This Winter Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash is hearty enough to eat as a meal and it’s also great to bring as a side dish for a holiday party!
I feel like everyone is all about the Christmas cookies right now, but I’ve been loving big salads packed with lots of seasonal ingredients! This Winter Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash hits all the right notes for me! Don’t worry if all you can think about are Christmas cookies though, because I have three delicious Christmas cookie recipes coming your way next week!
This salad is packed with quinoa, chickpeas, roasted butternut squash, baby kale, dried cranberries and toasted walnuts. It’s then topped off with a tangy vinaigrette giving it so much flavor!
I don’t have as many diet restrictions these days but for a few years I was gluten free and dairy free which made going to parties and potlucks not so easy. If I didn’t bring my own dish then chances were I wouldn’t have anything to eat. That’s about the time when I started making loaded salads like this.
They’re fresh, packed with veggies but also really filling. I’d be perfectly happy eating this Winter Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash as my entire meal.
It’s also great because it can be served immediately or chilled. I like to make it on Sunday and then eat it for lunch throughout the week.
Recipe Tips for Winter Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash:
- If you don’t like butternut squash or can’t find it, you can substitute sweet potato instead.
- Spinach can be substituted for the baby kale.
- You can use any type of grain you like if you want to replace the quinoa.
- I’d recommend not dressing the entire salad at once if you plan on eating this salad throughout the week. Instead you can dress each individual portion before eating.
This Winter Quinoa Salad is packed with lots of vegetable and protein!
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
- 3 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, or 1 1/2 cups
- 4 cups baby kale leaves
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries
- 1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Cook quinoa according to package directions. Once finished cooking, fluff with a fork and add to a large bowl.
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. On a large sheet pan, toss together the diced butternut squash, olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake until fork tender, about 40 minutes, depending on how big they are.
- Add the butternut squash, chickpeas, kale, dried cranberries and walnuts to the bowl with quinoa and mix until combined.
- Add all dressing ingredients to a small bowl or jar and whisk until combined.
- Pour desired amount of dressing over salad and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- I would hold off on dressing the salad if not eating immediately.