Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing + Weekend Fun


Welp, I just got my first sunburn of the year, so I guess I better go ahead and share the winter squash recipes my queue, starting with this roasted kabocha squash salad with creamy garlic dressing.


I got my sunburn this Saturday when we went to City Roots, our local organic farm, for their yearly Mardi Gras parade and party. We brought the pups to the parade, where they had a blast catching beads and getting smothered by basically every small child there.

We spent the rest of the afternoon listening to the bands and catching up with friends. Y'all, it was so windy and I was basically getting microdermabrasion from the dirt the whole time. So actually, I don't know if it's a sunburn or my skin is raw from getting blasted by dirt all afternoon. I don't even want to know how much dirt I drank with my beer. Although I suppose if you're going to eat dirt, it might as well be dirt from an organic farm.

For dinner, Scott and I grabbed dinner at Burger 77 with one of our friends and Scott's cousin. Mine was topped with pimento cheese, bacon and a fried green tomato - basically all the yummy things! And of course, onion rings. Always onions rings. Soooo much better than French fries. Whose with me?


I was starving when we sat down to eat and ate every bite. Afterwards, I felt kinda awful. Like, miserably full. A day in the sun plus heavy beers followed by a massive burger and onion rings was a little much. I often hear from clients feeling really guilty after eating a heavy meal that leaves them feeling not so great. Feeling physically crappy from overeating compounds feeling psychologically crappy from eating something you've labeled bad. Together it can make the guilt pretty overwhelming. Remember overeating on occasion is perfectly normal. Try to observe how you feel without judging. Think of it as information to put in a mental bank that will help you make eating decisions in the future that honor how you want to feel.


Anyway, on to the recipe! Kabocha squash is my favorite winter squash because it's got an incredibly creamy texture and extra sweet flavor. This recipe was one of those that came together trying to use up some produce I picked up at the farmer's market and a few other random things lying around the house. Feel free to add chickpeas or roasted chickpeas to make it more substantial.


Are you done with diets and sick of feeling crazy around food? Are you ready to make peace with food and learn how to eat in a way that nourishes your body and soul? If so, I work with clients one on one building a healthy relationship with food and would love to help you. Click here for more information. 


For more help in finding peace with food and your body, sign up for our the VIP email list for the six week online wellness program I created with two other top non-diet dietitians, Anne Mauney and Alex Caspero. You’ll receive the free downloadable, The Thin Fantasy. Sign up here. 

Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing + Weekend Fun

Author: Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE, CLT
Serves: Serves 4

Feel free to swap olive oil if you don't have hazelnut oil on hand or feel like shelling out for it.


  • 1 medium kabocha squash, seeds scooped out and chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons hazlenut oil
  • 1 head leaf lettuce, chopped, washed and dried
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries

Pickled shallots

  • 2 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced into rings
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 1 head garlic, outer layers of paper removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/3 cup hazelnut oil


  1. First, make the pickled shallots. In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, sugar, thyme and salt. Add shallots and let sit at room temperature to pickle at least 15 minutes.
  2. Next, make the dressing. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rub garlic head with olive oil. Wrap with aluminum foil, place in the oven and roast 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit at room temperature until cool enough to handle. Squeeze roasted garlic cloves into a blender. Add lemon juice, mustard and hazelnut oil. Blend until pureed and creamy. Season with salt and black pepper.
  3. While garlic is roasting, toss squash with oil on a large baking sheet. Season with salt and black pepper. Place in the oven and roast 45 minutes, flipping halfway, until caramelized and tender.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together lettuce, hazelnuts, feta, pickled shallots, dried cherries. Top with roasted squash and drizzle with roasted garlic dressing.

More winter squash recipes because spring is coming:

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Cranberry Salsa and Cranberry Blue Cheese Scones

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Cranberry Salsa and Cranberry Blue Cheese Scones

Chipotle Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad

Chipotle Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad

Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup with Kale

Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup with Kale

Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad.png