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Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

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Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad combines roasted butternut squash, quinoa, green onions, shaved almonds, Craisins, and a simple Honey Dijon Dressing. This healthy fall recipe can be served warm or cold, and makes a perfect special occasion side dish!

Welcome to fabulous fall eating. With a simple butternut squash, you can do so many delicious things, like make my Butternut Squash Lasagna with Spinach or a simple Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta!

A bowl of the quinoa salad with salad tongs.

Fall Quinoa Salad

So much has changed around here since I started this blog three years ago. Our salad options used to be pretty stagnant, rotating between a simple green salad with onions, carrots, and maybe some hard boiled eggs – to a wedge salad – both using store-bought dressings.

Now? Oh man, I love to shake up our salad scene. Combining roasted veggies and quinoa, kale with apples, spinach with the works – those are salads that speak to me. When you eat salads with wholesome ingredients, interesting dressings, with some crunch on top – you learn to love trying all the salad-y things. Before you know it, you look forward to eating healthy salads, and that my friends, is pure excellence!

Overhead shot of a bowl of butternut squash quinoa salad with wooden spoons.

Salad Ingredients Used

This delicious salad requires healthy and tasty ingredients, and most can be kept on-hand in your pantry.

  • Butternut Squash – One medium squash is needed, and you can keep it safely on your countertop for quite a while before using it. Peel, chop, and roast in the oven for an amazing flavor!
  • Olive Oil, S&P – These ingredients are used to roast the squash in the oven. You can also add a sweetener, like honey or pure maple syrup, for added sweetness.
  • Quinoa – I like to use either regular or tri-color quinoa for this recipe. This super-food is high in protein and fiber, and will keep you feeling full for hours! It took me awhile to acquire a taste for the texture, but I’ve learned to love it and can’t get enough now.
  • Chicken Broth – Use a lower sodium version to control the salt. I’m a fan of cooking all rice and quinoa in chicken broth because it’s a huge flavor booster.
  • Onion – Green onions for the win! However, if red onions are more your thing, feel free to use them instead.
  • Craisins – I’m a fan of lower sugar dried cranberries, if you can find them in your store.
  • Almonds – Use shaved or slivered almonds, and toast them for maximum flavor! Store these nuts in the freezer if you’re buying in bulk.

Honey Dijon Dressing Ingredients:

This is the same dressing combo I use in both my Healthy Broccoli Salad and my Kale and Quinoa Salad. It’s sweet and tangy, and pairs wonderfully with the squash and quinoa in this fall salad!

  • Olive Oil
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Honey
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Red pepper flakes
  • S&P

How to make Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad:

  1. Roast the squash. Chop off the ends of the butternut squash and peel the entire thing. Then chop into sections, and then bite-sized chunks. Spread the chunks on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil, (and maple syrup or brown sugar, if desired) salt, and pepper. Roast in a 400 degree preheated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until fork tender. Remove to slightly cool.
  2. Make the quinoa. Follow the package directions, but use chicken broth instead of water, to cook the quinoa. I use my instant pot, and combine chicken broth and quinoa, pressure cook for one minute, and natural release for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  3. Mix the squash and quinoa. Combine the warm squash and quinoa in a serving bowl.
  4. Make the dressing. Mix all ingredients in a mason jar, and shake well. Drizzle some of the dressing over the slightly warm squash and quinoa.
  5. Prep the add-ins. Toast the almonds until fragrant. Chop onions. Then add the almonds, onions, and dried cranberries to the bowl with the squash and quinoa. Stir, and add additional dressing.
  6. Serve warm or cold.
A bowl of the quinoa and toppings by ingredient.

Make Ahead and Storage Tips

  • To Make Ahead: If prepping this recipe for a holiday, go ahead and prep a day in advance. Save a little extra dressing to add right before meal-time.
  • For Meal Prep: You can make this on a Sunday night and divide it into separate lunch containers. Add a little extra dressing to the top right before eating, if you’d like!
  • To Store: This salad will last in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
A bowl of the salad with a jar of the dressing beside it.

Other delicious quinoa recipes to try next:

Go ahead and up your salad game with this variety! Go on, get adventurous!

Or for other holiday salads, try my Loaded Fall Harvest Salad with Balsamic Dressing or my Candied Pecan and Apple Holiday Salad. These are always HUGE hits during the fall holidays!

Side view of a bowl of the quinoa salad with a hand pouring the dressing.

Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)

Please let me know if you try this recipe. Be sure to comment and leave a review on the blog so I can see what you think. You can also like my Facebook Page, follow me on Pinterest, and catch me on Instagram.

xoxo ~Sue

Overhead shot of a white dish of butternut squash quinoa salad, on a gray background.

Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad combines roasted butternut squash, quinoa, green onions, shaved almonds, Craisins, and a simple Honey Dijon Dressing. This healthy fall recipe can be served warm or cold, and makes a perfect special occasion side dish!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked butternut squash, butternut squash quinoa salad, quinoa salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8 one-cup servings
Calories: 326kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 1 medium butternut squash – or about 4-5 cups
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • sweetener like maple syrup or brown sugar – optional
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
  • 1 cup tri-color quinoa – rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups lower sodium chicken broth – use less if making in the instant pot
  • 1/2 cup green onion – diced
  • 1/2 cup low-sugar Craisins
  • 1/2 cup shaved almonds – toasted

For the dressing:

  • 6 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Prepare the squash. Use a potato peeler to peel the entire squash, and cut off the ends with a knive. Then chop the sqush into bite-sized chunks, and remove the seeds. Drizzle the olive oil over the squash, (and sweetner if desired), and then sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until fork tender. Remove to cool.
  • Prepare the quinoa. Meanwhile, prepare quinoa according to package directions. I use my instant pot for this, but you can make on your stovetop too, using chicken broth instead of water. When done, fluff with a fork.
  • Make dressing. Combine all the dressing ingredients – olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, and seasonings. Shake well.
  • Combine the squash and quinoa in a bowl. Pour some of the dressing over top and stir to combine. Then add the diced onions, shaved almonds, and Craisins. Add remaining dressing and stir again.
  • Serve warm or cold.

Notes

  • To Make Ahead: If prepping this recipe for a holiday, go ahead and prep a day in advance. Save a little extra dressing to add right before meal-time.
  • For Meal Prep: You can make this on a Sunday night and divide it into separate lunch containers. Add a little extra dressing to the top right before eating, if you’d like!
  • To Store: This salad will last in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 43mg | Potassium: 553mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 10065IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 2mg

4 Comments

  1. Very yummy!!
    Kicking off fall 2020 with this salad for lunch!! I used sweet potatoes instead of squash, super yummy!!
    Another BOMB recipe!!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Ahhhh, great idea to use sweet potatoes! So glad you enjoyed it, Tiff, and happy fall!

  2. I love this recipe for lunch or when I am trying to avoid meat. Allows me to go meatless and not miss a beat!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Exactly! I love how healthy it is, but filling. 🙂

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