Roasted Kabocha Salad

Oct 06, 2021

A flavourful fall salad with seasonal ingredients like Kabocha squash and pomegranate seeds. The salad is brought to life with toasted walnuts, salty feta, and a tangy maple dijon dressing!

I love contributing a fresh salad to holiday supper as a wholesome option that everyone enjoys. Besides being super-nutritious, most of it can be prepared ahead, even a day or two in advance. Put it together at the last minute and wow your family, friends, and guests with a gorgeous presentation.

If you haven’t cooked with pearl barley before, you’re in for a special treat. It’s an ancient grain that has a pasta-like consistency. This yummy salad also includes fresh spinach, pomegranate arils (seeds), crumbled feta, toasted walnuts, and Kabocha squash. You can also use butternut squash if you prefer! Finally, a super easy, throw-it-all-in-a-jar-and-shake maple Dijon vinaigrette. 



Nutrition Facts are for the version without bacon bits!


  • 1 large package of spinach (~12 cups)  
  • 2 pomegranates (~1 cup), deseeded
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) feta, crumbled 
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) walnuts, toasted 
  • 1 Kabocha squash*, roasted and diced 
  • 2 cups pearled barley, cooked 

*you can opt for butternut squash if you prefer!


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced
  • generous pinch of salt and pepper


  1. Cook the barley according to package directions.
  2. Prepare salad dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a Mason jar. Give the dressing a good shake before pouring it over later on.
  3. Cut your squash into bite sized pieces. Spritz with non-stick spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 400F for 15-20 minutes or until tender. 
  4. Toast the walnuts in a sauce pan on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until fragrant and lightly toasted. Watch them closely as they can go from toasted to burnt very quickly! 
  5. Place the spinach in a large serving bowl. Add the pomegranate seeds*, feta, barley, toasted walnuts, and squash.
  6. Shake the dressing before adding it to the salad and give the salad a toss. Enjoy!

*NOTE: you can find pomegranates deseeded at many grocery stores but if you bought whole, fresh pomegranate you can deseed it yourself. Watch this video for a tutorial.



If you follow the F4 Formula we use in our group programs and 1:1 coaching, this recipe could be made F4 by adding some grilled chicken.

  • PROTEIN: grilled chicken and some from feta
  • FIBRE-FILLED CARB: pomegranate seeds and barley
  • FAT: olive oil in the dressing, feta, and walnuts
  • VOLUME: squash and spinach
  • FREEBIES: garlic, salt and pepper, and vinegar in the dressing


Did you try this recipe or a variation of it? Comment below! Snap a photo and tag us on Instagram so we can see your creation!

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