This butternut squash spinach salad with shrimp and goat cheese is simple to make and comes together very quickly, especially if your squash is pre-roasted!
After my success last night with butternut squash (soup!), I was craving squash even more. I got a little more ambitious tonight and even peeled and diced it. It roasted while I walked Maizey; multitasking for the win.
I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do it with the squash, but after realizing I hadn’t had any greens all day, I decided to go with a salad. But I was pretty freaking hungry so I knew this couldn’t be some light salad. I ran 5 miles this morning with three 4 minutes repeats at a 6:40 pace and had way too light of a breakfast and lunch.
This salad is packed with healthy things, but it’s not gonna leave you hungry. Plus, it comes together very quickly and doesn’t have any crazy ingredients. I had everything on hand for it.
Cumin Shrimp & Butternut Squash Spinach Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing
Serves 1, but can easily be adjusted for a larger crowd
2-3 cups baby spinach
1 butternut squash, peeled & diced
10 shrimp*, peeled & deveined
2-3 T chopped walnuts
1-2 T dried cranberries
1-2 T soft goat cheese, crumbled
Honey Balsamic Dressing
2 teaspoons high quality balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 t. mustard powder (or prepared mustard, if you have it)
salt & pepper
Disclaimer: I didn’t measure the dressing ingredients. Eyeballing it was the name of the game so you may need to adjust the measurements to taste.
*Note: I keep frozen shrimp on hand since it’s packed with protein and super quick to prepare. If your shrimp is still frozen, place under running cool water for about 5 minutes to defrost. Pat dry.
1. Preheat your oven to 350*. Place the diced butternut squash on a cookie sheet lined with foil and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Gently toss to coat. Roast squash for 25-30 minutes until fork tender.
2. Place a saute pan over medium heat and add your walnuts. Stir every few minutes until you can smell the nuttiness of the walnuts, about 5-8 minutes. If you taste them, they should have a light toastiness and slight crispness. Set aside.
3. Drizzle olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. (I used the same pan as I did for the walnuts). Add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes on each side. Once the shrimp is almost done, sprinkle lightly with cumin powder and toss to coat. Remove shrimp from heat once they are pink and cooked through. (They shouldn’t look translucent.
4. Assemble your salad! Mix all your salad dressing ingredients together (I always use a coffee cup – not too large and doesn’t spill!) Place the spinach in a large bowl and layer the cranberries, walnuts and goat cheese on next. Place your warm squash and shrimp on top. This will help melt your goat cheese a little. Soooo tasty. Drizzle with the dressing, season with extra black pepper if you like, and enjoy!
What’s your favorite addition to a salad? Roasted vegetables make any salad seem like comfort food to me. And goat cheese is such an easy way to amp up the flavor!
What candy did you buy for trick-or-treaters this year? I just realized I don’t have any! Better head to the store!