Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad is hearty, healthy and delicious. It is a nice balance of sweet and savory. Quinoa is a healthy grain that is a complete protein, and very filling. It has a slightly nutty flavor. It is a perfect base for salads.
Butternut squash is roasted here to maximize the flavor. It is added to the fluffy quinoa along with dried cranberries, baby spinach, and shallots. The dressing is sweet and tangy. Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad would make a nice side dish but it hearty enough to be eaten on its own as a vegan salad for a main dish.This salad is a good recipe for meal prep. It is also a good healthy addition to your holiday meals or Thanksgiving dinner.
If you would like to try another quinoa salad recipe check out Citrus Quinoa Salad and Pomegranate Quinoa Salad which is made with pomegranate seeds. It is pretty and to serve during the holiday season or festive occasions. If you would like to try another butternut squash salad with brussels sprouts check out Roasted Butternut Brussel Sprout Salad. It is a healthy colorful salad.
SOME THINGS TO KNOW:FAQ’S
- Look for a squash that feels heavy for its size with a matte, not glossy, skin. This indicates it’s ripe and not over-matured. Read 5 Quick Tips for Choosing Winter Squash.
- Some dried cranberries can be loaded with added sugars. Look for brands that have reduced sugar or none at all.
- When choosing baby spinach look for leaves that are vibrant green without any signs of wilting or yellowing.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT NEEDED:
- Medium pot or saucepan: To cook the quinoa. A saucepan with a tight-fitting lid is ideal to ensure even cooking.
- Baking Sheet: To roast the butternut squash cubes evenly in the oven.
- Parchment Paper or Silicone Baking Mat (optional): Using these can help prevent the squash from sticking to the baking sheet and also makes cleanup easier.
- Mixing Bowls: You will need need two bowls. One larger bowl for assembling the salad and a smaller one for whisking together the dressing.
- Whisk: For combining the dressing ingredients until they emulsify and blend together.
- Spatula or Large Spoon: Useful for tossing the salad with the dressing and for transferring roasted squash from the baking sheet to the mixing bowl.
- If you cannot find rainbow quinoa at the grocery stores substitute white quinoa, red quinoa, or black quinoa.
- Butternut squash can be substituted with sweet potatoes, pumpkin, or acorn squash. They all have a similar texture when roasted and a slightly sweet taste.
- Coconut oil, avocado oil, or ghee can be used in place of olive oil. They all have high smoke points suitable for roasting.
- If you do not have a shallot substitute red onion, green onion, or white onion.
- Substitute arugula or baby kale for the baby spinach.
- Red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, or balsamic vinegar can be used in place of the apple cider vinegar.
- Substitute maple syrup or agave nectar for the honey.
- The lemon juice can be substituted with lime juice or orange juice.
- Dried cranberries can be substituted with dried cherries, golden raisins, or chopped dried apricots.
HOW TO STORE BUTTERNUT SQUASH QUINOA SALAD:
- The butternut squash quinoa salad can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.Transfer the salad to an airtight container and refrigerate.
- While it’s possible to freeze certain components, it’s generally not recommended to freeze the entire mixed salad due to the varied textures of the ingredients.
Place the butternut squash into the oven on a foil lined baking sheet. Coat it in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Add the vegetable broth and quinoa to a small saucepan. Cook for 15 minutes.
Whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey and lemon juice to create the dressing.
Place the butternut, quinoa, spinach, shallots and cranberries into a large bowl.
Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and combine well.
Butternut Squash Quinoa SaladPrint This
- 1 cup rainbow quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups butternut squash, cut into 1 inch cubes (2.5 to 3 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach, stems removed and sliced
- 1 small shallot,diced
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- salt and pepper
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
Place your cubed butternut squash on a foil lined baking sheet. Pour the tablespoon of olive oil over the squash and stir the cubes around so that they all become coated with oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes until the squash is tender and lightly brown. It’s best if you start checking the squash after 15 minutes as you do not want it to overcook and become too soft and mushy. Remove from the oven and let cool.
In a small saucepan, add the vegetable broth and quinoa. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Simmer on low for about 15-20 minutes until all of the broth is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork.
In a large bowl combine the quinoa, butternut squash, baby spinach, shallots and dried cranberries. Mix together.
In a small bowl combine the remaining olive oil, cider vinegar, lemon juice, honey and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper if desired.
Pour the dressing over the quinoa salad mixture and combine well. Serve cold or at room temperature.