This pearl couscous salad is the epitome of Autumn! Loaded with roasted butternut squash chunks, tons of sweet cranberries, nutty pecans, all tossed with Israeli couscous, and a Dijon vinaigrette.
Roasted Butternut Squash.
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ cups dry pearl couscous, (cooked to package directions)
- 3 heaped cups baby spinach
- ½ cup EACH: thinly sliced red onions, dried cranberries, and toasted pecans
- 3 tablespoons EACH: orange juice and honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 425ºF/220ºC. Place the diced butternut squash on a baking sheet, toss in olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread squash out in an even layer. Roast squash for 20-25 minutes total, tossing halfway through or as needed. While the squash is roasting, prepare the couscous according to package directions.
- DRESSING: Add the orange juice, mustard, garlic powder, honey, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper to a mason jar. Screw on the lid and shake until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
- ASSEMBLE: In a large bowl, toss together all the ingredients of the salad with the dressing and serve. Alternatively, you can dress only portions of the salad and refrigerate the rest in an airtight container.
The last step before eating, give it all a good toss in the dressing! Keep in mind the dressing will cause the spinach to wilt, so if you don’t think you’ll be able to finish it all in one go, dress half the salad and leave the other half for later. This makes 4 decent sized servings of the pearl couscous salad. We almost always have leftovers, so I only dress half and keep the rest separate then lunch is just as fresh as dinner.