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Butternut squash quinoa salad with cranberries and toasted almonds is packed with flavor and nutrition, and is the perfect addition to a holiday meal or fall or winter dinner.

fall quinoa salad with roasted butternut and cranberries

We all have our classic holiday side dish standbys. Green bean casserole, candied yams, and buttery mashed potatoes, to name just a few. I’ll occasionally do a rice dish (typically a pilaf) of some kind, and just to mix things up, I thought why not a quinoa pilaf?

And because we serve the quinoa pilaf along with roasted winter squash on a bed of greens, I think it’s fair to call it a salad!

The secret ingredient in this sweet and savory quinoa butternut squash salad is a spice that’s more frequently used in sweet baked goods than savory meals: cinnamon!

Actually though, cinnamon is a common ingredient as part of a spice blend in quite a few savory Middle Eastern and Indian dishes and that’s what gave me the idea to add it to this pilaf. (Plus there’s the fact that fall, cranberries, butternut squash and cinnamon just feel right together. This dish almost has a fall harvest quinoa salad vibe to it!)

And bonus, this fall quinoa salad is just as good the next day! Actually, it keeps well in the fridge for up to 3 days, which makes it a good option if you want a healthy Thanksgiving side dish that you can make ahead.

What’s your family’s go-to festive side dish?

front view of winter quinoa salad with butternut squash

Using Bone Broth to Cook Quinoa

You can tell just by looking at all those gorgeous colors that this is a healthy salad, but its nutrition goes past what you can see.

I used Zoup! Chicken Bone Broth as the liquid to cook the quinoa, which is a great way to bump up both the flavor and nutrient-density.

Zoup! is cooked in kettles in small batches, low in calories, paleo-friendly, zero carb, and completely free of hormones, gluten, GMO’s, fat, trans fat and saturated fat.

One of the interesting things about Zoup! is that it started in the soup business as a fast-casual franchise chain of restaurants, and is now also bringing restaurant-quality broth to supermarkets. I always love it when my favorite restaurants make their products available for home cooks! Zoup!’s broth can be purchased at retailers nationwide.

Ingredients in Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

Ingredients Explained

In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas where applicable. For the full recipe (including the ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.

ingredients in quinoa butternut salad with cranberries

Roasted Butternut Squash Ingredients

  • Clarified butter (ghee) – or you can use olive oil or avocado oil
  • Salt and black pepper – these pantry-staple spices enhance the flavor of roasted butternut
  • Butternut squash – we need about 3 heaping cups of butternut squash that’s peeled, de-seeded, and cubed into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 pound squash)

Spiced Quinoa Pilaf Ingredients

  • Clarified butter (ghee) – or you can use olive oil or avocado oil
  • Onion – adds savory aroma and depth of flavor
  • Salt and black pepper – simple spices that make sure our quinoa pilaf isn’t bland
  • Cinnamon – just a hint of ground cinnamon completely transforms this quinoa salad into the perfect dish for fall or winter
  • Zoup! Chicken Bone Broth – heat it to a simmer; or you can use chicken stock or chicken broth instead
  • Dried cranberries – you can use sweetened or unsweetened dried cranberries depending on your preference; cooking them along with the quinoa will help the cranberries rehydrate

Other Ingredients

  • Baby kale – or baby spinach or arugula 
  • Sliced almonds – toast them in a dry skillet on the stovetop or in a 325F oven for 10 minutes; you can omit the almonds, or use any type of nuts you like (pecans or walnuts are also delicious here)
close up front view of butternut quinoa salad with cranberries and almonds

How to Make Roasted Butternut and Quinoa Salad

Step 1: Roast the Squash

For the squash, preheat oven to 425F.

Toss together the melted ghee, salt, black pepper, and squash, and spread out on a large baking sheet.

Roast until tender inside and golden outside, about 30 minutes, tossing once halfway through.

Step 2: Make the Quinoa Pilaf

Meanwhile, for the quinoa, heat the ghee in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the quinoa and cook until it starts to smell nutty, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the salt, cinnamon, black pepper, bone broth, and cranberries.

Bring to a boil, cover the saucepan and turn the heat down to low. Cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and let the quinoa sit with the lid on for 10 minutes before fluffing.

Step 3: Finishing Touches

To serve, arrange the greens on a large serving platter. Spread out the quinoa onto the greens, and add the butternut on top. Sprinkle on the almonds. Serve.

Variations

  • Fresh fruit – right before serving add chopped or sliced apple or pear
  • Cheese – serve topped with a sprinkle of crumbled feta, crumbled goat cheese, or shredded cheddar

Storage

This salad will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. You can serve it straight out of the fridge or let it sit for 15 minutes at room temperature to take the chill off before serving.

After it’s roasted, butternut squash is one of those things that delicious served hot or cold!

top view of platter of roasted squash salad with quinoa and cranberries

Special Diet Friendly

As written, this winter squash quinoa salad is gluten free.

To make it vegan, use vegetable stock instead of chicken bone broth.

More Butternut Squash Recipes to Try

serving platter with butternut squash and quinoa salad with cranberries and almonds

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Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad with Cranberries and Toasted Almonds Recipe

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Other Time10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Butternut squash quinoa salad with cranberries and toasted almonds is packed with flavor and nutrition, and is the perfect addition to a holiday meal or fall or winter dinner.

