Pangea Nutrition Blog

Mediterranean Diet Recipe: Walnut Arugula Salad with Butternut Squash and Cranberries

Walnuts are a key part of the Mediterranean diet, which has been shown in research studies to lower the risk of health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and dementia.

What have studies shown about the health benefits of walnuts?

In the major PREDIMED study in Spain of nearly 7,500 people, a Mediterranean diet including nuts, primarily walnuts, showed a 30% lower risk of heart diseases (including heart attacks and stroke).

Specifically, researchers saw a lower risk of stroke by 46 percent when compared to a traditional low-fat diet.

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[Image credit:]

Healthcare professionals recommend eating nuts, especially walnuts, three or more times per week. They make a great snack, and their texture and flavor are also perfect for adding to your meals or salads!

Try Pangea Nutrition's fun and easy recipe to start adding walnuts and the Mediterranean diet into your busy schedule.

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Walnut Arugula Salad with Butternut Squash and Cranberries

Serves: 2

Active time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 6 oz of butternut squash, cubed
  • 2.5 oz arugula
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts
  • 1 green apple, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1/4 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper


1. Prepare the Butternut Squash: 

  • Preheat the oven at 400°F.
  • In a large bowl, toss cubed butternut squash with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/8 tsp pepper.
  • Spread the seasoned butternut squash on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper (in one layer) and roast in the preheated oven for 38-40 minutes.  

2. Make the Balsamic Vinaigrette 

  • Combine 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1/4 tsp honey, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper. Then whisk in 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.

3. Prepare the Salad

  • Rinse and cut a green apple into bite sized pieces.   
  • In a mixing bowl add 2.5 oz of arugula, 2 tablespoons dried cranberries, 2 tablespoons walnuts and the sliced  green apple.

4. Serve and enjoy!

  • Once the butternut squash is cooked, in a large bowl mix the arugula salad with the butternut squash and balsamic vinaigrette.  Divide into two plates and enjoy!



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Posted by Jason Paruthi, MD