Wholesome, flavorful, and filling! This Butternut Squash Cranberry Quinoa Salad is a deliciously nutritious salad to indulge in!
With a handful of straightforward ingredients, this quinoa salad comes together so well. With ingredients like tricolor quinoa, cranberries, pumpkin seeds pepitas, arugula, and more, this salad screams “sweater weather”.
Looking for a healthy reprieve? Try some of my other favorite recipes like this Healthy Green Bean Casserole, Healthy Lemon Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins, Roasted Sweet Potato Bowls, or this Ahi Poke Bowl.
If you love quinoa salads, you’ll definitely want to give this Quinoa Apple Salad a try too!
Cranberry Quinoa Salad Recipe
Get ready to add some color to your meal. This complete meal is a standout, show-stopping salad made with lots of fresh ingredients.
Whether you are having it for lunch or dinner, you will enjoy preparing this next level salad, and you’ll LOVE eating it.
This recipe is one you will definitely want to bookmark and share with friends because it accommodates everyone. Cranberry Quinoa Salad is vegan, vegetarian, and dairy free!
Healthy Quinoa Salad Ingredients
Butternut squash: you can’t make butternut squash salad without butternut squash! I really love this ingredient because it is a superfood high in antioxidants and vitamins. You can usually find it chopped at the store.
Quinoa: for this recipe, I used tricolor quinoa. It adds great color to the dish, but you can also use red or white quinoa if you prefer.
Greens: add some healthy greens to your salad with some baby arugula and chopped fresh parsley. Spinach also works well here.
Seeds and berries: one of the things I love most about this salad is all the different flavors and textures; much of that comes from the fruits, seeds, and berries featured in the dish. For this, you will need orange zest, dried sweet cranberries, toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), and pomegranate seeds.
Vegetable broth: cooking the quinoa in broth adds loads of flavor.
Honey Dijon Dressing
*For a detailed list of ingredients and measurements, please reference the recipe card down below.
How to Make Butternut Squash Cranberry Quinoa Salad
1. Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven with a baking sheet inside on the middle rack to 400° F. Lately, I’ve been preheating my baking sheets before roasting vegetables to allow them to start cooking as soon as they go on.
2. Roast the butternut squash. Add the cubed butternut squash to a large mixing bowl and season with olive oil, honey, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat, then arrange on the preheated baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 20-30 minutes or until the squash is fork-tender and begins to turn golden brown.
3. Cook the quinoa. Meanwhile, bring the vegetable broth and rinsed quinoa to a boil in a medium sized saucepan. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 15 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Transfer to a large salad bowl.
4. Make the dressing. While the quinoa is cooking, whisk together the olive oil, honey, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
5. Assemble the salad. In the bowl with the quinoa, mix in the honey dijon dressing. Then mix in the orange zest, dried cranberries, toasted pumpkin seeds, arugula, and chopped parsley. Serve hot, room temperature, or cold. I love to serve it room temperature with Air Fryer Tofu or Air Fryer Chicken.
This recipe can be served hot, cold, or at room temperature. Personally, my favorite way is to serve it warm (in-between room temp and hot)!
Additional Toppings for Quinoa Salad
The best part about this quinoa salad is how easy it is to change things up.
If you are looking to swap some ingredients around the next time you make this, consider some of these alternative ingredients or toppings for your butternut squash quinoa salad.
Herbs: consider trying sage, thyme, chives, or even rosemary.
Dairy: feta cheese or goat cheese crumbles are delicious cheeses to mix into this salad.
Red onion: adds texture and mild spice.
I love having recipes in my back pocket that meet any occasion, and this is one of those golden recipes! It can easily be modified to meet the flavors of any season by swapping out the herbs and fruit.
It’s the perfect Fall and Winter side dish as is, but can also be delicious in the Spring or Summer with some simple substitutions:
Spring: roasted vegetables, black beans, chickpeas, olives, sun dried tomatoes, red onion, fresh kale, zucchini, or tofu.
Summer: apples, pears, lemon juice, lime juice, fresh cilantro or fresh herbs, avocado, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, green onions, or cucumbers.
Make Ahead Tips
If you’re planning to make this salad for a holiday dinner or a dinner party, you can prepare the ingredients ahead of time by:
- Roast the butternut squash and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Cook the quinoa and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Prepare the honey dijon dressing and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
When ready to serve, you can reheat the quinoa and butternut squash together in the microwave if serving hot. Then mix in the remaining ingredients and serve.
Helpful Kitchen Tools
Bowls: whether you are serving or plating this meal, you will need bowls! I love this large serving bowl and the contrast of colors between the bowl and the salad.
Baking sheet: every home chef needs a good quality baking sheet or sheet pan.
More Butternut Squash Recipes
More Vegetarian Recipes
- Vegetarian Fajitas With Mushrooms
- Roasted Sweet Potato Bowls
- Vegetarian Cornbread Stuffing
- Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Peppers
- Shawarma Tofu Salad
WANT TO TRY THIS BUTTERNUT SQUASH CRANBERRY QUINOA SALAD RECIPE?
PIN IT to your quinoa salad recipes, side dish recipes, or vegetarian recipes board to save it for later!
Find me on Pinterest for more great recipes. I’m always pinning!
Did you make this recipe? Post a photo on Instagram and tag me @JZEATS or #JZEATS so I can see! Leave a comment below and let me know what you think, too!
Butternut Squash Cranberry Quinoa Salad
Cranberry Quinoa Salad
- 3 cups butternut squash cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 3/4 cup tricolor quinoa, rinsed
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds pepitas
- 1/2 cup baby arugula
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
- Preheat the oven with a baking sheet inside on the middle rack to 400° F.
- Add the cubed butternut squash to a large mixing bowl and season with olive oil, honey, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat, then arrange on the preheated baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 20-30 minutes or until the squash is fork tender and begins to turn golden brown.
- Meanwhile, bring the vegetable broth and rinsed quinoa to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 15 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Transfer to a large salad bowl.
- While the quinoa is cooking, whisk together the olive oil, honey, dijon mustard, champagne vinegar, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.