Suuure, soups are “on trend” for fall but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a seasonal salad, too!

Balanced, healthy salads make for a great weekday lunch, even during the cooler months.

I’m a simple gal when it comes to lunch, but that does not mean I don’t want my meals to lack texture, flavor, or nutrition. Cue this healthy & festive fall salad!

As specific ingredients come into season, I like to get creative with my usual recipes. Nearly every day, I have a big salad for lunch so this experiment made it’s way into my October-November rotation!

Over a bed of greens, I added roasted butternut squash, toasted pecans, diced green apple, goat cheese crumbles, and grilled chicken. For a kick, I whipped an easy maple mustard vinaigrette that took less than 5 minutes to create.

There are tons of ingredient swaps for this recipe:

I’d recommend not mixing your dressing into the salad until you’re about to eat it, otherwise the leaves and pecans get soggy. I’ve made this mistake when I meal prep salads and it’s gross! Trust me, it’s worth the extra step (& dishes) to store the dressing in it’s own air tight container.

Also, I live that #apartmentlife & don’t have a grill, so I bought my grilled chicken in the Publix deli section. Yep, it’s an upcharge! Next time, I’d slow cook chicken in advance, shred it, and mix it into the salad to save a few bucks.

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Grilled chicken on a bed of greens with goat cheese, diced apple, pecans, and butternut squash.

Festive Fall Salad

Serves: 2



Maple Mustard Vinaigrette:


  1. In advance, grill chicken.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 425’F. Dice butternut squash and toss in cooking oil of choice (avocado or coconut oil work best). Sprinkle salt to taste. Roast on a single layer baking sheet for 25-30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, set a skillet on a low-medium temperature burner. Add a touch of cooking spray or olive oil. Add in pecans and let toast, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Assemble remained salad ingredients.
  5. In a food processor or high-powered blender, combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients until creamy.
  6. Drizzle over salad and enjoy!

Boom! Perfect combo of macros, micros, and flavvaaaaa!!!

If you make this salad- or any variation- flaunt your healthy masterpiece on Instagram! Follow & tag us @nutrition.awareness so we can ooh & ahh at your work.

Kait Richardson is a registered dietitian nutritionist in Orlando, FL. She is a partner at a private practice, Nutrition Awareness, where she helps frustrated yo-yo dieters reach their health goals using 1:1 nutrition coaching. She is the co-host of the Nutrition Awareness Podcast.