Full of umami flavour, this warm roast pumpkin feta salad is studded with tasty chorizo and drizzled with a sweet and tangy honey balsamic vinaigrette. It will make your taste buds very happy! Ready in around 40 minutes, it makes a great easy midweek meal. It also takes simple entertaining to next level delicious!
Why you’ll love pumpkin feta salad
✔ AMAZING umami flavors. This is what gives this roast pumpkin salad recipe its incredible depth of flavor:
- deliciously caramelized roasted pumpkin (butternut squash will work too)
- peppery slices of pan-fried chorizo
- tangy feta cheese
- crunchy toasted pine nuts
✔ It’s a WARM salad, which makes it great for any time of year.
✔ So versatile. It’s perfect for a quick midweek meal, or for an easy lunch for guests.
✔ A crowd pleaser. Thanks to the strong umami flavours with a perfect balance of sweet, peppery, tangy and crunchy, this healthy salad never fails to impress!
Pile all the delicacies on top of some fresh salad leaves and lightly drizzle with a sweet and tangy honey balsamic vinaigrette. All these things by themselves are pretty tasty, but put them all together and you transport yourself directly to food heaven!
Am I making you hungry yet? I hope so.
About the ingredients
Pumpkin: Any kind of pumpkin works in this recipe (butternut pumpkin, kabocha, delicata, and more…). Chop it into small 2 to 3cm chunks so that it doesn’t take too long to roast. Or buy ready-chopped!
Olive oil: For roasting the pumpkin. Any kind you happen to have although I often use a light olive oil rather than extra virgin for cooking.
Chorizo: You could say chorizo is the ‘magic’ ingredient that takes this pumpkin and feta salad from good to heavenly. In case you don’t know, chorizo is a type of Spanish pork sausage. Sometimes you have to peel some paper or thick skin off the chorizo before slicing it, sometimes not. But don’t worry, that part will be pretty obvious!
See if you can find a whole sausage for this recipe. If you can’t find one in the supermarket, try a European style deli.
Feta cheese: I like Greek or Greek style feta, but any will be fine in this recipe. This also adds to the incredible umami flavour, so don’t skip it.
Pine nuts: For a bit of crunch. If you can buy them ready toasted, great, if not no worries – it’s easy to do that yourself.
Green salad: I usually buy a ready washed bag of fresh salad. Mixed leaves, baby spinach, arugula/rocket, watercress, or whatever looks great to you. Buy it just before you’re going to make the salad so that it’s at its freshest.
Herbs: I like to use either dried or fresh thyme in this roast pumpkin salad recipe while roasting the pumpkin, but you can substitute with any other herbs you have – fresh or dried.
An extra scattering of fresh herbs over the top just before serving is nice, too. Try basil or mint.
How to make it
Peel and chop your pumpkin if not using ready chopped. Scatter over a baking sheet. Toss through olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes until soft (but not mushy) and starting to caramelize. (photos 1-3)
Meanwhile, slice chorizo thinly and pan fry in a dry frying pan. 5 minutes should do it! Set aside, then lightly toast your pine nuts in the same way. Shake often to get them evenly toasted. (photos 3-6)
When you’ve got all your salad components ready, spread out your salad leaves on a large share platter. Sprinkle over:
- the warm roasted pumpkin
- the pan fried chorizo
- crumbled feta cheese
- the toasted pine nuts (photos 7-11)
Then make the dressing. Quickly whisk together equal parts of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and a little honey. Drizzle some dressing all over the pumpkin feta salad. (photo 12)
Helen’s top tips
- Buy ready-chopped pumpkin, either from the fresh or frozen section, to make the salad with pumpkin and feta even easier. It doesn’t really matter what size the pieces are – you can just roast for a little or more time depending on their size.
- Don’t overdo it with either the chorizo or the feta cheese. Both of these flavors are quite punchy. You only need a bit of each to contrast well with the sweetness of the pumpkin.
- Equally, don’t be tempted to skip toasting the pine nuts. This step definitely adds something! Buy ready-toasted if you like. Otherwise you can roast them in just a couple of minutes in a dry frying pan (shake regularly and keep an eye on them!).
- It’s worth trying to find really good quality chorizo. You can often find ‘healthier’ varieties at farmer’s markets etc.
- Any green salad works, but the fresher the better!
- I usually serve this salad on a large platter and drizzle over just a bit of the vinaigrette. Then everyone can help themselves to more vinaigrette if they want to.
- Don’t add the vinaigrette until the last minute – the salad will go soggy quite quickly.
How to make balsamic vinaigrette
I’m not a big fan of complicated salad dressings. It might have something to do with the fact that I lived in Greece for many years, where a large drizzle of excellent quality extra virgin olive oil suffices…
But I DO think it’s worth taking a couple of minutes to make a honey balsamic vinaigrette for your delicious pumpkin, feta and chorizo salad!
This is how I make mine:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (good quality!)
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey (feel free to substitute with maple syrup)
Most other recipes for balsamic vinaigrette are much more complicated than this, with Dijon mustard, garlic, herbs, salt & pepper etc. Nothing wrong with adding these things of course, but I think this particular salad recipe is flavorful enough and doesn’t need any added extras.
Tip: A simple balsamic glaze is an even faster alternative!
