What says fall better than butternut squash? Mix that together with cranberries, broccoli and orzo, with a tangy vinaigrette and you have yourself one amazing autumn salad, perfect as a holiday side dish!
I look forward to fall recipes, to use butternut squash as much as possible. My toddler loves them, even though she calls them “papas.” Sure thing little darlin’ – papas, potatoes, whatever you want to call them. As long as you eat them! She also loves roasted broccoli, cranberries and “oh-zo”, so…this dish is a slam dunk for us. The last couple of years I have made this butternut squash and cranberry pilaf for Thanksgiving, which obviously shows that I love the combo of butternut and cranberry. This year I wanted to try something a little bit different, and it turned out so well! And, it was so easy to make!
Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just a week away? I feel like I’ve been “thinking about” the upcoming holidays for awhile now, but then they just snuck up on me anyway! I am still in the final planning stages of what I will be contributing to the Thanksgiving meal, and it’s actually been difficult to narrow it down, with all of the wonderful recipes that have been shared this week, alone!
What are your favorite Thanksgiving dishes? Does your family do a traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey, or something different? We typically do traditional Thanksgiving and then change it up at Christmas – which is always fun!
I tend to gravitate more towards the “prettier” food. Meaning, food with color. I mean, I love turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, but…colorful food makes my soul happy. Anyone else feel that way??
With this dish, you get pretty and delicious. A variety of textures is also important. Oh, and it’s definitely a healthier side option that some of the traditional choices. I am all for some holiday indulgence, but some healthier options are also nice to see on the table, ya know? Besides, I’d personally rather save my indulgence for the dessert table. Just sayin’.
Whether you pair this with your Thanksgiving turkey or with a ham on Christmas, definitely consider adding this to your holiday table! And don’t forget to check out the other holiday side dishes at the bottom of the post!
Autumn Orzo Salad
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 small shallot, diced
- 2 ½ cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 tsp rubbed sage
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 ½ cups apple cider
- 1 1/2 cups orzo
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and set aside.
- Toss broccoli in a medium bowl with one tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper, to taste. Spread out on prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp.
- Meanwhile, bring water to boil in a medium size saucepan, add orzo and bring back to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 8 minutes, until orzo is al dente. Drain and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the shallot and cook for 1 minute, stirring often, until translucent. Add butternut squash, sage, cranberries, and apple cider and cook for 15 minutes or until butternut squash has softened and almost all of the apple cider has cooked down. Season with salt and pepper. Use a slotted spoon to remove all but the remaining juices to the bowl with the orzo, along with the roasted broccoli.
- In a small bowl, mix the remaining juices (about 1/4 cup) from the skillet with the 1/4 cup of olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper. Pour the sauce in the bowl with the orzo and veggies and stir or toss to mix. You can leave the dish out at room temperature until ready to serve (the longer it sits, the better the flavors will meld together) or you can refrigerate and set out about half an hour before you are ready to serve, to bring to room temperature again.
Check out all the Holiday Side Dish Recipes:
- Autumn Orzo Salad from Sweet Beginnings
- Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes from Everyday Eileen
- Company Rice from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
- Dilly Carrots from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- French Onion Pull-Apart Rolls from The Weekend Gourmet
- Grilled Mushroom Skewers from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Hasselback Sweet Potatoes from Caroline’s Cooking
- Make Ahead Turkey Gravy from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Maple Chipotle Hasselback Butternut Squash from Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
- Mashed Potatoes for a Crowd from Cookaholic Wife
- Roasted Beet and Citrus Salad from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Savory Onion and Bacon Bread Pudding from Our Good Life
- Slow Cooker Glazed Green Beans with Bacon from Tip Garden
- Sweet Corn Cake from Palatable Pastime
- Sweet Skillet Cornbread from Daily Dish Recipes
- Vegan Creamed Greens from The Baking Fairy