This Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad is easy to make, ready in under an hour, delicious, and loaded with health benefits. It's the perfect fall salad.
For the salad:
- 1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 2 cups quinoa, cooked
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
For the vinaigrette dressing:
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Roast the butternut squash:
- Preheat the oven to 425 F.
- In a large mixing bowl, add butternut squash, oil, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Toss well to coat evenly.
- Spread the butternut squash evenly onto a parchment-lined quarter sheet baking pan and bake until the butternut squash is fork tender, about 25-30 minutes. Insert a fork to check doneness. If it is easily inserted in, it's fork tender. Let it cool to room temperature.
Make the salad:
- Add the roasted butternut squash, spinach, cooked quinoa, cranberries, and walnuts in a large serving bowl.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, oil, garlic, dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper until smooth.
- Drizzle vinaigrette dressing over the salad and toss well to coat. Serve immediately.
How to store: Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days, although it's best to eat the salad within 1-2 days as the longer it is stored, the more the spinach will wilt. To preserve the freshness and keep the leftover salad from getting mushy and soggy, try to only mix as much salad and dressing as you can eat at one time. Then, store the greens and vegetables in a separate container from the dressing. When you’re ready to use it again, just toss and eat!
Freezing: It’s not usually recommended that you freeze salad, as the greens, vegetables and toppings will usually go limp or get soggy when thawed. However, if you want to use the leftovers to make other dishes, you can freeze leftovers in a sealed freezer bag for up to six months. Then, toss the leftovers to add fiber and more nutrients to an egg or tofu scramble, or bake them in a fall flavored casserole.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Salad
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: butternut squash quinoa salad, quinoa butternut squash salad, quinoa salad with butternut salad