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Ingredients
 

Roasted Butternut Squash:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons clarified butter ghee, melted (or olive oil or avocado oil)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound butternut squash peeled and cubed into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 heaping cups cubed)

Quinoa Pilaf:

Other:

  • 4 cups baby kale or baby spinach or arugula
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds toasted in a dry skillet on the stovetop or in a 325F oven for 10 minutes

Instructions
 

To Roast the Squash:

  • Preheat oven to 425F. Toss together the melted ghee, salt, black pepper, and squash, and spread out on a large baking sheet. Roast until tender inside and golden outside, about 30 minutes, tossing once halfway through.

To Make the Quinoa Pilaf:

  • Meanwhile, for the quinoa, heat the ghee in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the quinoa and cook until it starts to smell nutty, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the salt, cinnamon, black pepper, bone broth, and cranberries. Bring to a boil, cover the saucepan and turn the heat down to low. Cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let the quinoa sit with the lid on for 10 minutes before fluffing.

To Serve:

  • Arrange the greens on a large serving platter. Spread out the quinoa onto the greens, and add the butternut on top. Sprinkle on the almonds. Serve.

Notes

  • Storage: This salad will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. You can serve it straight out of the fridge or let it sit for 15 minutes at room temperature to take the chill off before serving. After it’s roasted, butternut squash is one of those things that delicious served hot or cold!

Nutrition

Calories: 218kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 332mg | Potassium: 482mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 9378IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 136mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad, Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad, Fall Quinoa Salad, Quinoa Butternut Squash Salad, Winter Quinoa Salad

Share it with me on Instagram and leave a comment to let me know your thoughts!

roasted butternut squash quinoa salad with cranberries recipe pin copy

Giveaway (Closed)

Thank you to Zoup! for sponsoring this giveaway, They are giving away four jars of their Zoup! Good, Really Good Chicken Bone Broth to one lucky winner!

To participate in this giveaway, just leave a comment on this post telling me what you would make with this bone broth. (UPDATE: The giveaway is over and the winner has been notified.)

For extra entries, you can do any of the following (please leave a separate comment for each so they can be counted as additional entries):

  • Tell me your favorite holiday side dish!
  • Like An Edible Mosaic on Facebook.
  • Like Zoup! on Facebook.
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest using the hashtag #ZoupBroth and handle @AnEdibleMosaic.

You do not need to have a blog to enter this giveaway. To enter, you must be at least 18 years old. For shipping purposes, this giveaway is only open to U.S. residents and we are not able to ship to P.O. boxes. This giveaway ends on October 27, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST.

Once the giveaway ends, the winner will be randomly chosen and notified via email. The winner will have three business days to respond with his or her mailing information, otherwise a new winner will be randomly chosen. Good luck to all!

Disclosure: Zoup! provided me with product for the purpose of this post, as well as compensation for my time. As always, opinions stated are my own.

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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38 Comments

  1. I would make chicken and rice soup.

  2. I followed Zoup! on Facebook.

  3. I already liked your Facebook page.

  4. My favorite holiday side dish is cornbread dressing. I use an old recipe that has fresh herbs and pecans from my day’s trees.

  5. I’d use it to make my favorite soups, like Tuscan Vegetable Soup.

  6. I like Zoup! on Facebook as Dandi Daffyhill.

  7. I like your page on Facebook as Dandi Daffyhill.

  8. My favorite holiday side dish is sweet potato casserole.

  9. I would make some fall soups for sure!

  10. Liz Blunt says:

    My favorite side dish for any meal is maple flavored mashed sweet potatoes — with Texas pecans on top!

  11. Liz Blunt says:

    I think the broth would be perfect for chicken noodle soup!

  12. my favorite holiday side is roasted sweet potatoes!

  13. i would make lentil soup!

  14. I’d keep it simple with some mayocobas, greens, garlic & some root veg for bulk.

  15. I’ve been making a lot of different soups this year and would love to try this one!

  16. You have to love a really good chicken broth, and I know exactly what I would make with mine — plenty of delicious brothy soups with noodles and carrots and pieces of seared sausage. :) Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  17. I would make a white chicken chili!

  18. I’ve been watching for Zoup at my Giant Eagle! I am a soup freak and need to get lots of protein so I need Zoup now!!

  19. I would love to try using Zoup in your recipe for Sweet and Savory Quinoa Pilaf with Cranberries, Roasted Butternut, and Toasted Almonds. My favorite holiday side dish is always something with cranberries.

  20. I straight just want to drink this broth in a mug and sit back and relax <33

  21. Ashley Kolpak says:

    I would make chicken noodle soup

  22. I would warm it up and drink it

  23. Favorite holiday side dish is broccoli casserole!

  24. I would make chicken soup and use it for cooking rice. Thanks for the giveaway!

  25. I Like Zoup! on Facebook.as Tim Lintz

  26. I Like An Edible Mosaic on Facebook.as Tim Lintz

  27. My favorite side dish is cornbread stuffing. I like bread stuffing as well, but I grew up on the cornbread variety.

  28. We use broth primarily for gravy, so that is most likely what we would use these for. Soups and stews are also a likely option.

  29. This sounds interesting as neither my husband or I have found that we really like quinoa. I have some in the cupboard though and this recipe might just win us both so I will certainly try. Think we live too far away sadly for the giveaway but it sounds delicious. Have a good day Diane

  30. carol clark says:

    i dont know what it taste like but i would use a little for some dressing a small batch to see if i like it then id use it for thanksgiving

  31. I like you on facebook

  32. I like Zoup on facebook

  33. I would make chicken noodle soup.

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