How to serve it
We usually eat this delicious warm salad with some fresh toasted bread drizzled with olive oil and salt (we do this a lot – it’s delicious!). Or if you can find a little extra time to try this easy Italian focaccia bread. I don’t think you’d regret it.
I also like to add a bit of Greek yogurt on the side. 10-minute tsatziki sauce would work well too. These are purely optional, though!
If you wanted to make this into a more filling meal, serve with meat on the side. How about barbecued? Or try these simple baked chicken thighs.
Nuts or seeds. You can easily replace the toasted pine nuts for toasted nuts like almonds, walnuts, or seeds such as pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds. Toasted pumpkin seeds would also be perfect, don’t you think?
Red onion: Add a little thinly sliced red onion to the fresh greens.
Different herbs. Play around with different dried or fresh herbs. Sprinkle a little chopped fresh rosemary over the pumpkin cubes as they roast instead of thyme. Or add a mixture of dried herbs such as rosemary, sage, marjoram and thyme.
Sprinkle fresh basil, mint or coriander over the top before serving.
Grains: Mix in cooked quinoa, farro, brown rice, pasta or couscous to make your warm pumpkin salad heartier.
Roasted vegetables. As well as roasted pumpkin, any delicious roasted veggies will taste great sprinkled onto this salad. If you have leftovers, it’s a no-brainer. If you don’t but you want to try this idea, here’s a recipe for Mediterranean roasted vegetables.
Cheese. I love this salad with feta sprinkled on top, but feel free to experiment with other cheeses such as blue cheese, goat cheese or even shaved parmesan.
Replace or add to the chorizo. Try grilled or rotisserie chicken, crispy bacon (great if you have an air fryer), pancetta, salami, pepperoni or different types of sausage, sautéed shrimp or thinly sliced steak to ‘make the salad your own’.
Spices. Sprinkle spices over the pumpkin before roasting. Interesting options could be paprika, cumin, or za’atar.
I really like to serve this feta and pumpkin salad warm – or at least with warm, just-roasted pumpkin and hot cooked chorizo. However… it will still taste very good if served cold.
If you like you can prepare everything ahead, including the dressing, then cook the pumpkin and chorizo and assemble the salad at the last minute. Alternatively, ready-roasted pumpkin and cooked chorizo will be fine in the fridge for up to 5 days! Then toss everything together at the last minute.
I don’t recommend adding the dressing until the very last moment to keep the salad leaves nice and fresh (who doesn’t hate a soggy salad!).
You can use any kind of pumpkin. You can use pre-cut or you can cut your own. Even frozen will work. You can roast it straight from frozen since the oven’s high heat will evaporate the water from it quickly. Butternut squash and sweet potato both work well, too.
Got leftover chorizo? Try this baked chicken and chorizo risotto!
More main meal salad recipes
- Our favourite easy tuna salad (We eat this all year round as a quick, healthy midweek meal)
- How to make a Greek salad (A very important life skill)
- Another feta salad recipe! This beetroot, walnut and feta salad is incredibly delicious, and no turning on the oven since it’s made with ready-cooked beetroot.
- Blueberry spinach salad (with bacon and avocado) (You won’t believe how delicious it is with its incredible blueberry dressing)
- Pesto pasta with vegetables (a perfect side dish or take-along party dish enjoyed either hot or cold)
Or take a look at all of my yummy salads!
Amazing Roast Pumpkin Feta Salad (With Chorizo)
Equipment (affiliate links)
Ingredients (UK/Australia? Click below for grams/ml)
For the salad
- 17 ounces pumpkin deseeded, peeled and chopped into chunks – amount doesn't have to be exact (Use ready-chopped or even frozen if you like).
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3.5 ounces chorizo thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbled
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 3.5 ounces salad leaves of your choice
- 1 teaspoon dried Thyme or other dried herbs e.g. basil, oregano, mixed Italian herbs, or 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- salt and black pepper
To serve (optional)
- toasted fresh bread drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt
- Greek yogurt or tsatziki
- Heat the oven to 220C/425F.
- Scatter the pumpkin in one layer on a baking tray and toss well with the olive oil. Scatter over the herbs and salt and pepper (to taste).17 ounces pumpkin, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon dried Thyme, salt and black pepper
- Roast the pumpkin for 30 to 40 minutes or until it is soft and golden brown. Shake the tray half way through the cooking time.
- Meanwhile, pan fry the sliced chorizo in a dry pan until it's lightly browned (about 5 minutes). Set aside.3.5 ounces chorizo
- Toast the pine nuts on a low heat in another dry frying pan until they are lightly browned. Shake the pan every now and again.1/4 cup pine nuts
- Scatter the salad leaves over a large platter or shallow salad bowl.3.5 ounces salad leaves of your choice
- Scatter the roasted pumpkin and chorizo over the salad leaves, then add the pine nuts and feta cheese.17 ounces pumpkin, 3.5 ounces chorizo, 1/4 cup pine nuts, 3.5 ounces salad leaves of your choice, 1/4 cup feta cheese
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small jug, then drizzle a little over the salad. Serve the rest on the side.3 tablespoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey
- Serve with toasted fresh bread and Greek yogurt or tsatziki (if you like).toasted fresh bread drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, Greek yogurt or tsatziki