Thanksgiving Roasted Vegetable Salad Recipe

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A great Thanksgiving roasted vegetable salad highlighting the best of fall produce. Roasted butternut squash, beets and Brussels sprouts are piled up high on a bed of nutritious heirloom black rice dressed in a citrusy blood orange vinaigrette! 

Autumn Salad with Black rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, Beets and Brussel Sprouts

| Food style by: Florentina | Food Photo by: |

Roasted Vegetable Salad

Great Thanksgiving sides are pure gold. Not that there’s anything wrong with a dairy-free green bean casserole but If I were to choose one show stopping fall dish that is perfectly balanced on the sweet, savory and citrusy spectrum, it would be this Italian roasted vegetable salad! The earthiness of the heirloom black rice stands up beautifully to the textures of the roasted vegetables and the zesty vinaigrette. Served hot or cold, this autumn salad is not to be missed!

There’s still room to build on the concept and make it your own with the addition of some of these balsamic roasted figs, crispy roasted broccoli or heirloom rainbow carrots. The trick is in timing everything just right so the veggies are al done at about the same time.

Autumn Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash Dressed in a Citrus Blood Orange Vinaigrette

The Citrus Vinaigrette

The vinaigrette is simple but divine! This is the time of year when I pull out my special bottle of blood orange olive oil. I first season the cooked plain rice with just a drizzle then shake up my vinaigrette to pour all over the salad. It’s just infused olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice with just a pinch of salt. It’s perfect, but if you fancy a touch of dijon that won’t hurt, or you can be a little extra with a couple of teaspoons of poppy seeds.

Fall Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash Dressed in a Citrus Blood Orange Vinaigrette

About the Black Rice

I’m really fond of this heirloom whole grain rice. It cooks beautifully adding both texture and nuttiness to your dish. Make sure to rinse it well before cooking to obtain a nice fluffy separation of the grains. Alternatively a wild rice mix could be used with mild variations in the flavor profile, I just really love the color contrast between the black grains and the colorful veggies. In lieu of rice, black Puy lentils and even quinoa would make a great protein packed canvas here. Go wild!

Make Ahead Tips

Since this salad is absolutely delicious served hot or cold it can be made a head and the components stored individually. The vegetables could be reheated and crisped up again at 450″F for 5 minutes or so. The recipe could simply be brought to room temperature or heated through in a skillet or microwave oven.

Thanksgiving Recipes

Autumn Salad Recipe with Butternut Squash, Roasted Red Beets & Brussels Sprouts



Thanksgiving Roasted Vegetable Salad
4.93 from 13 votes

Thanksgiving Roasted Vegetable Salad

A great Thanksgiving roasted vegetable salad highlighting the best of fall produce. Roasted butternut squash, beets and Brussels sprouts are piled up high on a bed of heirloom black rice dressed in a citrusy blood orange vinaigrette! 
Print Recipe
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:1 hour
Total Time:1 hour 20 minutes


  • 1 butternut squash (medium size)
  • 1 lb brussel sprouts (trimmed + halved lengthwise)
  • 2 red beets (medium size)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp sea salt + more to taste
  • 1 orange zested
  • 3 sprigs fresh basil for garnish
  • 2 tbsp edible flowers (optional for garnish)

Black Rice

  • 1.5 cups black rice
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 leaf bay
  • 2 strips orange peel

Blood Orange Vinaigrette


  • Roast the Beets: Preheat your oven to 400”F with a large cast iron skillet on the bottom rack. Rinse and scrub the beets well and wrap them loosely in aluminum foil, making sure to leave a little opening for the steam to escape. Place them on a rimmed tray in the preheated oven for 45 mins to 1 hour until softened. When cool enough to handle peel the skin off of the beets and cut them into small squares. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use. (Note - the beets can be roasted in advance or replaced with store-bought roasted beets)
    2 red beets
  • Roast the Butternut Squash - Peel the butternut and discard the seeds. Cut it in into 1 inch cubes and transfer to a large baking sheet. Drizzle with a lug of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Spread them on the baking sheets preferably without touching each other. Roast in the preheated 400"F oven for about 35 to 45 minutes until soft and it starts to caramelize around the edges.
    1 butternut squash, 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Brussel Sprouts - Meanwhile rinse and dry the sprouts and trim the ends. Half them lengthwise and transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil and a good pinch of sea salt. Toss to coat and carefully transfer them to the preheated cast iron skillet you have in the oven. Do your best to have them cut side down for a nice golden brown sear. After about 15 minutes in the oven give them a gentle toss so they brown all over. Cook another 10 minutes or so until done to your liking. If your timing is right both the squash + the sprouts should be done at about the same time.
    1 lb brussel sprouts

