Photo of Roasted acorn squash, onion, and lentil salad by WW

Roasted acorn squash, onion, and lentil salad

Total Time
1 hr 10 min
25 min
45 min
This Northern Italian-inspired appetizer requires a little bit of coordination, but the wonderful flavors that result are more than worth the effort. This is a showstopper of a first course that you can serve at any dinner party. It features roasted acorn squash and cipollini onions that are topped with green lentils that have been mixed with fresh herbs, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. It's the autumnal veggie dish our dreams are made of. If you can’t find cipollini onions, you can use fresh or frozen pearl onions instead. If you use frozen onions though, it might change the texture of the dish.


Cooking spray

4 spray(s), divided

Uncooked acorn squash

1 medium, washed


¼ pound(s), cipollini, unpeeled

Dried lentils

¼ cup(s), green variety

Fresh parsley

3 Tbsp, or mint, fresh, finely minced

Olive oil

1 Tbsp

Kosher salt

½ tsp

Black pepper

¼ tsp

Balsamic vinegar

3 Tbsp, aged-variety, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Slice squash in half across its “equator” and scrape out seeds and membranes; place each half on prepared baking sheet, cut-side down. Arrange onions around squash and generously coat with cooking spray. Roast until squash is fork-tender, turning onions once during roasting, about 40 to 45 minutes.
  3. While squash is roasting, soak lentils in cold water for about 30 minutes (water should come 2-inches above lentils); drain and rinse. Add 4 cups of cold water to a saucepan; add lentils and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes; drain lentils and rinse with cold water.
  4. In a medium-size stainless steel bowl, whisk mint or parsley with oil, salt, pepper and 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar until fully blended; add lentils and toss to coat.
  5. When squash is cooked, cut each half in half again. Peel onions.
  6. To serve, divide squash, skin side-down, among 4 small plates; scatter onions around squash. Top squash with lentils; drizzle with remaining vinegar and sprinkle with salt, if desired. Yields about 1/4 of squash, 1/4 cup of onions, 3 tablespoons lentil salad and 1 teaspoon vinegar per serving.