This super easy and even more delicious recipe is the perfect salad for a light dinner or a great side dish during the holidays.

Rich in flavor, easy to assemble. I will have it on my table this upcoming Thanksgiving.

The acorn squash is an all-year-round vegetable and quite versatile as well. The outer shape is beneficial to guide you while slicing it.

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Pomegranate Seeds, Acorn Squash Arugula Salad

The arugula is the perfect balance with the pomegranate and acorn squash.

The squash and pomegranate are sweeter, and the arugula has a mustard bite, which plays a counterbalance. The pomegranate dressing binds it all together.

In this Article

What is Acorn squash?

Also called pepper squash or Des Moines squash, it is a winter squash with distinctive outer skin with longitude ridges on the exterior. A sweet yellow-orange internal flesh.

Even though it is considered a winter squash, the acorn squash belongs to the summer squash.

How to cook acorn squash?

It can be enjoyed roasted, baked, sliced, and stuffed. Excellent, any way you choose to prepare it.

The skin softens when roasted, and you can cut it thru easily with a fork to eat it. Or, of course, remove it if you prefer skin-free, as the skin will peel off easily.

Pomegranate Acorn Squash with Arugula

Is acorn squash the same as butternut squash?

The butternut has a much smoother, nutty flavor and is sweeter. They can easily replace the pumpkin due to the texture.

Although the acorn squash is sweet, the texture is more fibrous and stringy, therefore not applicable to the same recipes.

Sauteed with butter brings out the sweetness of it, and baking in the oven finishes the cooking process.

What is Pomegranate?

A Mediterranean fruit, the pomegranate is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree of the family of Lythraceae.

The juicy arils of the fruit are eaten fresh, and the juice is the source of grenadine syrup used to flavor drinks, liquors, and desserts.

High in fiber, folic acid, vitamin C and K.

I just learned to peel a pomegranate, and now I cannot stop enjoying them. Always shy away from them each time. I used to make a huge mess, squish half of them and eat even less.

Now I use the same method I would peel an orange.

Life has smiled at me, and here is a recipe filled with those gorgeous purple burgundy nuggets. Life is good.

With this recipe, you will enjoy pomegranate juice and pomegranate seeds.

One method is to squeeze the arils, and you have to extract the juice. Or buying the pressed juice, my favorite part, so you will not have to mess up your kitchen.

Pomegranate Seeds, Acorn Squash Arugula Salad

Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed

Pomegranate juice:  More on the unsweetened side,, gives a great red color to this dish, as well as enhancing the vinegar used.

Balsamic vinegar: Balsamic sweetness will balance the juice and red wine vinegar by adding another layer of flavor to your dish.

Red wine vinegar: I am very biased toward red wine French vinegar. More substantial in flavor and acidity content.

Olive oil: I enjoy and, with every recipe, use light olive oil. Sometimes the Extra virgin is too intense and changes all the flavors for me.

Unsalted butter:  Never have to worry about your dish being too over-salted, but true to the flavor,

Acorn squash: Pick your squash that has a very even dark green skin. No bruising or signs of damage.

Arugula salad: I do love the mustard taste that the arugula offers. It is a hearty salad that can withstand the dressing longer without wilting.

Pomegranate seeds: If you can buy a pomegranate and get your seeds, that would be wonderful as they will be at the peak of their freshness. Of course, grocery stores will sell them in small containers for convenience.

Pine nuts: Roasting them is, to me, a decadent culinary gift. It will take a few seconds to roast them. Just place some in a small skillet and, over medium-low heat, roast them by constantly moving them around for a minute or so.

Pomegranate Seeds, Acorn Squash Arugula Salad
A Chef Giangi Pick
Pommery Aged Red Wine Vinegar

The only vinegar I use and always have a bottle in reserve.

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Cooking tips and step-by-step to make this fantastic Pomegranate Seeds, Acorn Squash, and Arugala salad.

Super easy to make this savory acorn squash recipe.

  • I start by making the pomegranate dressing. The longer the juices sit with the vinegar, the deeper the flavor.
  • Cut the acorn squash along the indentations to create even wedges.
  • If your squash is hard, boil some water. Once it reaches the boiling point, add your squash and cook for 1 minute. Remove immediately and place under cold running water. This process will soften the outer skin.
  • Saute the slices with your butter in a large skillet. You will have to do it in batches as you do not want to overcrowd your skillet. If you use water to soften your acorn, saute each side for 3 minutes.
  • Once the wedges are golden, transfer them to a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place the cookie sheet in a hot oven and bake for about 20 minutes. All ovens are different. Therefore, make sure they do not burn or fall apart under your eyes.
  • While the wedges are roasting, prepare the toasted pine nuts.
  • Once the squash is out of the oven, mix the arugula, pomegranate seeds, and pine nuts in a large bowl. Drizzle half of the dressing and it mix well.
  • Divide the arugula between four plates. Top with the squash and more of the dressing.
Pomegranate Seeds, Acorn Squash Arugula Salad

Serving this dish at a large gathering?

Present it on a large platter by placing the arugula salad first. Placing your wedges over and drizzle the remainder of the dressing over it.

Can you make this ahead of time?

Yes, you can make it ahead of time. Prepare the acorn squash and mix it with the arugula and the pomegranate dressing when ready to serve it.

Storage and reheating instructions

Store in a glass container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

No need to reheat it. However, please bring it back to room temperature so the oil can be more enjoyable when ready to eat it.

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Pomegranate, Acorn Squash, Arugula Salad

5 from 6 votes
Pomegranate Seeds, Acorn Squash Arugula Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 people
This super easy and even more delicious recipe is the perfect salad for a light dinner or a great side dish during the holidays.

Ingredients 

POMEGRANATE DRESSING

  • 6 tablespoons pomegranate juice,
  • 1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper

ACORN SQUASH

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 acorn squash, halved, seeded and cut into wedges
  • 1 pound arugula salad
  • 1 ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, roasted

Instructions

POMEGRANATE DRESSING

  • Whisk together the pomegranate juice, vinegars, salt and pepper. Add olive oil and whisk again. Re-whisk when ready to use.

ACORN SQUASH

  • Preheat oven to 425° F
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add as many wedges as you can: you may have to do this twice to not overcrowd the skillet. Cook until brown on each side, 5 minutes.
  • Transfer squash wedges to a rimmed baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Place in the hot oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Mix arugula, pomegranate seed and pine nuts in a large bowl. Drizzle half of the dressing. Divide among plates, top with squash and some more dressing.

Nutrition

Calories: 269kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 705mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1828IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 2mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

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Originally published on October 8, 2020. Updated on November 28, 2022