Autumn Pasta Salad (Fast, Easy, Wholesome, & Scrumptious Recipe)

Get able to savor the flavors of fall with our autumn pasta salad! Roasted butternut squash, crunchy apples, candy cranberries, and nutty pecans, all come along with creamy feta and a zesty honey-Dijon dressing. Whether or not it is for a comfy autumn get-together or a tasty standalone meal, this salad captures the essence of the season in each mouthful. Straightforward preparation and make forward pleasant. Comes collectively in half-hour!

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Overhead view of autumn pasta salad in a white serving bowl

On the lookout for a style of fall that is each straightforward and scrumptious? Look no additional than our autumn pasta salad. It is made with roasted butternut squash, crisp apples, and a mixture of candy cranberries and creamy feta. And the most effective half? The do-it-yourself honey-Dijon dressing is a breeze to make.

Truthfully, I am unable to resist pasta salad, and this one has been a pleasure to develop, make, and luxuriate in time and again. Not just for the flavors – it is extremely scrumptious – however for the attractive presentation. Simply have a look at these colours! It simply screams autumn! That is the salad you’ll want to convey to your vacation gatherings.

Desk of Contents

Why You will Love This Recipe

❤️ Straightforward to arrange. With easy directions and readily-available components, this recipe is approachable for each novice and skilled cooks.

❤️ Nutritious components. This salad consists of nutritious components like butternut squash, apples, and pecans, offering a stability of nutritional vitamins, fiber, and protein.

❤️ Make-ahead. You’ll be able to put together this salad upfront and let it chill within the fridge, which not solely permits the flavors to meld but additionally makes it a handy choice for busy days or entertaining.

❤️ Flavorful and balanced. The salad presents a pleasant mixture of candy and savory flavors. The roasted butternut squash, crisp apples, dried cranberries, and feta cheese create a harmonious mix that is each satisfying and scrumptious.

Detailed Ingredient Notes

Autumn pasta salad ingredients
  • Pasta. You’ll be able to select your favourite pasta form, resembling rotini or farfalle.
  • Butternut squash. Butternut squash provides a creamy texture and candy, nutty taste to the salad. It is a quintessential autumn ingredient. When deciding on butternut squash, search for one that’s agency, with out blemishes or tender spots.
  • Apples. The selection of apples can impression the salad’s taste. Tart varieties like Granny Smith present a pleasant distinction to the sweetness of the squash and cranberries, whereas Honeycrisp apples supply a sweeter and crisper chew. We used Honeycrisp apples in ours. Be sure that to cube them into bite-sized items.
  • Dried cranberries. Dried cranberries contribute a candy and tangy aspect to the salad. You should use sweetened or unsweetened cranberries based mostly in your desire. Unsweetened cranberries are a more healthy choice.
  • Pecans or walnuts. Chopped nuts, whether or not pecans or walnuts, convey a satisfying crunch and nutty taste. You’ll be able to toast them for added depth of taste, however watch out to not over-toast and burn them. We used untoasted chopped pecans in our salad, and it tasted nice!
  • Feta cheese. Feta cheese gives a creamy, barely tangy, and salty distinction to the sweetness of the opposite components. You’ll be able to crumble it into the salad to make sure every chew comprises a little bit of that scrumptious cheese.
  • Olive oil. Use good-quality extra-virgin olive oil for each roasting the butternut squash and making the dressing. The oil provides richness and taste to the dish.
  • Apple cider vinegar. This vinegar imparts a fruity and tangy word to the dressing, complementing the apples and enhancing the general taste profile.
  • Honey. Honey provides pure sweetness to the dressing, balancing the tanginess of the vinegar. Alter the quantity based mostly in your desired degree of sweetness.
  • Dijon mustard. Dijon mustard contributes a bit of warmth and complexity to the dressing. It additionally helps emulsify the dressing, so it adheres effectively to the components.
  • Salt and pepper. These seasonings are important for enhancing the flavors within the salad. Season to style, retaining in thoughts that feta cheese and salted nuts will add some saltiness.
  • Contemporary herbs (optionally available). Contemporary thyme or rosemary can be utilized as a garnish for an additional burst of autumn taste and a visually interesting contact.

