Quinoa Spinach Salad w/ Butternut Squash & Apple – a delicious and flavorful fall salad. Easy enough for a weeknight dinner, yet fancy enough for entertaining.
A Lovely Fall Salad
I say this all the time, but salads don’t have to be boring. It’s not just lettuce and tomatoes. A salad recipe can be anything you want it to be. It can be light and easy or hearty and comforting. I was inspired by fall produce when I created this nourishing bowl. This Quinoa Spinach Salad with Butternut Squash & Apple is flavorful and full of vitamins, protein and fiber to keep you satisfied. Plus, it’s pretty to look at, don’t you think?
Butternut Squash is one of my favorite vegetables. It’s sweet and creamy and delicious. Not to mention, it’s so incredibly versatile. It’s the magic behind my irresistible creamy dairy free mac and cheese, it’s the sweet element in my Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili, and it’s the dreamy autumn flavor in my Cinnamon Squash Quick Bread. In this Quinoa Spinach Salad, the butternut squash brings yet another texture component with it’s slightly crisp edges and tender insides.
Load Up the Goodness
In addition to the butternut squash, you’ll find apples, red onion, and pistachios in this gluten free salad. They are all important players for providing the perfect flavor and texture. You could use pears instead of the apples and pumpkin seeds or chopped pecans instead of the pistachios, but you’ll definitely want the juicy and crunchy components.
Quinoa Spinach Salad w/ Butternut Squash & Apple
I hope you give this seasonal Quinoa Spinach Salad a try! I can’t wait to see your remakes, so be sure to tag @veggie_inspired and #veggieinspired on social media so I don’t miss it. And don’t forget to leave me a comment below with your feedback!
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- pinch of cayenne (to taste..a little goes a long way)
- 16 oz baby fresh baby spinach
- 1 apple (chopped)
- 1/4 cup pistachios
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, toss the cubed butternut squash, olive oil, cinnamon, salt and cayenne until well coated. Bake for 25-35 minutes.
Meanwhile, rinse and drain the quinoa. Place it in a pot on the stove over medium-high heat with the vegetable broth, salt, parsley, oregano, and thyme. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid, and continue cooking for about 15 minutes until the quinoa is tender. Because this is a small amount of quinoa, keep a close eye on it to ensure the liquid doesn't evaporate too quickly. Add a couple more tablespoons of broth or water if the mixture dries out and starts sticking to the pan. Do not overcook. Once the quinoa is tender, remove from heat and set aside.
Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing together in a small bowl. It will be quite tangy. If you like it more mellow, add another tablespoon or two of oil or water.
To assemble the salad, mix the spinach, chopped apple, roasted butternut squash, quinoa, and pistachios. Drizzle a couple tablespoons of dressing and taste. Add more dressing if desired.
If you're not planning on eating all of the salad right away, do not mix it all together. Mix the quinoa, butternut squash, apple, and pistachios in a bowl, cover and refrigerate. Store the dressing in a mason jar or similar air tight container in the fridge. Store the spinach in a separate container.
This recipe has been linked up to Meat Free Mondays hosted by Tinned Tomatoes.
Other Holiday-Worthy Salads You Might Like: