Roasted Butternut Squash & Quinoa Salad

This salad is savory, healthy and delicious! It’s nutrient dense, gluten-free, grain-free, low-fat, satisfying and will keep you feeling your best! Making it a perfect salad for a light lunch or dinner.

This particular recipe combines roasted butternut squash, quinoa, dried cranberries, kale and pine nuts.  

You’ll definitely want to bookmark this Roasted Butternut Squash & Quinoa Salad for the next autumn get-together. It’s a pretty, festive main or side dish for the table and I know your family and friends will love it!

This recipe is very simple and can switched up easily to suit your taste. 

Here is everything you will need, including a few ingredient variations:

Quinoa – My favorite grain, well technically it’s a seed, of all time! Quinoa is good for you, naturally gluten-free, contains a good amount of protein and has a ton of fiber (which does wonders for my digestive tract).

Butternut Squash – Use a squash that’s about 2 lbs., a small squash will be perfect if just eyeing it. Alternatively, to save time, use pre-cut squash which most grocery stores carry.

Cranberries – This dish calls for dried cranberries that will be added to the quinoa, this will warm and soften them.

Pine Nuts – When roasting pine nuts, be careful as they burn easily. Although my favorite are pine nuts, you can substitute pine nuts for pecans or walnuts if you prefer.

Baby Kale – Baby kale is soft and tender, unlike its full-grown version. You can use regular kale instead, just chop it up and put it in a large bowl with a big squeeze of orange or lemon juice to soften for about 10 minutes, tossing well a few times. You can also use baby spinach or regular spinach that’s been chopped. Even arugula or 50/50 spring mix will work well.

How to make Roasted Butternut Squash & quinoa Salad:

Here’s a quick look at the process of making this roasted butternut squash quinoa salad. You can find the full printable recipe at the bottom of this post.

Roast Pine Nuts. Spread pine nuts into a single layer on a rimmed sheet pan and roast at 350 degrees in an oven or toaster oven for 6-8 minutes.

Roast the butternut squash. In a bowl, toss the cubed butternut squash with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, stirring once half way through.

Prepare The Quinoa. In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add the onion, and cook until softened and translucent. Add the kale and let cook for another minute or two, or until slightly wilted. Add the quinoa, salt and pepper, and water. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Let cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Taste, and adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper if necessary.

Assemble the Salad. When the squash is finished roasting, transfer them into the quinoa and stir in the pine nuts and cranberries.

Note:

Another one of my favorite ways to serve this is stuffed into acorn squash. They’re just the right size and shape, and offer the perfect filling-to-squash ratio.

All you have to do is omit the cubed butter nut squash and instead, slice each acorn squash lengthwise down the middle. Scoop out the seeds and place the squash cut-side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Season and cook at the same temperature and for the same time as the butternut squash. Follow all other steps the same way. Once squash is done, spoon into center of each acorn squash and serve hot. For full Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe, click HERE.

And that’s it, easy as can be! A healthy and delicious butternut squash quinoa salad for everyone to enjoy. And trust me, they will!

If you try this butternut squash and quinoa salad recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

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Autumn Roasted Butternut Squash & quinoa Salad


  • Author: Shamila Sobers
  • Total Time: 1 hour & 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x

Description

This salad is savory, healthy and delicious! It’s filled with fall flavors and great for a side or healthy lunch!


Ingredients

Scale

For Squash:

  • 13 ounce package butternut squash, cubed (or 2 pound whole squash, cubed)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For Quinoa:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ small yellow onion, diced
  • ¾ cup quinoa
  • 1½ cups water (or low sodium vegetable broth)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups loosely packed chopped kale leaves
  • 1/3 cup roasted pine nuts
  • ¼½ cup dried cranberries, to taste

Instructions

  1. Spread pine nuts into a single layer on a rimmed sheet pan and roast at 350 degrees in an oven or toaster oven for 6-8 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on them as they burn easily. Remove and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, toss the cubed butternut squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, stirring once half way through.
  3. While the squash is roasting, in a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add the onion, and cook until softened and translucent. Add the kale and let cook for another minute or two, or until slightly wilted. Add the quinoa, salt and pepper, and water. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Let cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Taste, and adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper if necessary.
  4. When the squash is finished roasting, transfer them into the quinoa and stir in the pine nuts and cranberries. Serve warm or cold.

Notes

Another one of my favorite ways to serve this is stuffed into acorn squash. They’re just the right size and shape, and offer the perfect filling-to-squash ratio.

All you have to do is omit the cubed butter nut squash and instead, slice each acorn squash lengthwise down the middle. Scoop out the seeds and place the squash cut-side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Season and cook at the same temperature and for the same time as the butternut squash. Follow all other steps the same way. Once squash is done, spoon into center of each acorn squash and serve hot.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour

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November 2, 2021

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