Spinach and Dumpling Squash Salad

Spinach and Dumpling Squash Salad

The Spruce / Anita Schecter

  • Total: 50 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 1 Serving

I like all kinds of varieties of squash, both summer, and winter, and it's in frequent dinner rotation at my house. But I remember when I first graduated from college, moved into my own apartment and began learning how to feed myself. I bought and tried lots of different foods but I will fully admit that the first time I bought a dumpling squash was because of the name. Dumpling is such a happy and delicious word. How can anything named dumpling not be good?

My highly unscientific method of squash selection didn't steer me wrong, though. Dumplings have golden yellow flesh that reminds me of the taste of roasted corn. And their typical bowl shapes make them perfect for stuffing things into. Who can resist an edible bowl?

Combining squash and salads isn't new to me since I absolutely love roasted butternut squash pieces in a salad. This recipe takes it a step further by letting you just scoop the squash with each bite of salad. It's both delicious and a totally fun presentation.


  • 1 small dumpling squash
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup cumin roasted chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons lemon tahini dressing
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • For the Cumin Roasted Chickpeas:
  • 1 can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • For the Lemon Tahini Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup sesame paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled and grated)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.

  2. Slice the top 1/4 off the squash. We find that using a large serrated knife works well.

  3. Scoop out the seeds, rub the inside with the teaspoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

  4. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until the flesh can be easily pierced with the tip of a knife.

  5. Allow to cool slightly.

  6. Make the cumin roasted chickpeas by tossing together the rinsed and drained chickpeas, olive oil, ground cumin and garlic powder in a bowl.

  7. Pour into a skillet or cast iron pan and sauté on medium high heat for a few minutes until slightly golden brown. Season with salt and pepper.

  8. Make the dressing by stirring together the sesame paste, water, lemon juice and grated garlic. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.

  9. Assemble the salad by stuffing the squash with the spinach leaves.

  10. Top with the chickpeas and feta cheese and drizzle on the lemon tahini dressing.