I am so excited to share today's Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad! This salad is the perfect winter salad to make when you need a break from all the cookies. It's super easy to make and full of whole foods plant based ingredients!
Ingredients For This Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad:
- Butternut Squash - You can use pre-chopped butternut squash to save some time, or you can use frozen. i personally wouldn't recommend using frozen, because I think it has a much different texture, and it releases much more liquid while cooking.
- Quinoa - You can use regular quinoa, or any other variety such as tri colored quinoa. I like to prep quinoa at the beginning of the week because I eat it so often. This is great for this recipe, because it will be chilled already.
- Pomegranate - If you're not a fan of de-seeding a pomegranate, you can use the pre packaged kernels. I personally go with a fresh pomegranate, because it is much more affordable, and because it taste better in my opinion.
- Walnuts - Pre chopped walnuts are best for this recipe, however you can easily chop whole walnuts. If you're not a huge fan of walnuts, you can pretty much substitute any nut such as pecans, chopped almonds, pine nuts, etc.
- Spring Mix - Any greens mix will work for this recipe. I personally love spring mix, but greens such as spinach, kale, or romaine will all work perfectly in this Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad.
- Coconut Aminos - If you've never tried coconut aminos before, let me put you on. I cook everything with coconut aminos now days and I can't get enough of it. it adds the perfect caramelized texture and sweetness to all your vegetables. It's slightly salty and the perfect way to level up any food.
- Tahini - I love using tahini as an oil-free salad dressing base. It's smooth and creamy and it pairs well with so many flavors. It's important to make sure that the tahini you are using is runny and smooth. Too often I see chunky and thick tahinis, and needless to say, they don't taste very good.
- Stone Ground Mustard - Any mustard will work just fine. I personally love using stone ground mustard, because it is more nutritious than other mustards, and it has a more natural flavor.
How To Make This Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad:
This Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad is one of my favorite winter salads to make, because it is so easy, and requires minimal ingredients. All you need to make this salad is a large bowl, a chefs knife, a small pan, and a baking sheet.
Begin by preheating the oven to 400. Once the oven is preheated, peel, de-seed, and chop the butternut squash into bite sized chunks. Place on the baking sheet and cover with the coconut aminos. Toss and place in the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the squash has caramelized.
While the squash is baking, cook the quinoa according to package instructions. While the quinoa is cooking, separate the pomegranate seeds from the pomegranate.
Make the dressing by combining the coconut aminos, tahini, stone ground mustard, and water together. Whisk until smooth.
Once the butternut squash has caramelized and the quinoa is done, assemble the salad. Add the spring mix to the bowl, then add the butternut squash,. quinoa, pomegranate, and chopped walnuts. Toss. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss again, and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is This Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad Good For Meal Prep?
If you're looking for a good salad to meal prep this winter, this Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad is perfect for you! It's nutrient dense, easy to make, and keeps super well in the fridge. If you plan on meal prepping this salad, I would recommend that you use a different green for the base.
Kale is the best green for meal prepping, and it tastes great in this salad! I actually love making this salad with both spring mix and kale. If you do use kale, make sure to massage it first. This helps it to not dry out, and of course be more enjoyable to eat.
Are Liquid Aminos And Coconut Aminos The Same Thing?
Before going vegan I did not have a single clue what either of these ingredients were. If you've never heard of them, don't worry, you're definitely not alone.However I personally think they need to be a staple in ever kitchen (vegan or not).
Liquid aminos is essentially just a lower sodium soy sauce. It has an identical flavor, and works great for any recipe that calls for soy sauce. They still have that great salty flavor, but are a bit healthier.
Coconut Aminos on the other hand are very different. They are still salty, however they are also sweet. I love using coconut aminos to roast vegetables with, because they give the vegetables the perfect caramelized texture without using any oil. There's no added sugars, and it's low calorie. I love using coconut aminos for roasting vegetables, in salad dressings, and in dips!
Can I Use Other Squash Varieties In This Salad Recipe?
If you're not a fan of butternut squash, or you can't find it at the grocery store, do not fear. You can still make this salad recipe with other squash varieties. I personally love using delicata squash, however it is not a super common squash variety, so you may have an even harder time finding it than butternut squash.
You can use acorn squash, however it can be tricky to prepare. I would recommend using Red Kuri squash, or Kabocha squash. They're both creamy and flavorful, and are a great substitute in this recipe.
If you're not a huge fan of squash, you can also substitute sweet potato. I love sweet potatoes and I often use them and butternut squash interchangeably. If you do use sweet potatoes i recommend peeling them. Although the skin is highly nutritious, it does effect the texture and flavor of this salad.
Related Vegan Butternut Squash Recipes:
- Butternut Squash Dip
- Apple Lentil Stuffed Butternut Squash
- Winter Vegetable Risotto
- Creamy Oil-Free Tahini Pasta
Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad
For The Salad:
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 pomegranate
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup qunioa
- 6 cups spring mix
- 2 tablespoon coconut aminos
For The Dressing:
- 3 tablespoon coconut aminos
- ⅓ cup tahini
- 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
- ½ cup water
- Begin by preheating the oven to 400. Once the oven is preheated, peel, de-seed, and chop the butternut squash into bite sized chunks. Place on the baking sheet and cover with the coconut aminos. Toss and place in the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the squash has caramelized.
- While the squash is baking, cook the quinoa according to package instructions.
- While the quinoa is cooking, separate the pomegranate seeds from the pomegranate.
- Make the dressing by combining the coconut aminos, tahini, stone ground mustard, and water together. Whisk until smooth.
- Once the butternut squash has caramelized and the quinoa is done, assemble the salad. Add the spring mix to the bowl, then add the butternut squash,. quinoa, pomegranate, and chopped walnuts. Toss. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss again, and enjoy!