Pumpkin and Walnut Salad

By Published On: 17 Mar '21Last Updated: 14 Apr '24

This Pumpkin and Walnut Salad with a creamy dressing of walnuts, parsley and mayonnaise makes a delicious summer lunch.

Pumpkin and Walnut Salad

I can almost hear some of you whispering 'pumpkin is dull and boring'!!

I used to think the same way about pumpkin. Little did I know that the sweetness of the pumpkin intensifies during cooking and tastes totally delicious. I use it in curries, for a mash, in soups, roast it, add it to my salads either roasted or microwaved, add it pureed into my pasta or from time to time make a beautiful pumpkin risotto. Here’s a healthy salad recipe that makes pumpkin a hero and you will never see pumpkin as a boring vegetable from here on. Imagine morsels of cold sweet pumpkin soaked in mayonnaise in your mouth on a hot summer’s day when you get back from work and all you want is a cold salad straight out of the fridge. Have I inspired you just a little?

One more good reason to eat this orange squash is that, this squash/pumpkin is rich in Vitamin A and half a cup of mashed or cubed cooked pumpkin has about half a day’s vitamin A needs. Have I now inspired you to buy that pumpkin the next time you are at your local supermarket?

In this recipe, I have used butternut pumpkin because it is firm and has a sweet fresh flavour. Kent pumpkin is another type of pumpkin that can be used for this recipe. If you are unable to buy either the butternut or Kent pumpkin, you may use any sweet pumpkin with flesh that stays firm when cooked. Since we are microwaving the pumpkin in this recipe, we need a pumpkin that holds its shape during and after cooking.

Pumpkin and Walnut salad

Catherine Lavina Mendonsa
In this salad, pumpkin is first microwaved to cook to a firm texture and then combined with a creamy dressing made up of walnuts, parsley and mayonnaise for a tasty and quick summer salad. This salad also makes a good lunch alternative while working from home or at the office. Always serve chilled for that ultimate salad experience even multiple times a week. It is one of the great ways of enjoying pumpkin.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 42 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Australian
Servings 2


  • 600 g butternut pumpkin
  • 3-4 tbsp. water
  • Salt to sprinkle
  • ½ - ¾ cup walnuts roughly chopped and toasted
  • 5 shallots chopped
  • 3 tbsp. parsley finely chopped plus 1 tbsp. extra for garnish
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¾ - 1 cup mayonnaise or to taste


  • Peel pumpkin and scoop out seeds and stringy bits. Cut pumpkin into uniform cubes and place in a single layer in a rectangular microwave safe dish with a lid. Sprinkle 3-4 tbsp. water. Lightly sprinkle some salt. Pop the lid and cook in the microwave for 5 minutes on medium. Remove from microwave and move pumpkin around. Cook for a further 1 minute. Pumpkin should be firm to the touch. (**)
  • Drain excess water and place pumpkin in a glass bowl. Place it in the fridge and chill till you prepare the dressing. This stops the pumpkin from getting overcooked.
  • In a bowl, combine walnuts, shallots, parsley, nutmeg, salt, pepper and mayonnaise.
  • Fold the walnut mixture gently into the pumpkin. Chill until ready to serve. Garnish with reserved parsley just before serving.
  • Best served chilled as a satisfying salad on its own or with roasts


  1. (**) I have a 1100 watts microwave oven and it took 6 minutes on medium. Microwave ovens vary therefore, if your pumpkin is not cooked evenly within 6 minutes, please cook it for a further minute or two or until it is cooked but firm to touch.
  2. You may sprinkle some chilli powder for a chilli kick and a light sprinkle of amchur powder.
  3. This salad tastes great if chilled for 2 to 3 hours as the pumpkin absorbs the flavours.
Keyword Pumpkin Salad, Salad, Side salad, Summer Salad
Lavina with Deliciously Indian

Hi, I’m Catherine!

I’m all about creating tasty Indian dishes with whatever’s on hand, even when I’m short on time or budget. I love turning simple ingredients into flavorful delights. Join me on this culinary adventure where we’ll explore the magic of Indian cuisine, one delicious dish at a time!

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