Harvest Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

Gluten FreeVegetarian

Harvest Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad-4

The BEST Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad with a secret creamy element and surprise spice that makes this salad dish pop with flavor. This Quinoa Salad is a rock star gluten free vegetarian recipe you need on your table this fall.

Sooo … much … stuff!

My mind is whirling with all the amazing nuggets I downloaded this weekend from Chopped Conference!

I started out the weekend with a Food Photography session led by author and professional food editorial photographer Matt Armendariz ..WHAT?!

Someone pinch me!

The BEST Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad with a secret creamy element and surprise spice that makes this salad dish pop with flavor. This Quinoa Salad is a rock star gluten free vegetarian recipe you need on your table this fall. | joyfulhealthyeats.com #recipes

Ya’ll I was just sitting there in awe. He had props set up with different food arrangements and would just take pictures from different angles, while using simple tricks to reflect light and then put those pictures up on the overhead. Um.. every one was perfect. I still have SOOO much to learn, but watching him made me excited about the learning journey! I LOVE photography and how everyone can create their own story that’s personal to them!

I have always struggled with the photography I put on JHE. I adore moody photography, you know the photos that have dark shadows in certain areas. I think it just makes the food pop off the screen. However, I am a healthy food blogger and when you think of “healthy” most of time people think bright and white instead of dark and moody. Ugh….

The BEST Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad with a secret creamy element and surprise spice that makes this salad dish pop with flavor. This Quinoa Salad is a rock star gluten free vegetarian recipe you need on your table this fall. | joyfulhealthyeats.com #recipes

What do you guys think?

So that’s one of my “take away” thoughts from the conference. The other main one is how do I engage my audience on Facebook and Instagram more? I really want to grow both of those social media channels but sometimes it’s a struggle! It just seems like a slow locomotive train climbing up a very large hill, it takes FaEVA!

Amanda, from I am Baker gave some really good practical tips at the conference for growth and engagement strategies (basically “forget the rules”) so I am going to start there and think positive thoughts!

The BEST Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad with a secret creamy element and surprise spice that makes this salad dish pop with flavor. This Quinoa Salad is a rock star gluten free vegetarian recipe you need on your table this fall. | joyfulhealthyeats.com #recipes

While I’m thinking “positive thoughts” and aiming for growth I’ll be chowing down on this fall inspired Harvest Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad … and believe me you should too!

Not only is this dish killer in taste but it’s gluten free, vegetarian (ahem… hello Meatless Monday), and packed with fall flavors you’ll love! The twist of Cinnamon in the dressing is a fun surprise and compliments the butternut squash perfectly!

I served this dish with the Pan Seared Salmon and Sage Brown Butter Sauce I made last week…. one word. Ah-mazing!!!!

Can’t wait to hear what you think. Bon Appetite!

The BEST Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad with a secret creamy element and surprise spice that makes this salad dish pop with flavor. This Quinoa Salad is a rock star gluten free vegetarian recipe you need on your table this fall. | joyfulhealthyeats.com #recipes

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Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 6-8
  • Category: Gluten Free, Side Dishes, Holiday, Vegetarian, Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2″ cubes (about 1 half butternut squash)
  • 1 1/2 cups red onion, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 oz. crumbed goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons raw honey
  • dash of ground cinnamon
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Add the butternut squash and red onion to a baking sheet. Season with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Toss to coat.
  3. Bake the mixture for 20 minutes.
  4. In the meantime add quinoa and water to a small saucepan. Stir and bring mixture to a boil. Cover and reduce to simmer for 15 minutes until the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat, let the quinoa sit for 2 minutes then fluff the quinoa with a fork.
  5. To make the dressing: in a small bowl, mix the apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of olive, raw honey, ground cinnamon, and salt to taste.
  6. To a large bowl add cooked quinoa, butternut squash, red onion, dried cherries, pepitas, parsley, goat cheese, and dressing. Gently toss to mix everything together.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 241
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Sodium: 452 mg
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Carbohydrates: 28 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 7 g

IF YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE, BE SURE TO SNAP A PIC AND HASHTAG IT #JOYFULHEALTHYEATS. I LOVE SEEING WHAT YOU MAKE!

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The BEST Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad with a secret creamy element and surprise spice that makes this salad dish pop with flavor. This Quinoa Salad is a rock star gluten free vegetarian recipe you need on your table this fall. | joyfulhealthyeats.com #recipes

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Hey There

Krista
Hi! I'm the recipe developer and food photographer behind all these easy healthy recipes! I love food, Jesus, morning lattes, and am obsessed with fantasy football! { more }
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48 Responses
  1. I love the combination of goat cheese, pepitas and cinnamon. Sweet and savory with a twist of crunchy. and as for Matt A – I’m a huge fan so I got incredibly jealous when you said that you’ve seen him demonstrate his style and tips. I’m reading his book now and find his writing and photography styles so inviting.

  2. I have to check out that conference one year…Matt is just incredible! I think you totally can make healthy food dark and moody, but it’s this quinoa salad is bright, dark and moody! You did a great job in this post with the photos!

  3. This is a gorgeous salad, Krista. There are so many wonderful flavors and colors going on – I can’t wait to try it! I think your food photography is beautiful, I love the moodiness of your pictures but totally get what you’re saying. I think in the end, go with what feels right. It’s fun experimenting with lighting and props. Love this salad, I’m making it this week!

    1. Thank you so much Joanie, soooo encouraging and you are definitely right. While I’m trying to figure it out I will enjoy messing around with lighting and props. hehe 🙂

  4. Susie

    This looks awesome! Do you serve it hot or chilled? If I wanted to make it for a party do you think I could make it ahead of time? Thanks!

  5. Morgan DuVal

    Hi! This recipe looks amazing and I have all the ingredients ready for dinner tomorrow along with some balsamic marinated grilled chicken! Just wondering how to prepare the squash before I cook it, should I use a vegetable peelers and then scoop the seeds out and dice it or cut it in half?

    1. Hey Morgan! For the squash I usually cut it in have so I can handle it easier. Then peel it, scoop the seeds out and then dice it up! 🙂 Hope you love it as much as we did! 🙂

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