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This roasted Butternut Squash Apple Quinoa Salad is loaded with seasonal flavors all tossed with a creamy maple vinaigrette!
I’m all about eating salads and the more yummy stuff in them the better. Whether you are looking for a new recipe to try for the holidays, a healthier side dish option, or a even a main course, this fall inspired salad is the new IT girl!
What makes this roasted Butternut Squash Apple Quinoa Salad so good is the combination of savory and sweet flavors along with all the different textures going on. After one bite, your taste buds won’t know what hit them.
If you are new to using quinoa, besides being easy to cook, it is considered a super grain packed with protein as a healthier option to pasta or rice. By itself it does not have much flavor but picks up on the other flavors in whatever dish you are making. It comes in different varieties and I happened to use the tri-colored for this dish for added color.
The other ingredients include tender roasted butternut squash, tangy dried cranberries, crispy apples, crunchy toasted walnuts, creamy goat cheese and tossed with a maple vinaigrette. This salad can be made and served at once or even made ahead and kept in the refrigerator a day ahead until serving time (I would put salad dressing on right before serving).
I do love my quinoa and have made several salads on the blog over the years that you might be interested in:
Useful tips for making Butternut Squash Apple Quinoa Salad:
- Rinse quinoa under water for a few minutes before cooking
- Quinoa can be cooked in vegetable or chicken broth for added flavor
- Toss apples in lemon juice to prevent browning
- Can be prepared a day ahead (toss with vinaigrette before serving)
Hope you enjoy this salad recipe!
Butternut Squash Apple Quinoa Salad
This roasted Butternut Squash Apple Quinoa Salad is loaded with seasonal flavors like crispy apples, tender squash, tangy cranberries, crunchy walnuts and creamy goat cheese all tossed with a tasty maple vinaigrette!
- 4 cups butternut squash, diced into 1/2" cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
- 1 green apple, diced
- 2 oz. goat cheese crumbled
- 1 teaspoon shallot minced
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400
- Toss butternut squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil and place on a rimmed cookie sheet and place in oven
- Stir squash about halfway through - bake until tender (about 25 minutes)
- While squash is cooking, cook quinoa and set aside to cool slightly (read directions, takes about 15 minutes)
- Prepare vinaigrette by combining the shallot, apple cider, olive oil, maple syrup, Dijon mustard and S&P in a small food processor
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients (except vinaigrette). Be sure squash is not too hot
- Drizzle vinaigrette over salad and toss lightly to combine. I did not use all the dressing
To toast walnuts, place in a non-stick saute pan and stir over medium heat until they turn light brown