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!
Roast the squash (see notes): Place squash cubes on a large baking sheet. Drizzle the squash with olive oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons of maple syrup, thyme, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon ground pepper. Toss to coat. Place in the oven and roast for 22-25 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. Remove from oven and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
While the squash is roasting, make the dressing: In a bowl whisk the vinegar, 1 tablespoon shallots, 2 1/2 tablespoons of maple syrup, mustard, thyme, ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Slowly stream in the olive oil while whisking to emulsify. ALTERNATIVELY: Add the dressing ingredients to a jar, seal jar and shake vigorously to combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Set aside.
Assemble the salad: In a large salad bowl, add the arugula and enough dressing to coat the lettuce. Toss. Add the quinoa, apple slices, walnuts, parmesan and remaining diced shallots. Toss again to combine. Add the roasted squash with cranberries and dressing to taste. Very gently toss to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature with any remaining dressing on the side. Enjoy!
If using whole squash, microwave it for easy peeling!
Make ahead tips:
To cook perfect quinoa: (Method from cookieandkate.com)
*Nutritional information is an approximation and includes salad plus the dressing