Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad is a hearty vegetarian salad packed with butternut squash, walnuts and a maple vinaigrette!

Quinoa is all the rage right now for so many reasons.  It’s light yet hearty, and it’s packed with iron, fiber, protein, and it’s gluten-free.

You can also use quinoa in salads such as this, or make it for breakfast in place of oatmeal like this Blueberry Pecan Breakfast Quinoa

Quinoa is reminiscent of couscous, but it’s not even in the grain family.  I read that it’s in the rhubarb family which completely threw me!

Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

This Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad is adapted from a salad that I had at a potluck and I absolutely loved it.  I didn’t get the recipe, but I asked for a few details and went from there.

I’m absolutely crazy about butternut squash.  I roast it or make soups with it most of the time, and I’m loving it in salads lately.

I actually enjoy peeling and chopping the butternut squash when I have time.  When I don’t, I buy it pre-chopped, which is a huge time saver. 

This Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad is very versatile and may be customized to suit your tastes!  It’s a great meal prep lunch or dinner.

Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

Yield: 8-10 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad is a hearty vegetarian salad packed with butternut squash, walnuts and a maple vinaigrette!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 small butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2" chunks, or (1) package pre-chopped butternut squash cut into 1/2" chunks (should be about 2 cups once cut into 1/2" chunks)
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

Place butternut squash in a large pot and fill it with water until the squash is completely covered. Place the lid on and bring pot to a boil over high heat until the water comes to a boil. Remove the lid and reduce heat to medium, cooking at a gentle boil until squash is fork tender but not mushy, about 15 min.

While squash is cooking, prepare quinoa according to package directions. When all of the water has been absorbed, remove from heat and pour into a serving bowl. Cool slightly.

Rinse and drain butternut squash. Add the squash, golden raisins, and scallions to the quinoa.

Prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, combine maple syrup, rice wine vinegar, and salt with a whisk. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until it is emulsified. Pour over the quinoa mixture and stir until well-combined.

Top with the toasted or candied walnuts.

To toast walnuts, place in a large skillet and cook over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until fragrant. Careful....these burn quickly!