Make the Rice

  • Combine the black rice, water, orange peel, sea salt and bay leaf in a medium size pot ( I used an 8-inch wide pot). Bring to a simmer and cover with a tight lid. Cook for 30 to 35 minutes until all water has been absorbed. Remove the pot from heat and allow it to sit tightly covered for 10 to 15 minutes, the rice will finish cooking in its own steam.
    1.5 cups black rice, 2.5 cups water, 1 leaf bay, 1 pinch sea salt, 2 strips orange peel
  • Transfer the cooked rice to a mixing bowl and discard the bay and orange peel. Drizzle with a couple of teaspoons of the blood orange olive oil and squeeze half of the orange over the top. Fluff with a fork. Transfer the rice to a large serving tray and top with the roasted butternut squash, red beets and Brussel sprouts.

Make the Blood Orange Citrus Vinaigrette

  • In a small jar combine 3 tablespoons of blood orange olive oil, the lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt. Shake to combine, taste and adjust seasonings with more lemon or salt until you are happy.
    4 tbsp blood orange olive oil, 2 tsp lemon juice, 1 pinch sea salt
  • Drizzle the blood orange vinaigrette all over the black rice and roasted vegetable salad. Garnish with the fresh basil, orange zest and edible flowers.
    1 orange, 3 sprigs fresh basil, 2 tbsp edible flowers


Calories: 428kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Sodium: 836mg | Potassium: 980mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 14067IU | Vitamin C: 106mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Sides
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: roasted vegetable salad
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 428kcal
Author: Florentina

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  1. 5 stars
    I made this salad for dinner guests last night and LOVED it. It was a little labor intensive and the blood orange olive oil wasn’t easy to find, but the result was spectacular in both beauty and taste. I will make this again for Thanksgiving.
    The only black rice I could find was a precooked pouch in the natural foods aisle, but I just added some orange zest to that and it did the trick. I literally ordered the olive oil from Amazon on Sunday afternoon and it was delivered the next morning. I questioned spending the $ on it, but it was worth it!

  2. Wow, this looks so amazingly great! I just put the ingredients on my shopping list and will make it ASAP! I can’t wait to bring it to work for a healthy lunch! Thank you!

  3. This was awesome! I didn’t have blood orange olive oil but I did have a blood orange! I added blood orange zest to the rice. Also, zest and juice to the the vinaigrette. Loved it.

  4. When and where does the orange zest get used? The peel goes with the rice but I’m not sure where the zest gets used.

  5. 5 stars
    Hi! I made this for dinner and I’m excited to try it! I used brown rice because that’s what I had, but I went on a hunt for the blood orange olive oil. 🙂 I haven’t read all the comments but the recipe didn’t say what to do with the orange zest and it was a little confusing how the veggies were supposed to be cooked (one at a time or at the same time/successively). I ended up putting the beets in first and putting a pan on another rack for the other veggies. I cooked the squash for 20 minutes and then added the Brussels sprouts so those cooked well on the same pan.


  6. 5 stars
    Where, oh where can I find blood orange olive oil??? I’m in rural Pennsylvania and we have virgin and extra virgin olive oil… I can’t wait to make this!

    1. Hi Lisa, I bet you can do a google search and order it online or even amazon. I usually find it at Whole Foods but honestly you could infuse some olive oil overnight with orange peels as well. Beats not using it at all.

  7. 5 stars
    Congratulations on your new baby! We have a bouncing puppy too. Chaos! but so much fun now that he’s better. Enjoy your new baby! I LOVE this side dish. It includes some of my very favorite ingredients! I am a fan of black rice and squash. I love how you put this recipe together and the photography is stunning!

    1. Oh boy, I can’t wait to get a full hour to go through photos and write captions. So far Nala’s been to Costco and Trader Joe’s , all in one day, what can i say this is L.A. and we love it teeheehee