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Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad

Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad

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This quinoa salad is the perfect healthy lunch or dinner side combining winter's bounty and the antioxidants and health benefits of the wild blueberry. Wyman's of Maine is one of the largest growers and processors of wild blueberries in the U.S. The growing season for wild blueberries is short, but Wyman's allows you to snack on these tasty, tart and sweet berries all year by quick freezing the berries within 24 hours of harvest. The berries are as fresh as the day they were picked, traveling from farm to freezer to table.

Recipe courtesy of Wyman's of Maine


For the quinoa salad

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 Cups arugula
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1/2 Cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 Cups blueberries, such as Wyman's

For the vinaigrette

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Quinoa With Arugula, Butternut Squash, and Citrus Vinaigrette

This quinoa, arugula, and butternut squash salad with citrus vinaigrette was originally created as a festive vegetarian dish to serve at the Passover Seder. But it's so versatile -- and delicious -- that it has become a year round favorite for everything from Shabbat and holidays to casual get togethers and barbecues. It's also an ideal addition to Rosh Hashana menus -- the squash, pomegranate, and honey are all symbolic foods for a sweet new year!

Serve it as a vegetarian main dish salad, or as a side dish for meat, poultry, or fish. Pomegranate arils (seeds) make a beautiful addition, but if you can't find them, orange sections, sliced fresh peaches, or avocado would be great, too.

  • 3 cups diced peeled butternut squash (1/2-inch pieces)
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 firm ripe pear, sliced into 8 wedges
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 1 cup no-chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons pear vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced red onion
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • Minced fresh red chile to taste
  • 2 cups baby arugula

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss squash in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and crushed red pepper. Spread on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes. Stir the squash, add pear and roast until browned and tender, about 15 minutes more.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add ginger, garlic and turmeric cook until sizzling, about 1 minute. Add quinoa and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the broth is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in scallion and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and let cool.

Whisk vinegar, onion, mustard, rosemary and chile in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Stir half the dressing into the quinoa. Add the pears and squash to the bowl with the remaining dressing gently stir to coat. Let stand, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or refrigerate separately for up to 1 day.

Tips for perfect quinoa every time

Quinoa, contrary to popular belief, is a seed, not a grain. Actually, it’s a pseudo grain – it appears like a grain, but biologically speaking, it is a seed (source.) This super versatile grain-like seed grows in a variety of colors. White, red and black are the most common, but believe it or not, there are purple and orange, too!

How To Remove The Bitter Taste?

Quinoa gets a bad rep because many people complain it has a bitter taste. This is because quinoa has an outer coating that contributes to its bitter flavor. A little trick – rinse your quinoa for a few minutes under cool running water. This will remove that bitter flavor.

Are you having trouble with making your quinoa dishes taste good? If so, the two posts below might help:

How Long Does It Take To Cook Quinoa?

Note the cooking times for quinoa will vary based on the color you use. Cook the quinoa as directed below.

  • White Quinoa: 15 minutes
  • Red Quinoa: 18 minutes
  • Black Quinoa: 20 minutes

If you decide to purchase rainbow or tri-color quinoa, check for doneness at the 18-minute mark. If the grains are still a bit crunchy, add a few more minutes to the cooking time. You know the quinoa is cooked through when you can see little curled “tails” emerge from the tiny seeds.

How To Cook Quinoa?

The grain to liquid ratio is 1:2, but I cook mine in a ratio of 1:1 ¾ for a fluffier end result. Toasting the quinoa over medium heat in 1 Tablespoon oil for 1-2 minutes prior to adding the liquid brings out more of its nutty, savory flavor.

As soon as the liquid comes up to a boil, season with ½ teaspoon Kosher salt for every 1 cup liquid, reduce to simmer and cover. Cook according to the times above.

PRO TIP: As soon as the quinoa is fully cooked, spread the grains out on a large rimmed baking sheet to cool completely. This prevents the quinoa from overcooking and produces the fluffiest grains possible.

One Pot Quinoa with Butternut Squash

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 Minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 - 4 1 x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This One Pot Butternut Squash Quinoa is a cozy, flavorful meal that’s budget-friendly and easy to make. Vegan, Gluten-Free & made with only 7 ingredients!

Lemony Quinoa with Butternut Squash

At the farmers’ market a couple of weeks ago, I picked up two butternut squash that were each about the length of my hand. Since I love roasting butternut with a touch of lemon, I was considering cooking them in that tried and true (but unimaginative) manner when I got the idea to roast one of the squash and mix it in with my favorite grain/seed, quinoa.

The results were a light and lemony side dish that goes with practically anything.

I served it with baked tofu, gravy, steamed broccoli, and a salad for a sort of traditional American meal, but the lemony flavor makes it a great accompaniment to everything from Thai food to Italian. I’m considering making it a part of my Thanksgiving dinner this year.

Update October 2020:

Since I first published this lemony quinoa recipe, it has become a favorite Thanksgiving recipe both in my house and in many of my readers’ homes. Though I usually serve it as a side dish, it easily becomes a main dish with the addition of chickpeas, baked or air fried tofu, or rehydrated soy curls. It’s a dish that you can make ahead and then reheat just before serving, allowing you to concentrate on the other parts of your vegan Thanksgiving dinner.

Be sure to check out all my Thanksgiving recipes, and for over 35 winter squash and pumpkin recipes–everything from soup to dessert–click here.

Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

Besides getting rave reviews from my husband, this Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad has a bright, fresh, clean flavor that just makes me feel good when I’m eating it. The citrus flavors from the dressing, the rich creaminess from the goat cheese, the sweet roasted butternut squash and the freshness of the parsley just combine really beautifully with the earthy quinoa. This dish makes a great side dish, but it’s also really nice in a larger serving for lunch.

I was inspired to make this Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad after visiting the Sabra headquarters last week where their chef made us a quinoa salad with butternut squash. It was incredible, so I couldn’t wait to get home and make my own. I used some different flavors, so it doesn’t taste the same, but I love this one as well! I totally recommend cooking the quinoa ahead of time. I tossed mine into our rice cooker on the white rice setting and it turned out perfect, so if you have a rice cooker that’s recommended!

Roast Butternut Squash Salad FAQ

Allow the squash salad to cool at room temperature for no more than 2 hours. Transfer into an air-tight Tupperware container and pop into the fridge. Consume within 3-4 days.

This salad is not appropriate for freezing as the both the kale and apple would lose their texture and become mushy.

This butternut quinoa salad is best served fresh, and leftovers are best eaten cold to preserve the texture of the apple and kale.

However, this can be reheated if you so wish. Transfer the food to a microwave-safe container and pop into the microwave for 2-3 minutes until hot all the way through. The length of cooking time with depend on the strength of your microwave. Please bear in mind that reheating will affect the texture of some of the ingredients.

While the fresh ingredients in this salad are gluten-free please make sure ingredients such as the mustard you use are gluten-free to ensure this recipe is suitable for those with coeliac disease and gluten sensitivity.

This butternut squash and quinoa salad can be served on its own or used and a side dish. It works particularly well with chicken and pork but can go alongside any meat or fish you choose.

You can play around with flavors and add some other ingredients, like:
• Spinach (instead of arugula)
• Chickpeas (drained from a can)
• Walnuts or pecans (chopped)
• Goat cheese

If you have any leftovers, transfer them to an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.

Did you make this recipe. I’d love to know how it turned out! leave a comment and a rating below👇 thank you!


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