Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Harvest Salad
It’s that time of year for squash.
The savory yet slightly sweet salad is easy, healthy, packed with big fall-inspired flavors, and there’s so much texture.
The buttery maple syrup coats the tender squash which is a nice contrast to the chewier quinoa. I used tri-colored quinoa and while I don’t think it tastes much different than white quinoa, I like the added color but use your favorite.
There’s lightly caramelized sweet yellow onion to boost the overall flavor, chewy tart-and-sweet dried cranberries, sliced almonds for a satisfying crunch, and parsley to add color and a mild herbiness.
The salad is great right away but it’s a perfect make-ahead recipe because the flavors develop over time and I think it tastes better a day or two after making it. It’s perfect for work or school lunches.
Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Harvest Salad
Butternut squash is roasted with maple syrup and butter. The savory yet slightly sweet salad is easy, healthy, packed with big fall-inspired flavors, and there's so much texture. Buttery maple syrup coats the tender squash which is a nice contrast to the chewier quinoa. There's lightly caramelized sweet yellow onion for flavor, chewy tart-and-sweet dried cranberries, almonds for a satisfying crunch, and parsley to add color and a mild herbiness. The salad is great right away but it’s a perfect make-ahead recipe because the flavors develop over time and tastes better a day or two after making it. It's perfect for work or school lunches.
Yield: serves 4 to 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: about 45 to 60 minutes
Total Time: about 60 minutes
- about 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup (half of 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- one extra-large (about 2 heaping cups diced) sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, peeled and diced small
- 1 cup quinoa (I use tri-colored)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- 1 cup dried cranberries (I use orange-scented dried cranberries)
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice, optional and to taste
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a 9x13-inch pan with aluminum foil for easier cleanup, add the butternut squash and evenly drizzle with maple syrup, butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and toss to combine. Bake for about 45 to 60 minutes, or until squash is fork-tender. Stir twice while squash bakes to ensure even cooking. Baking time will range based on exact size of squash pieces and natural variance in squash as some have more moisture and release more juice while baking. While the squash bakes, start sautéing the onions.
- To a large skillet or saucepan, add the olive oil, onions, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until onions have softened and are lightly caramelized, about 7 to 8 minutes.
- Add the quinoa and stir it into the onions and let it toast for about 30 seconds.
- Add the water, apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, reduce the heat to low, cover pan, and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until all liquid has been absorbed.
- Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and add the dried cranberries, almonds, parsley, squash and all the cooking liquid, and stir to combine. Taste, check for seasoning balance, and if necessary to brighten up the flavor, add lemon juice to taste. I added it and it doesn't make the dish taste lemony but the acid balances the flavor. If necessary add more salt, pepper, or possibly a pinch of cayenne pepper for heat. Dish can be served warm and immediately or stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. The flavors develop over time and tastes better a day or two after making it, and can either be served warm or cold.
Recipe from Averie Cooks. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.
Roasted Winter Squash, Cranberry, and Almond Salad with Lemon Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette– A hearty and satisfying salad to help you stay healthy and on track during the fall and winter holidays!
Cranberry, Apple, and Blue Cheese Salad with Cranberry-Apple Cider Dressing – All the flavors of fall in one gorgeous, hearty, and healthy salad! The easy, tart-and-sweet dressing is just bursting with flavor!
How To Roast Spaghetti Squash & 12 Healthy Squash Recipes – Value eating at it’s finest. Stuff your face with warm, comforting noodles for under 100 calories!
Roasted Cinnamon Sugar Delicata Squash (vegan, GF) – So healthy, fast, easy, and you don’t even need to peel it!
Lemon, Sun-Dried Tomato, and Almond Quinoa Salad – Fast, easy, and fresh! Bright flavors and loads of texture! This clean-eating salad keeps you full and satisfied! Healthy never tasted so good!
Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Quinoa Salad (GF) – Trying to keep meals healthier and lighter? Make this easy, refreshing and satisfying salad!
Tabbouleh – Never had it? Think couscous or quinoa mixed with vegetables, herbs, lemon and olive oil! Easy, no cooking required, healthy, and packed with so much flavor! (Great for outdoor events because there’s no mayo!)
Roasted Sweet Potato Salad – Goodbye mayo-loaded, mushy, boring potato salad. Hello to a Mexican-inspired potato salad full of flavor and texture with corn, black beans, peppers, and cilantro!
Honey-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey-Cinnamon Dip – The honey glaze and the creamy cinnamon dip make these potatoes irresistible!!
Sweet Potato, Corn, and Black Bean Enchiladas (vegetarian) – Healthier comfort food that everyone will love! Fast, easy, and tastes amazing!
Baked Chipotle Sweet Potato and Zucchini Fritters (vegetarian/vegan, GF) – You don’t need gobs of oil for these healthy fritters that are baked rather than fried!
Baked Thick-Cut Seasoned Oven Fries (vegan, GF) – Learn the secrets to creating restaurant-style oven fries! They’re baked rather than fried so you can have extra!