Butternut Squash Lentil Salad

Butternut Squash Lentil Salad

August sparks my anticipation for fall. Maybe it’s because, only two years out of grad school, I associate August with the start of the school year and the start of the school year meant the arrival of fall. 

The start of school meant brand new boots, sweaters that I’d wear even if it was still in the 60s (the A/C was cold!), and the start of the shading of the trees with vibrant oranges and reds. 

Without any kids or either of us in school, sometimes the start of the school year passes by without notice now, but never the start of fall. I don’t care if it’s currently 85 degrees here in Seattle (another mini-heat wave); I start craving pumpkin spice in my oatmeal and all things apples once Labor Day appears on the calendar. 

You know how stores start stocking Halloween candy in August and Christmas decoration long before the start of Advent? That’s me when it comes to fall foods.

Butternut Squash Lentil Salad

I succumb to a full-fledged squash obsession each fall. I’ll head to the grocery store for bananas and leave with five varieties of squashes in hand. If you were reading my blog last fall, you likely noticed this in my recipes: warm acorn squash salad, butternut squash in muffins, on pizza, and in pie, pumpkin curry, and kabocha oatmeal

I started early this year with butternut squash when I saw some beautiful squashes from California at our local grocery store. As much effort as I make to shop seasonally, I can’t resist the siren call of a bright orange gourd. 

This butternut squash lentil salad will prepare your taste buds for fall’s marvelous plethora of produce while still being appropriately cool and crisp for late summer. The salad is full of nutritious plant-based foods: green lentils, pumpkin seeds, olive oil spinach, butternut squash, and red potatoes. It’s a powerhouse of fiber, healthy fats, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and dozens of other vitamins and minerals. 

Butternut Squash Lentil Salad

Laura Norris
Cook Time 45 mins
Servings 2


  • 2 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash
  • 2 small red potatoes scrubbed and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 cup stock or water
  • 1/2 cup green lentils rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds pepitas
  • 2 heaping cups spinach
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • Heat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the chopped butternut squash and potatoes with 1 teaspoon olive oil, the paprika, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and cook for 35-40 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine the stock (or water) and rinsed lentils in a pot on the stove and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook uncovered for 20-25 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Drain if necessary and season with salt and pepper as desired.
  • Toss the spinach with olive oil or dressing of choice. Divide the butternut squash, red potato, lentils, and pumpkin seeds on top of the salads and serve.
I prefer extra virgin olive oil and a sprinke of salt and pepper to dress my salads. Oil and vinegar would work well, especially apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar, or you can easily substitute your own dressing. 

Butternut Squash Lentil Salad

You can enjoy it on its own or serve it alongside a meat of choice for extra protein. For busy days, you can prep most of the ingredients ahead of time and simply reheat the lentils, squash, and potatoes before tossing with the other ingredients. 

What are your favorite salad toppings right now?
What are your plans for this weekend?
Are you ready for fall or still wishing for a few more weeks of summer?

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12 Responses

  1. In some ways I am ready for fall, but in general I love the summer and don’t want it to end. Its weird because this is the second year I havent been working in a school. Before that I definitely felt like summer was over when school started (even though I worked all summer). Now it all kind of blends together.
    I love butternut squash and am excited to make it again! And maybe I will actually give lentils a try:)

  2. I love fall and everything about it but I want summer to stick around for just a bit longer. We’re forecasted to have a hard winter to make up the lack of rain in the spring and summer. Yippee. Remind me NOT to sign up for a spring marathon! 🙂 This recipe looks delish. Love squash anytime of the year!

  3. OMG I AM SO LOOKING FORWARD TO SCHOOL. Ahhh. I love my kids and everything but MAN oh MAN. Anyway. We just took our boat out for the first time yesterday so I’m still wishing for a bit more summer, for sure.

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