5 from 1 vote
Overhead shot of Fall Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad in a neutral colored bowl on a wood board with a small ramekin of apple cider vinaigrette, dark red linen and ramekin of pepitas arranged around the board.
Fall Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins

This Fall Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad is loaded with apples, cranberries, arugula and parmesan!  This healthy, filling salad is perfect for lunch, light dinners or holiday parties!

Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple, apple cider, autumn, butternut squash, cranberries, fall, maple, quinoa, roasted, vinaigrette
Servings: 6
Calories: 462 kcal
  • 1 (1 ½ pound) Butternut Squash – peeled and ¾’’ diced (about 5 cups)*
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 TBS Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Dried Thyme
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper
  • 1/3 Cup Dried Cranberries
  • 4 ounces Arugula – washed and spun dry
  • 3 Cups Cooked Quinoa (equivalent of 1 cup dry quinoa)*
  • 1 Green Apple – cored and thinly sliced (I used Granny Smith)*
  • ½ Cup Walnuts – chopped and toasted
  • ¾ Cup Parmesan – freshly grated
  • ¼ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 small Shallot – finely diced, divided
  • 2 ½ TBS Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • ½ tsp Fresh Thyme - minced
  • ½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Optional Add-in’s: Pumpkin Seeds, Goat Cheese, Pomegranate Arils
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Roast the squash: On a large baking sheet, toss together the squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil, maple, thyme, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon ground pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway through cooking. Scatter the cranberries onto the pan and continue to roast for 5 minutes, or until squash is tender and lightly caramelized.
  3. While the squash is roasting, make the dressing: In a bowl whisk the vinegar, 1 tablespoon shallots, maple syrup, mustard, thyme, ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Slowly stream in the olive oil while whisking to emulsify. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Set aside.
  4. Assemble the salad: In a large salad bowl, add the squash with cranberries, arugula, quinoa, apple slices, walnuts, parmesan and remaining diced shallots. Gently toss to combine. Drizzle with the dressing. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes
  1. If using whole squash, microwave it for easy peeling!

    • Slice off both ends (top and bottom) of the squash using a sharp chef's knife.
    • Use a fork to pierce shallow holes all around the squash.
    • Microwave the squash for 1 to 2 minutes (depending on the strength of your microwave).  You don't want to actually cook the squash, you just want to soften the skin.
    • Allow squash to cool and then proceed to peel it.
  2. To keep prep time at 15 minutes, use packaged, peeled and diced butternut squash.  Prepared butternut squash can be found in the refrigerated produce section of most major grocery stores.
  3. You can use your favorite type of quinoa - white, red, or black.  I used a tri-color blend.  To cut down on prep the day of, I make the quinoa in advance and store it, in an airtight container, in the refrigerator.
  4. While you can use any variety of apple in this salad, green apples pair best with butternut squash.  And, specifically tart Granny Smith apples add the best layer of flavor!

Make ahead tips:

  1. You can peel and dice the squash a few days in advance.  Store cubed squash in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  2. You can roast the squash a day in advance and then reheat it when ready to serve.  To make the squash in advance, follow the directions in the recipe, making sure to roast the squash until just slightly al dente, about 18-20 minutes.  When ready to serve, roast the squash for 12-15 minutes, or until fork tender and heated through, adding the cranberries to the pan during the last 5 minutes.

*Nutritional information includes salad and dressing

Nutrition Facts
Fall Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 462 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Fat 28g43%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 5mg2%
Sodium 171mg7%
Potassium 756mg22%
Carbohydrates 53g18%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 18g20%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 12965IU259%
Vitamin C 28.7mg35%
Calcium 228mg23%
Iron 3.2mg18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.