Step-By-Step Directions With Photographs

Bowtie pasta cooking in a pan
Step 1. Prepare dinner the pasta based on the bundle directions. Drain and rinse with chilly water to chill it down. Put aside.
Diced butternut squash in a small glass bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper
Step 2. Preheat your oven to 400 F (200 C). Toss the diced butternut squash with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Diced butternut squash on a baking sheet lined with foil
Unfold the squash on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast within the oven for about 15-20 minutes or till tender and barely caramelized. Let it cool.
Ingredients in a glass bowl
Step 3. In a big bowl, mix the cooked pasta, roasted butternut squash, diced apples, dried cranberries, chopped nuts, and crumbled feta cheese.
Dressing ingredients in a small glass pitcher with a small wire whisk
Step 4. In a small bowl, whisk collectively the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper to make the dressing.
Dressing being poured over ingredients in a glass bowl
Step 5. Drizzle the dressing over the pasta salad.
Pasta salad combined in a glass bowl
Step 6. Toss to coat all the things evenly. Garnish with recent chopped inexperienced onion or recent thyme, if desired, for an additional burst of taste. Chill the pasta salad within the fridge for no less than half-hour earlier than serving to permit the flavors to meld.

Storage Directions

To make sure your autumn pasta salad stays recent and flavorful, correct storage is vital. If in case you have leftovers, place it in an hermetic container to forestall air publicity and moisture loss. Retailer the container within the fridge, the place it may be safely stored for as much as 3-4 days.

Over time, the pasta could take up a number of the dressing, so it is a good suggestion to order a little bit of dressing to refresh the salad earlier than serving. To take action, merely drizzle a bit dressing and toss the salad to revive its authentic style and texture.

Close up of a serving of autumn pasta salad in a white bowl

Substitution Recommendations

  • Pasta. You should use any sort of pasta you like. Rotini and farfalle work effectively, however you may also go for complete wheat pasta, gluten-free pasta, and even vegetable-based pasta like zucchini noodles if in case you have dietary preferences.
  • Butternut squash. If you cannot discover butternut squash, you’ll be able to substitute it with different sorts of winter squash, like acorn squash, kabocha, and even candy potatoes for the same roasted texture and candy taste.
  • Apples. Whereas Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples are nice decisions, you should use different apple varieties like Fuji, Pink Girl, or Gala based mostly in your style. Pears will also be an appropriate substitute in the event you desire a distinct fruit.
  • Dried cranberries. If you do not have dried cranberries, you’ll be able to substitute them with raisins, currants, or chopped dried apricots for the same candy and chewy aspect.
  • Pecans or walnuts. As an alternative of pecans or walnuts, you should use almonds, cashews, or hazelnuts for the nutty crunch.
  • Feta cheese. When you’re not a fan of feta, think about using blue cheese, cojita, or a vegan cheese various for a creamy, tangy aspect. You too can omit the cheese altogether for a dairy-free model.
  • Olive oil. Any good-quality oil, resembling avocado oil can substitute for olive oil.
  • Apple cider vinegar. Pink wine vinegar or white wine vinegar can be utilized as alternate options to apple cider vinegar for the same tangy impact.
  • Honey. Maple syrup or agave nectar can substitute honey in the event you’re in search of a sweetener various.
  • Dijon mustard. Grainy mustard or common yellow mustard can be utilized rather than Dijon mustard. Alter the amount to fit your style.
  • Contemporary herbs. If you do not have recent thyme or rosemary, you should use dried herbs or omit them altogether. Contemporary parsley or basil will also be a fantastic addition for a distinct taste profile.

