestions:

  • Make a quick bowl of soup: soften an onion and garlic in a little butter then add vegetable stock and the roasted pumpkin, season and blitz to smooth.
  • Add to quesadillas: sandwich the leftover pumpkin between two flour tortillas along with some grated cheese and some crushed canned black beans. Toast the tortilla on both sides, remove from the pan, cut and serve.
  • A quick pasta sauce: soften an onion and garlic in a little butter, add a splash of white wine, the leftover pumpkin, some freshly chopped sage or thyme, season with salt and pepper and finish with a little double cream (heavy cream).
A delicious and fresh roasted pumpkin salad, with charred sweetcorn, avocado and spinach.

Useful hints and tips:

  1. Use a really sharp knife when preparing the pumpkin as it makes cutting the pumpkin into wedges a lot easier.
  2. Always place the pumpkin skin side down on the roasting tray, this stops the pumpkin from sticking and you don’t loose half the flesh.
  3. Don’t overcrowd the roasting tray, place the pumpkin on in a single layer, you want the pumpkin to roast and not steam.
  4. If you don’t have a char-grill pan, don’t worry. You can place the corn on the cob into a pan of salted boiling water and boil the cob for 5 minutes instead.
  5. Use a jam jar to make the salad dressing! This is the easiest method I have found for making and storing salad dressing. The ingredients can all be placed into a jar and then sealed with a lid before you give the jar a good shake. It also makes it easier to store any leftover dressing. Simply place the lid back on and place the jar into the fridge where the dressing will be good for a couple of days. Just give it a good shake to combine before serving.
  6. Vegetarian salad – if serving this salad to vegetarian diners ensure that the cheese you use is a vegetarian cheese, or leave it off the plate altogether.
  7. Likewise if you wish to serve this salad to anyone suffering from a dairy allergy or a vegan diner, remove the cheese from the salad.
  8. Nut allergy – remove the hazelnuts from the salad.
  9. Allergy advice: gluten free, egg free, soya free. For comprehensive and detailed allergy advice go to Allergy UK.

Pin the recipe:

A pinterest graphic of a roasted pumpkin salad

Additional recipe suggestions:

If you like this recipe then try some of our other great tasting meat free recipes:

Love salad? Then head to our Best Salad Recipes post where you will find links to all our favourite salads in one place.

Roast Pumpkin Salad with Charred Corn

Roast pumpkin salad with charred corn, avocado and toasted seeds is a versatile salad that works great as either a main meal or side salad.
5 from 13 votes
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 2 portions
Calories: 864kcal

Ingredients

  • 600 g small pumpkin or butternut squash (deseeded and cut into wedges)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 corn on the cob
  • 1 avocado (stone removed and cubed)
  • 2 handfuls spinach leaves (washed and stalks removed)
  • 4 spring onions (finely sliced)
  • 1 handful coriander leaf (shredded)
  • 1 red chilli (de-seeded and finely diced)
  • 50 g Wensleydale cheese or feta (crumbled – optional)

Toasted Nuts & Seeds

  • 2 tbsp raw hazelnuts
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds

Pumpkin Salad Dressing

  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180CFan/200C.
  • De-seed the pumpkin or squash and cut into wedges. Place the pumpkin onto a non-stick tray and add the olive oil, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Give everything a good toss together so the pumpkin is well coated. Now place the pumpkin skin side down in the tray.
  • Place the tray into the oven and roast the pumpkin for 30 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender and just starting to catch around the edges.
  • While the pumpkin is roasting, heat a char-grill pan over a medium high heat and place the corn on the cob into the pan. Take care to char the cobs of corn evenly, turning the cobs regularly. Once lightly charred remove the cobs of corn from the pan and using a sharp knife, remove the sweet corn from the cob and set aside.
  • Place the hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds into a dry non-stick pan and place the pan over a medium high heat. Toast the seeds and nuts lightly in the dry pan, keeping everything moving so that everything toasts but does not burn. When coloured and the seeds are starting to pan, remove the seeds and nuts from the pan and set aside to cool.
  • Make the salad dressing my placing all the ingredients into a jam jar and seal with a lid. Give the jar a good shake to so that the ingredients meld together, forming the salad dressing. Set aside until ready to plate.
  • Once the pumpkin has roasted you are ready to plate up the salad. Serve the pumpkin in large wedges – you can choose to leave the skin on or take it off – it is entirely down to personal preference. Place the wedges onto 2 plates or bowls.
  • Now divide the remaining salad ingredients between the 2 dishes. Drizzle over the salad dressing and finish the salad with a scattering of the toasted seeds and nuts. Serve immediately.

Notes

If you don’t have a char-grill pan don’t worry as you can place the corn in the cob into a large pan of boiling water and boil the cob for 5 minutes instead.
To make a vegan version of this salad, remove the cheese from the salad entirely.
Nutrition Facts
Roast Pumpkin Salad with Charred Corn
Amount Per Serving
Calories 864 Calories from Fat 594
% Daily Value*
Fat 66g102%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 9g
Monounsaturated Fat 42g
Cholesterol 22mg7%
Sodium 957mg42%
Potassium 2264mg65%
Carbohydrates 64g21%
Fiber 18g75%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin A 36035IU721%
Vitamin C 125mg152%
Calcium 368mg37%
Iron 7mg39%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •

Course : Canape, Starter, Side, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine : American
Keyword : how to roast pumpkin, pumpkin salad dressing
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Recipe Rating




Amy

Friday 28th of January 2022

Such a lovely combination of flavors, and a great way to get more veggies into the day!

Lesley

Friday 28th of January 2022

Thank you Amy, this is a family favourite and a great way to load in extra veggies.

Cat

Monday 24th of January 2022

What a delicious and colourful salad! So many tasty flavours,

Lesley

Monday 24th of January 2022

Thank you Cat, so tasty and on the menu here again this week.

Peggy

Friday 21st of January 2022

Such a beautiful and delicious meal!

Lesley

Friday 21st of January 2022

Thank you Peggy, it's such a simple salad to prepare too.

Chloe

Thursday 20th of January 2022

Such a good combination of flavours here, I don't even think that little miss picky and can't follow a recipe here would mess with this one - it all looks perfect!

Lesley

Friday 21st of January 2022

Thank you Chloe, it's easily one of the my favourite salad recipes and made regularly.

Kate - Gluten Free Alchemist

Wednesday 19th of January 2022

What a delicious looking salad. I absolutely adore roasted pumpkin and loving the sound of charred corn too. We always have a tub of toasted seeds ready... they add the most delicious crunch! Lunch sorted xx

Lesley

Wednesday 19th of January 2022

Thank you Kate, its a real favourite in my kitchen and the toasted seeds just finish it off.