This salad has one of my favorite flavor combos: roasted butternut squash + pecans + dried cranberries. So so good. It’s especially good when paired with quinoa, roasted red onions and spinach. And let’s not forget about the tahini-balsamic dressing, pure magic! I make this hearty salad at least once a month and I never get tired of it! It’s super tasty and filling and full of the good stuff.
We all know veggies (like butternut squash, onions and spinach), nuts and seeds (hi there, tahini dressing) are good for your health, but did you know quinoa is AMAZING?!? It’s protein-rich (it’s a complete protein, meaning it has all 20 amino acids, that’s rare for a plant), fiber-rich and offers an array of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Want to know more about quinoa? Check out this link.
Because it has quinoa, nuts and vegetables, I love having this salad on its own, but it can be a delicious side as well. And it’s totally share-worthy, trust me, it’s a hit with family and friends. So, if you are wondering what to bring to your next dinner party, this roasted butternut squash and quinoa salad could be just what you need! Think crunchy nuts, soft quinoa, roasted butternut squash, caramelized red onions and tart, chewy cranberries! The textures, the flavors, the oh-so-yummy tahini balsamic dressing, what’s not to like?! Love the sound of everything I’ve just said?! Then you have to try my Tasty Quinoa, Butternut Squash and Pecan Patties, they are simple, wholesome and super flavorful!
This Roasted Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad is packed with wonderful fall flavors so it’s perfect for those colder months. But I also love to have this salad on a warm, sunny day, because, well… salads and summer go hand in hand.
If you try this beautiful salad, let us know what you think, leave a comment below or tag us on Instagram @mondaydreamsblog. We love hearing from you!
Roasted Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad
- 2 cup butternut squash, chopped into bit size pieces – measured after chopping
- 1 small red onion, chopped into bit size pieces
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ cup uncooked quinoa
- 3 Tbsp pecans, tightly packed
- 3 Tbsp dried cranberries, tightly packed
- 4 - 5 cups baby spinach – arugula or mizuna are delicious too
- ⅓ cup parsley, finely chopped
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp tahini
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp water
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp coconut nectar or maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F / 180 °C. Place pecans on a baking sheet (no oil) and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Remove and let cool, then roughly chop the pecans.
- Place onions and butternut squash on the baking sheet, add olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper and toss with a spoon until the vegetables are evenly coated. Then arrange them in a single layer.
- Bake for 10 minutes, toss again to make sure the vegetables are roasted even and bake for an extra 10 – 15 minutes. Until they are tender and golden. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- While the squash is in the oven, cook the quinoa. Rinse well, add quinoa to a small saucepan and cover it with lots of water. Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes; until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Set aside.
- To assemble the salad, place spinach, quinoa, roasted vegetables, chopped pecans, dried cranberries and parsley in a big bowl. Toss gently to combine.
- Serve with tahini balsamic dressing. Enjoy!