This Butternut Squash Salad Recipe is filled with fluffy quinoa, dried cranberries, and roasted butternut squash and is finished with a light balsamic vinaigrette. It bursts with warm and delicious fall flavors and is super easy to make – perfect for dinner or as a side dish.
Why You’ll Love this Butternut Squash Salad
The perfect winter salad, you’ll love how easy this butternut squash salad is to make – and I couldn’t think of a better grain to toss with soft roasted butternut squash, crunchy red onion, tart cranberries, and nutty pumpkin seeds than quinoa. It is the perfect combination of textures and flavors all in one bowl; your taste buds will be so happy. Plus, the balsamic vinegar dressing truly pulls it all together! Serve it as the main course or a side dish.
What is quinoa?
Quinoa is a flowering plant grown mainly for its edible seeds. Upon cooking, they become soft and fluffy. Quinoa is a great rice alternative rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals and is 100% gluten-free. You can find it in the grocery store near the rice.
How to Make Butternut Squash Salad
Start by preheating your oven.
Next, toss your butternut squash in a large bowl with the olive oil, salt, and black pepper, coating evenly. Arrange on a baking sheet in an even layer and roast until squash is soft and tender and just starting to brown.
Meanwhile, as your squash is roasting, rinse the quinoa. Then, in a medium saucepan, add the water and quinoa and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low, cover partially, and allow the quinoa to simmer until all of the water is absorbed approximately 20-25 minutes.
After your squash is finished roasting, grab a salad bowl and combine quinoa with all of your ingredients to assemble your salad. Drizzle with your yummy balsamic vinaigrette, or enjoy it as is.
Delicious served warm or cold. Garnish with cilantro, and serve!
- Feta cheese
- Roasted beets
- Heart of palm
- Grilled or baked chicken
- Roasted chickpeas
How to Serve
This easy butternut squash salad pairs well with almost any main dish. Serve it alongside chicken, steak, burgers, or any meal. It’s also great on its own.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. For the freshest-tasting leftovers, wait to add the vinaigrette until just before serving.
More Butternut Squash Recipes
- How to roast butternut squash
- Instant Pot butternut squash
- Easy Instant Pot Risotto with Butternut Squash
- Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- Butternut Squash Tacos
If you try making this Butternut Squash Salad Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
Butternut Squash Salad
- 1 small butternut squash - peeled, seeded and chopped into small cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1.5 cups water
- ½ cups red onion - chopped
- ½ cups dried cranberries
- ¼ cup roasted pumpkin seeds
- Cilantro - chopped (optional)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup warm water
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic - minced
- salt + pepper - to taste
- First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Toss your butternut squash in a large bowl with the olive oil, coating evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet in an even layer and roast for 25-30 minutes or until squash is soft and tender and just starting to brown.
- Meanwhile, as your squash is roasting, rinse and cook the quinoa. In a medium saucepan, place water and quinoa and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, partially cover and cook until all water is absorbed, approximately 20-25 minutes.
- After your squash is finished roasting, assemble your salad. Nothing fancy here, just toss it all together. You can drizzle with yummy balsamic vinaigrette or eat it as is. I’ll be honest, I had every intention of pouring on the dressing, and then I tried the salad without it and I changed my mind; so, I allowed people to decide for themselves what they wanted to do.
- Delicious served warm or cold.
- Balsamic Vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, whisk all your ingredients together until fully combined. Be sure to shake well before serving if you decide not to pour over the entire salad all at one time.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)
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