Roasted butternut squash quinoa salad is the quintessential fall salad, and also makes a perfect Thanksgiving side dish!
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 that day.
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!
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 in the booty. My suggestion: by the pre-seeded package of pomegranate seeds. Problem solved!
Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad Ingredients
- Butternut squash - Peel and chop into cubes roughly 1/2" in size before roasting
- Olive oil - Oil is drizzled over the squash and used to toast the quinoa
- Quinoa - Delicious, hearty quinoa is the star of this salad
- Chicken or veggie stock - Opt for the vegetable stock to make this dish truly vegetarian
- Dried cranberries - Don't love cranberris? Try golden raisins or dried cherries instead!
- Chopped parsley - Fresh parsley is best, but used dried if that's all you can find
- Scallions - The mild onion flavor of scallions perfectly balance this dish
- Pumpkin seeds - Save and clean them when carving pumpkins or find them at the grocery store in the nuts/seeds section
- Feta cheese- Feta lends a brightness and just a tiny hint of tartness to this salad
- Pomegranate seeds - To save time, buy pomegranate seeds separately at the grocey store
- Salt and pepper - To season the final dish
- Pomegrante molasses - You can make pomegrante molasses homemade or find it at the grocery store
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 also highly recommend this sausage & quinoa stuffed acorn squash.
How to Make Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad
- Place peeled and chopped butternut squash on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet, then add the quinoa and toast.
- Add vegetable stock, bring to a boil then simmer, covered for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove quinoa from the heat, keep covered for another 5 minutes. Then fluff with a fork.
- Transfer quinoa to a large bowl. Fold in roasted squash, cranberries, parsley, scallions, pumpkin seeds, feta cheese, and pomegrante seeds.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with pomegrante molasses.
What to Serve with Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad
This quinoa salad is hearty enough and packed with enough wholesome nutrition to stand as a meal on its own. Or you can serve it as a dinner side dish or add it to your Thanksgiving menu. Here are a few pairing suggestions:
- Slow cooker meatloaf
- Slow cooker turkey breast
- Instant Pot turkey with mushroom gravy
- Dutch oven roast chicken with lemon
- Roasted tahini maple sweet potatoes
- Instant Pot pork tenderloin
Planning a dinner party and need some inspiration?
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