Full of umami flavour, this warm roast pumpkin, chorizo and feta salad is 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!
What you’re going to love about it
It’s a WARM SALAD, which makes it great for any time of year.
So VERSATILE! I’d say it’s a meal rather than a side. It’s perfect for a quick midweek meal, or for an easy lunch for guests – any time of year!
An EASY CROWD PLEASER. Thanks to the strong umami flavours with a perfect balance of sweet, peppery, tangy and crunchy, this salad never fails to impress!
This is what gives it its amazing umami flavour:
- deliciously caramelised roasted butternut squash (different types of pumpkin work too)
- peppery slices of pan-fried chorizo
- a hint of tangy feta cheese
- crunchy toasted pine nuts
Pile all these 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. I often use butternut pumpkin (butternut squash). I chop it into small 2 to 3cm chunks so that it doesn’t take too long to roast. My top tip? If you can get hold of ready -chopped pumpkin or squash cubes – go for it! We’re all about saving time around here.
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 salad from good to heavenly. In case you don’t know, it’s 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. It’s widely available here in Australia (try Aldi if you have one near you) but if not where you live 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.
Salad leaves: I usually buy a ready washed bag of salad leaves. Buy it just before you’re going to make the salad so that it’s at its freshest.
Herbs: I like to use fresh thyme in this recipe, but you can substitute with any other herbs you have – fresh or dried.
How to make it
Peel and chop your pumpkin if not using ready chopped. Toss through olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes until soft (but not mushy) and starting to caramelise. (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 roasted pumpkin
- the pan fried chorizo
- crumbled feta cheese (not too much!)
- 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 salad. (photo 12)
- There’s no ‘rule’ about how big the pumpkin chunks should be. Sometimes I cut the chunks fairly big, other times much smaller. The salad is delicious either way!
- Don’t overdo it with either the chorizo or the feta cheese. Both of these flavours are quite punchy, so you only really need a bit of each.
- Equally, don’t be tempted to skip toasting the pine nuts. This step definitely adds something!
- 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 people can help themselves to more vinaigrette if they want to.
- If you’re feeling extra lazy, try to find ready roasted pine nuts, and ready chopped pumpkin.
- You can easily sub the pumpkin for butternut squash if you like. Sweet potato works well too!
How do you make the 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 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
Most other recipes for balsamic vinaigrette are much more complicated than this, with mustard, garlic, herbs, salt & pepper etc. Nothing wrong with adding these things of course, but I think this particular salad recipe is flavourful enough and doesn’t need any added extras!
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!).
I also like to add a bit of Greek yoghurt on the side, but that’s because I’m addicted to Greek yoghurt. It’s purely optional!
If you wanted to make this into a more filling meal, I think it would also go really well with any kind of meat how about barbecued? Or try these simple baked chicken thighs!
More things to know (recipe FAQ)
I really like to serve this salad warm – or at least with warm, just-roasted pumpkin and hot cooked chorizo. However… it will still taste very good if served cold.
So it’s really up to you. 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. Hint: roasted pumpkin and cooked chorizo will be fine in the fridge for up to 5 days!
Alternatively you can cook all the elements and pop them in the fridge. 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!).
Here in Australia Kent and Jap pumpkin are common types. But honestly… you can use any kind of pumpkin in this recipe. Butternut squash and even sweet potato both work well, too.
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)
- Blueberry spinach salad (with bacon and avocado) (You won’t believe how delicious it is with its incredible blueberry dressing)
- Mediterranean penne pasta salad (a perfect side dish or take-along party dish)
Or take a look at all of my yummy salads!
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Amazing Roast Pumpkin, Chorizo And Feta Salad
Equipment (affiliate links)
Ingredients (UK/Australia? Click below for grams/ml)
For the salad
- 17 ounces pumkin deseeded, peeled and chopped into chunks – amount doesn't have to be exact.
- 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 yoghurt
- 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 pumkin, 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 pumkin, 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 yoghurt (if you like).toasted fresh bread drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, Greek yoghurt