Ideas for Success

  • Roast the butternut squash excellent. When roasting the butternut squash, be sure that to chop it into evenly-sized items to make sure even cooking. Regulate it within the oven, as you need it to be tender and barely caramelized, not overly mushy or undercooked.
  • Prepare dinner the pasta al dente. Prepare dinner the pasta simply till it is al dente, which suggests it is agency to the chew. Overcooking can result in a mushy texture within the salad.
  • Stability the dressing. When making ready the dressing, style as you go. Alter the honey, Dijon mustard, and seasoning to attain the proper sweet-tangy stability that fits your palate.
  • Chill earlier than serving. Permit the salad to sit back within the fridge for no less than half-hour earlier than serving. This time permits the flavors to meld and intensifies the general style of the salad.
  • Customise to style. Be at liberty to customise the salad to your liking. You’ll be able to add kind of of any ingredient, and you may also introduce different components like roasted rooster, cubed ham, spinach, or kale for added protein or greens.
  • Contemporary herbs for freshness. When you go for the optionally available recent inexperienced onion or thyme garnish, use it sparingly, as recent herbs might be potent. They add a burst of freshness and perfume to the salad, however a bit goes a great distance.
  • Reserve some components for garnish. Save just a few items of roasted butternut squash, apple, or nuts to sprinkle on high of the salad for a beautiful presentation.
  • Take into account dietary preferences. If in case you have dietary restrictions or preferences, do not hesitate to make use of gluten-free pasta, vegan cheese, or alter the components to accommodate your wants.

FAQ

Can I add protein to this salad for a extra substantial meal?

Sure, you’ll be able to simply add protein to this salad. Grilled or roasted rooster, diced cooked ham, chickpeas, or tofu might be nice choices. Add them if you mix all of the salad components, or serve the protein on high of the salad for a heartier meal.

Can I omit sure components if I’ve dietary restrictions or preferences?

Completely! This recipe is versatile. You’ll be able to omit components like cheese or nuts if they do not suit your dietary wants or style. Be at liberty to customise the salad to your liking.

Can I put together the pasta salad upfront?

Sure, you’ll be able to put together many of the salad elements upfront. Prepare dinner the pasta and roast the butternut squash forward of time. Retailer them individually in hermetic containers within the fridge. Whenever you’re able to serve, merely mix all of the components and add the dressing.

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Pairing

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Recipe

Overhead view of autumn pasta salad in a white serving bowl

Get able to savor the flavors of fall with our autumn pasta salad! Roasted butternut squash, crunchy apples, candy cranberries, and nutty pecans, all come along with creamy feta and a zesty honey-Dijon dressing. Whether or not it is for a comfy autumn get-together or a tasty standalone meal, this salad captures the essence of the season in each mouthful. Straightforward preparation and make forward pleasant. Comes collectively in half-hour!

Servings 6 servings

Energy 360

Complete Time 30 minutes

Substances

  • 8 ounces pasta Reminiscent of rotini or farfalle.
  • 1 cup butternut squash Diced.
  • 1 cup apple Granny Smith or Honeycrisp. Diced.
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup pecans Chopped. You’ll be able to substitute chopped walnuts.
  • ½ cup feta cheese Crumbled.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to style
  • Contemporary inexperienced onion or thyme optionally available

Directions

  • Prepare dinner the pasta based on the bundle directions. Drain and rinse with chilly water to chill it down. Put aside.

    8 ounces pasta

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Toss the diced butternut squash with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Unfold the squash on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast within the oven for about 15-20 minutes or till tender and barely caramelized. Let it cool.

    1 cup butternut squash

  • In a big bowl, mix the cooked pasta, roasted butternut squash, diced apples, dried cranberries, chopped nuts, and crumbled feta cheese.

    1 cup apple, ½ cup dried cranberries, ½ cup pecans, ½ cup feta cheese

  • In a small bowl, whisk collectively the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper to make the dressing.

    2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, Salt and pepper to style

  • Drizzle the dressing over the pasta salad.

    Contemporary inexperienced onion or thyme

  • Toss to coat all the things evenly. Garnish with recent chopped inexperienced onion or recent thyme, if desired, for an additional burst of autumn taste. Chill the pasta salad within the fridge for no less than half-hour earlier than serving to permit the flavors to meld.

Vitamin

Energy: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 12g | Fats: 14g | Saturated Fats: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fats: 3g | Monounsaturated Fats: 7g | Ldl cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 157mg | Potassium: 454mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2550IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 2mg