Autumn Glow Salad with Lemon Dressing

Autumn glow salad in a bowl.

Dear diary, I’m in love with a salad.

A non-green salad. That’s right – it has no greens and I’m finding that refreshing. But, like, the opposite of refreshing. Comforting? Like a big warm hug that radiates deliciously roasty glow-power straight into me. That kind of refreshing.

It’s got sweet potato, crispy apple, roasted cauliflower, fresh parsley, grains of choice (fully support flexibility here), autumn-y spices, and an appropriate zippy lemon dressing that brings everything together in a big and happy way.

Autumn glow salad in a bowl before tossing.

You know those days that you just can’t… it’s not even… someone just please?… ugh.

That is the time for this salad.

Sometimes you’re just in a rut and you need to boost yourself out, and in that moment it all comes back to the Autumn Glow Salad.

You don’t have to love it – we could still be friends. But why wouldn’t you love this non-green, citrusy, grainy, satisfying and earthy-in-a-good way salad? This is the salad for salad and non-salad people alike. It’s the salad for the person who just likes good food.

Autumn Glow Salad in a bowl with a fork.
Rice cooker for autumn glow salad.
Making dressing in jar for autumn glow salad.

And since it has that magical “glow salad” thing going on, this salad might say to you: hey, let’s get some proper nutrition after a week of poor (read: delicious but bad) eating. Let’s slow down, let’s set you back on your feet, let’s give you a little boost of glow power for an otherwise kinda gloomy day. Or week. Or whatever you’re working with.

Also – not saying you HAVE to, but it does have some awesome Thanksgiving vibes going on. Sweet potatoes, roasted cauli, apples, grains, warming spices, and lemony dressing? I can basically hear Silver Bells playing somewhere out there.

Autumn glow salad in bowl with spoon.

How To Make Our Autumn Glow Salad (1 MIN):

Quinoa with veggies in a bowl.

Autumn Glow Salad with Lemon Dressing

  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 as a meal, 8-10 as a side


Autumn Glow Salad with Lemon Dressing – a MUST for healthy, glowy eating! Roasted cauliflower, sweet potato, grains, and apples. Vegetarian and vegan.



For the Salad

  • 1 cup freekeh or other grain (quinoa, bulgur, etc.)
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • a sprinkle of dried spices that you like, or a few sprigs of thyme, rosemary, etc.
  • 1 large apple

For the Lemon Dressing

  • 1 bunch parsley (about 1 cup), minced
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • juice of one lemon (more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon agave (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste


  1. Rinse the grains and place in a rice cooker with the appropriate amount of broth or water (refer to package directions – it depends on the grain). Set on the white rice setting and prep the other stuff while it cooks.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Chop the cauliflower into small florets. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add a few sprigs of thyme or other dried spices if you have some that you like. Roast for 20 minutes, stir, and roast for another 10-15 minutes. When they are golden brown and soft, remove from oven and set aside.
  3. While the veggies are roasting, combine all dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight lid and shake to combine. Chop the apple and set aside.
  4. When the grains and vegetables are done, toss everything together. This can be done when everything is hot or when it’s cooled, although the texture will be different (heavier) when hot. Store leftovers separately (salad and dressing) if possible.


If you want some crunch, add a few handfuls of chopped nuts like cashews or pecans.

Nutrition facts are for 6 servings.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Roast
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: autumn salad, fall salad, thanksgiving salad

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One More Thing!

This recipe is part of our collection of best healthy sweet potato recipes. Check it out!

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