Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

Jennie Phaneuf | One Sweet Mess
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This Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad makes a great Thanksgiving side dish or healthy lunch option. This dish is naturally gluten-free and vegetarian.

Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad Photo

Fluffy quinoa gets a fall makeover! This roasted butternut squash quinoa salad is full of every fall ingredient I could get my hands on.

I love cooking with quinoa. Not only is it good for you--being a complex carb and all--but I find that it's much easier to prepare than regular long-grain rice. Here's the sad truth: I had to invest in a rice cooker.

Every time I try to make rice on the stovetop, it ends up mushy in a pool of liquid, with the exception of this cranberry orange rice pilaf--the rice gods had my back with that day.

Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad Image

I've tried every trick in the book and followed every bit of advice from friends and family, but my rice skills refused to improve. So, I bought a rice cooker. Now life is one giant peach!

With quinoa, I don't have to travel to the depths of the basement pantry to dig out my rice cooker. I just rinse it, toast it, and simmer until light and fluffy. It turns out great every. single. time. Good-bye rice. Hello, quinoa!

Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad Picture

I loaded this quinoa salad with every fall ingredient at my disposal. I even added a little something special: pomegranate seeds. I worked very hard to remove the pomegranate arils from my pomegranate, like, too hard. I tried breaking it apart, plucking out each individual pomegranate--which resulted in a ruined shirt and splattered walls--and beating the pomegranate in order to loosen the arils, but nothing worked.

Yes, they're POM Wonderful, but they're also a big POM pain in the booty. My suggestion: by the pre-seeded package of pomegranate seeds. Problem solved!

This quinoa salad screams fall! And, it just so happens to be gluten-free—again, thank you, quinoa—and vegetarian. The roasted butternut squash gets folded into the fluffy quinoa with the addition of dried cranberries, roasted pumpkin seeds, fresh parsley, scallions, and salty feta cheese.

I couldn't stop scooping forkfuls of this salad right into my face. If you love quinoa and fall squash, I highly recommend this sausage & quinoa stuffed acorn squash.

Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad Pic

Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad Recipe

    6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 small Butternut Squash, About 3 cups, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock, Or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/3 cup Chopped Italian Parsley
  • 1/3 cup Thinly Sliced Scallions
  • 1/2 cup Roasted Salted Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Feta Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Pomegranate Seeds
  • salt and pepper
  • Pomegranate Molasses

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the butternut squash on the baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Heat the remaining olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the quinoa to the pan and toast for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the chicken or vegetable stock and a generous pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Turn down the heat to low and cover the pan; cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid. Take the pan off the heat and allow the quinoa to rest for 5 minutes covered. Fluff with a fork.
  4. Transfer the quinoa to a large serving bowl. Gently fold in butternut squash, cranberries, parsley, scallions, pumpkin seeds, feta cheese, and pomegranate seeds. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the mixture with the pomegranate molasses. 

Notes

  • If you can’t find pomegranate molasses at your local grocery store, you can substitute balsamic glaze.
  • If you’re not planning on serving the salad immediately, refrain from adding the molasses and transfer the mixture to an airtight container. The salad will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 2 days.

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Jennie Phaneuf

About Jennie

Jennie is in love with all things baking. That's why we're so glad this One Sweet Mess decided to be fanatical about it here too.