Hey Everyone! So this is my new favorite salad. And I hope it will be your new favorite salad too! I love all the comfort food that fall brings with it, but sometimes it’s nice to lighten things up a little bit, and this salad is the best of both worlds… delicious fall flavor, just a little lighter and healthier! I love good salads that don’t leave me feeling hungry and that are filled with fresh ingredients and different flavors and textures. This one is filled with fresh spinach, tangy dried cranberries, crunchy nuts, deliciously sweet roasted butternut squash and hearty quinoa… the perfect fall salad!
FALL QUINOA SALAD
YOU WILL NEED
Fresh spinach leaves
Roasted butternut squash
Chopped walnuts or pecans
Optional: Shredded chicken breast
Salt & Pepper
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
Salt & Pepper
1. First, prepare your butternut squash (I used a pretty small one). Peel and halve it lengthwise, then scoop out all the seeds and cut it into about 1 inch pieces. In a large bowl, toss it with about a teaspoon or so of olive oil and season it well with salt and pepper. Then, spread it out in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake at 400 deg F for about 30 – 35 minutes, or until it’s nice and soft.
2. In the meantime, prepare the rest of your salad. Cook your quinoa according to the directions on the package (I use about 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa per salad portion), it should take about 15 minutes or so to cook, so you can get it done while the butternut squash is roasting. I like to use room temperature quinoa for the salad so I let it cool once it’s cooked. (If you are not a quinoa fan, you could definitely substitute couscous here!)
3. To make your vinaigrette, whisk together equal parts of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and season well with salt and pepper, then taste to make sure it suits your taste! I like to add a little bit of honey for a little extra sweetness and thickness, which works so well with the sweet roasted butternut squash!
4. Now all you need to do is assemble your salad! So add the spinach leaves, quinoa, dried cranberries, chopped nuts and the warm roasted butternut squash and drizzle it all with your vinaigrette! And if you want to make your salad extra hearty, add in some shredded chicken.
For more quinoa recipes, check these out:
Left: Quinoa Breakfast Bowl (Recipe HERE), Middle: Cheesy Quinoa and Broccoli Patties (Recipe HERE), Right: Fresh Corn and Kale Quinoa Patties (Recipe HERE)
Happy Cooking, Everyone!