Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad with Wild Rice & Chickpeas
Recipe type: Salad, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free
Makes: 8-12
Adapted from the popular cookbook Spilling the Beans by Julie van Rosendaal and Sue Duncan, this salad is tasty and will make a stunning side dish on your Thanksgiving table, or a meal on its own! Both kabocha squash (aka Japanese pumpkin) or buttercup squash have thin, edible skins that don't need to be peeled before roasting. Butternut squash and acorn squash would also be delicious in this recipe.
  • 1 small Kabocha squash, about 2-3 lb (0.9-1.3 kg), cubed
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • 1 cup (250 mL) wild rice
  • 2 cups (500 mL) water
  • ½ cup (125 mL) pecan or walnut pieces or halves
  • 2 cups (500 mL) mixed greens, packed
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 can (540 mL/19 fl oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ⅓ cup (85 mL) dried cranberries
  • 1 package (150 g) soft goat cheese
  • ⅔ cup (160 mL) olive oil
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) maple syrup
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place wild rice and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn down to a simmer, cover, and cook for 40-50 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the rice rest on the warm stove, covered, for another 10 minutes. Drain and let cool.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss squash cubes with olive oil and spread in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven until caramelized and tender, about 30 minutes, turning once.
  4. While squash and rice are cooking, make the dressing in a small bowl by whisking the ingredients together and taste for seasoning – it will be sweeter than most vinaigrettes.
  5. Toast the pecans or walnuts in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly. Set aside.
  6. To assemble: Pick out the garlic cloves from dressing and discard. In a large bowl, toss together the cooked squash, rice, mixed greens, green onions, chickpeas, dried cranberries and dressing. Scatter with pecans and goat cheese just before serving.
Recipe by Vincci Tsui, RD | Calgary Registered Dietitian at