I first shared this recipe back in 2011 and as I was looking back through the archives, I realized how badly it needed to be updated. Not only with new pictures (wow, how much my photography has improved since then!), but the recipe also needed a bit more flavor infused back in.
So today here it is my friends, the updated butternut squash quinoa salad.
What You'll Need
It's all about the fall produce with this salad. The sweet and tender roasted butternut squash pairs perfectly with the crisp apples, which as a Vermont girl, I'm happy to say are finally back in season and local.
Our apples are the heart and soul of the fall season. All year I wait patiently for our natural food coop to have locally grown apples. From the day they arrive, my meals are transformed and are instantly inspired by this delightful little fruit. Whichever way they are used, apples are always tasty. The wide varieties bring a unique flavor and texture with each and will distinguish a dish in very interesting ways. Sweet, savory, crunchy or smooth, apples bring complexity to your kitchen that you may never have expected.
Along with the toasted pecans, the apples add a much-needed crunch to this simple fall salad. Plus, with those little specks of red from the skins, it makes the salad pop with color! Doesn't it look festive!?
This is also the type of salad that you can serve in many ways. You can make it as a simple side for your next holiday meal OR you can make the star of your dinner since it's packed with protein, hearty vegetables, leafy greens, and healthy fats. It's got everything you need for a nutritious and balanced meal. Not to mention it makes great leftovers for your lunch the next day!
More Healthy Fall Side Dishes to try
- Simple Fall Salad with Roasted Acorn Squash + Pomegranates
- Butternut Squash & Sage Cornbread
- Fall Harvest Mason Jar Quinoa Salad
- Healthy Spaghetti Squash Fritters
- 5-Ingredient Quinoa Mac and Cheese
- Apple + Pecan Arugula Salad with Herbed Cashew Cheese
Fall Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash and Apples
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 5 cups chopped butternut squash from 1 small squash, or the neck of 1 medium
- 4 cups spinach or chopped kale
- 1 medium apple
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon dried sage
- Salt + pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Toss the chopped butternut squash in one tablespoon of olive oil in a medium bowl and add pepper for extra flavor. Place the coated squash on a baking sheet and let them roast for 30 – 40 minutes, flipping half way through.
- Once you flip the squash, start your quinoa. Bring 2 cups of water to boil, add your dry quinoa and let simmer for 8 – 10 minutes.
- While the squash and quinoa are cooking, prepare your apple and pecans. Core the apple first then chop it into mini bite size pieces. Chop your pecans and toast them in a toaster over or small fry pan.
- Allow the squash and quinoa to cool for 15 minutes before assembling the salad. Add quinoa, squash, spinach, apple, chickpeas and pecans into a large bowl and toss together.
- Whisk together the remaining ingredients, pour over the salad and toss again to coat. Serve immediately.