Butternut Squash & Quinoa Salad (It's Delicious & It's Vegan!)

mbg Contributor By Caroline Shannon-Karasik
mbg Contributor
Caroline Shannon-Karasik is a Pittsburgh-based writer, the author of The Gluten-Free Revolution, and a pilates instructor. She has a bachelor’s in journalism from Point Park University and received her health coach certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

I love taking time on the weekend to prepare dishes that will make healthy meal options easier throughout the week. This quinoa salad is one of my favorites! My husband and I make it on a Sunday, then have it on hand for a quick lunch option when we are on-the-go. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week!

Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad (gluten-free and vegetarian)

Makes 10 servings (1/2 cup per serving)


  • 3 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme
  • 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups roughly chopped baby kale
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. honey (or maple syrup if you choose not to eat honey)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a vegetable peeler to peel off the outer layer of a medium butternut squash.

Using a sharp knife, cut about 1/4 inch from the top and bottom of squash. Stand squash upright (or lay on side) and make a vertical cut from top to bottom.

Use a metal spoon to scoop out pulp and seeds, then lay squash halves cut side down on cutting board to cube squash.

Arrange squash on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with rosemary and thyme, evenly distributing. Drizzle with olive oil, then use hands to toss and spread squash out on baking sheet.

Clean hands, then sprinkle squash with sea salt. Roast for 25-40 minutes, then allow to cool completely before adding to salad.

After butternut squash is finished roasting, arrange pecans on a separate small baking sheet. Toasted for 8-9 minutes, until aromatic and lightly golden. Allow pecans to cool completely before adding to salad.

Measure quinoa into a large bowl that can be covered and stored in the refrigerator. butternut squash, pecans and kale.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together apple olive oil and honey, then drizzle on top of quinoa mixture. Use a spoon to thoroughly ingredients together.

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