Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash, Dried Cranberries & Pepitas

Tomorrow is the big day. Are you ready? We are in Thanksgiving prep mode and my stretchy pants are washed and ready to go:)

If you are looking over your Thanksgiving menu and have that gut feeling like something is missing, you are right. You are missing this Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash, Dried Cranberries, and Pepitas. It is an easy salad that is full of fall flavors and perfect for Thanksgiving.

This salad is made up of very basic ingredients-quinoa, butternut squash, dried cranberries, pepitas, and a simple citrus honey dressing. So hopefully you don’t have to make another trip to the store. I am sure the grocery stores are pure chaos today, but if you have to venture out, this salad is worth it. I promise!

I roasted the butternut squash to bring out the best flavors. The dried cranberries add sweetness and a pop of color while the pepitas add a slight crunch. The citrus honey dressing is easy to whisk up and compliments all of the ingredients in the salad.

This is a great salad to serve on Thanksgiving because it is healthy! It’s nice to balance out the buttery potatoes drenched in gravy, stuffing, and pies. Plus, it’s vegetarian and gluten free. We always like to serve a variety of dishes in case we have guests with special dietary needs. And you can make this salad vegan by using agave instead of honey.

If you don’t have room on your Thanksgiving menu for this Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash, Dried Cranberries & Pepitas, no worries. Make it after Thanksgiving. It is the perfect Thanksgiving detox salad:)

We hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you for reading our blog, your comments, and continued support. We have the best readers! We are grateful for you all!

Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash, Dried Cranberries & Pepitas

Yield: Serves 8-10

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Quinoa salad with roasted butternut squash, dried cranberries, pepitas and a simple citrus honey dressing.

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning squash
2 cups quinoa
4 cups water
Pinch of salt
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pepitas

For the Citrus Honey Dressing:

Juice of 3 large oranges
Zest of 1 large orange
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place butternut squash on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Toss until squash is well coated. Season with salt and pepper. Roast the squash for 30 minutes, turning once, until tender.

2. While the butternut squash is roasting, cook the quinoa. Add quinoa, water, and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Let cool quinoa cool to room temperature.

3. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, butternut squash, dried cranberries, and pepitas. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, zest, olive oil, and honey. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle over quinoa salad. Toss until ingredients are well dressed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Note-you can use agave instead of the honey to make a vegan salad.

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