First off, happy new year guys! One of my new year’s resolutions is to eat more plant-based as sometimes I feel that despite being vegan, I sometimes choose convenient processed food over nutrition. Obviously that’s okay sometimes, but after a while I do feel in need of fresh and simple meals to truly nourish my body. I created this vegan Butternut Squash Lentil Salad recipe over Christmas as a healthy vegan option for one of the family parties I was going to, then I used the leftovers for a tasty lunch.
With Veganuary gaining increasing popularity each year, I though this vegan Butternut Squash Lentil Salad recipe was perfect for some plant-based foodie inspiration. Whilst I do support the use of meat-free/dairy-free alternatives (e.g. vegan cheese/burgers etc) to an extent (especially during the beginning stage of transitioning to Veganism) , I do think that cooking with simple plant-based ingredients is wayyyy cheaper and often healthier too as you’re in control of how much sugar/salt you add.
For this Butternut Squash lentil salad recipe, I made a creamy tahini dressing which is super easy to make and tastes AMAZING. I’ll be honest and say that I am fairly biased on this as I currently have a slight tahini obsession, but nevertheless I really do recommend this salad dressing as it goes well with so many different salad ingredient variations. I used Cypressa light tahini (my personal fave) which you can buy from most UK retailers.
Butternut Squash Lentil Salad Recipe
A warm butternut squash and lentil salad made with indulgent inclusions like walnuts and apricot, topped with a creamy tahini dressing.
For the Squash
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed (around 3cm)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried garlic granules
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- 1 pinch salt and pepper
For the Salad
- 250g pack puy lentils (I used Merchant Gourmet)
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
- 70g bag wild rocket/spinach
- 1 handful dried apricots, chopped
- 1 handful walnuts, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
For the dressing
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp olive oil, extra virgin
- 2 tbsp cold water (or more if needed)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp brown sugar
- cracked pepper to taste
For the butternut squash
Preheat oven to 200C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Place the butternut squash chunks on the paper and drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle the salt, pepper and garlic granules.
Stir well together with your hands and spread out in a single layer. Cook for 30-40 mins, stirring once half way through. Cook until tender and slightly browned.
For the salad
Before opening the lentil packet, press down on the packet with your fingers to separate the lentils
Place the roasted squash into a serving bowl and whilst it is still hot add in the lentils, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, ,chopped walnuts, chopped apricots and salt/pepper. Stir well by tossing the mixture with your hands to combine.
Leave the mixture to cool for 10 mins. Add the rocket/spinach and stir it through with your hands.
For the tahini dressing
Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl with a fork or a mini hand whisk. Add more water if necessary (should be a creamy yet pourable consistency)
Drizzle the dressing over the salad with a tablespoon
If you fancy trying out any other vegan salad recipes then click here for my Moroccan Chickpea Salad with a Chilli Dressing.
As a final comment, alongside eating more plant-based, my other new years resolution was to post more recipes on here like I used to, meaning that you guys should expect more tasty vegan recipes soon!