My favorite part of winter and cooler weather is all the hearty produce that comes along with it, like butternut squash and pecans. I’ve included these ingredients in this candied pecan butternut squash salad for a nourishing and filling meal that will warm you right up.
You might be thinking, how is a salad appropriate for cooler weather? With this salad, it is actually a medley of warming foods — including black rice, butternut squash and candied pecans — that can be served piping hot or make great leftovers.
Types of Candied Pecans
Candied pecans come in all varieties of sweetness and spices. I’m focusing on how to maximize the health potential of candied nuts while still having the right amount of sweet and salty flavors.
For these glazed pecans, I used one of my favorite all-natural sweeteners, maple syrup, and a pinch of sea salt to bring out the subtle sweetness.
You could certainly play around with spices for these sugared pecans and make spiced pecans or cinnamon pecans. For extra decadence, you could add some grass-fed butter to your pecan recipe to make praline pecans.
A little goes a long way in this candied pecan butternut squash salad.
Benefits of Pecans
One serving of pecans (about one ounce or 28 grams) includes:
- 195 calories
- 4 carbohydrates
- 2.6 grams protein
- 20.3 grams fat
- 2.7 grams fiber
- 1.3 milligrams manganese (64 percent DV)
- 0.3 milligrams copper (17 percent DV)
- 0.2 milligrams thiamine (12 percent DV)
- 34.2 milligrams magnesium (9 percent DV)
- 1.3 milligrams zinc (9 percent DV)
- 78.2 milligrams phosphorus (8 percent DV)
How to Make Candied Pecans
Prepare to make your candied pecans by preheating your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
Toss together raw pecans, maple syrup and sea salt until evenly coated, and spread across the baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes, and remove from the oven.
You will have beautiful caramelized pecans.
Next, take your cubed butternut squash, and place it on a baking sheet. Pour a little avocado oil on the butternut squash with some sea salt.
Toss together the butternut squash until it is well-coated with the oil and salt. I roast mine for about 20 minutes at 400 F until the butternut squash starts to brown and soften.
I love butternut squash for its hearty texture, not to mention its beneficial impact on your health. This autumn squash is bursting with nutrients such as vitamins A, C and E, along with potassium, magnesium and manganese to name just a few.
The butternut squash is high in antioxidants and is a surefire immunity booster, especially helpful in these cold winter months. It makes a perfect pairing in this candied pecan butternut squash salad.
Assemble Your Candied Pecan Butternut Squash Salad
Another superfood I have added to this winter salad is black rice, or forbidden rice. It contains substantially higher levels of protein than other brown or white rice varieties, along with high levels of anthocyanin.
Using black rice keeps this candied pecan dish completely gluten-free and vegan as well.
Boil two cups of water in a large pot, and add in black rice. Turn heat down to simmer, and let rice cook for 40 minutes with a lid on.
After 40 minutes, remove rice from heat, and keep lid on the pot for an additional 10 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork, and set aside.
Take a small mixing bowl, and whisk together avocado oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, ginger powder and sea salt. This salty-sweet dressing pairs perfectly with this fall salad.
You’re ready to assemble your candied pecan butternut squash salad. Take a large mixing bowl, and add in cooked black rice, candied pecans, roasted butternut squash and pour in the maple ginger dressing.
Toss together until it is well-combined, and top with chopped green onions. Serve this delightful salad warm alongside your other favorite fall dishes.Print
Looking for an autumnal or winter salad to warm you up? Try this Candied Pecan Butternut Squash Salad for a nourishing and filling meal.
- 1 cup black rice
- 2 cups raw pecans
- ¼–½ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
Butternut squash cubes:
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup avocado oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- sea salt, to taste
- 1 cup chopped green onion
- 2 cups arugula (optional)*
- In a large pot, boil two cups of water with one cup of black rice. Turn down heat to simmering for 40 minutes with pot lid on. Remove from heat and leave lid on for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork once rice is cooked.
- While rice is cooking, preheat oven to 400 F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Toss raw pecans with maple syrup and sea salt and spread out on baking sheet.
- Roast pecans for 10 minutes and set aside.
- Place butternut squash cubes on a baking sheet, and toss with avocado oil and sea salt.
- Roast for 20 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together avocado oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, ginger powder and sea salt.
- Assemble your salad in a large mixing bowl: Add in cooked rice, candied pecans, roasted butternut squash and toss with dressing.
- Top with chopped green onions.
- Serve warm. Add salad to the top of arugula, if desired.
- You can play around with spices for these sugared pecans and make spiced pecans or cinnamon pecans.
- You can add some grass-fed butter to your pecan recipe to make praline pecans.
- You can use a leafy green of your choice or just eat this “salad” with the rice, sans greens.
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 45 min
- Category: Salads
- Method: Oven, Stovetop, By Hand
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 197g
- Calories: 549
- Sugar: 19.6g
- Sodium: 593mg
- Fat: 36.3g
- Saturated Fat: 3.6g
- Unsaturated Fat: 32.7g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 55.2g
- Fiber: 6g
- Protein: 6.5g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: Candied Pecan Butternut Squash Salad Recipe