Butternut & Quinoa Salad with Lemon & Honey

by Lynne on November 7, 2013

Post image for Butternut & Quinoa Salad with Lemon & Honey

Butternut Quinoa Salad 1.1

I am still in Thanksgiving mode and working on my side dishes for the big feast. I really like this one, with the soft sweet butternut squash, the crunchy nutty quinoa and the nuggets of garbonzo chewiness. I love the herby note of cilantro and sweet honey lemon vinaigrette that ties the whole thing together.

I am thinking about the architecture on the plate with the turkey slices, mashed potato and stuffing, and adjacent maybe green beans with grapes and this quinoa salad. You know cranberries are on the plate, too, and if they got mixed in a little with the quinoa it would be a match made in heaven. I can’t wait for Thanksgiving to get here. I feel like I’m starving all the time. Oh, moan…

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This butternut squash took about half an hour to peel. It was a b**ch, but I persevered. In the end it was so worth it. The slices that are half moons could be cut out with small biscuit cutters into smaller half moons if you want. I didn’t think about it until afterward.

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If you are serving separate plated salads, this dish would be really pretty and a lovely start to your feast. I usually serve the soup and salad first, and then send around the turkey and the rest of the feast family style on platters. I am thinking about a corn bisque for my soup course, so stay tuned. Yea for the Happy Holidays!

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Print Recipe Print Recipe

Roasted Butternut & Quinoa Salad with Lemon & Honey

Serves 4

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water

1 small butternut squash, halved, seeded, peeled, ½-inch slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, cut into ¾-inch wedges

¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ cup minced cilantro
1 can garbonzo beans (chickpeas), drained, rinsed
Queso fresco cheese, crumbled, to serve

Lemon Honey Vinaigrette (recipe below)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread 1 tablespoon olive oil to coat sheet.

2. Bring the 2 cups water to boil in 2 qt saucepan. Add 1 cup quinoa, bring back to boil, cover, cook over medium-low heat for about 12 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all water. Remove from heat, fluff, cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Set aside.

3. Place butternut squash slices on baking sheet and turn to coat with oil. Roast for 10 minutes.

4. Turn squash slices over and add onion wedges. Drizzle onion with remainder of olive oil. Roast for 10-15 more minutes, or until squash is tender and onions are browning on edges.

4. In a large bowl, mix together the vinegar, sugar, minced cilantro, chickpeas and cooked quinoa. Mound on serving platter or individual salad plates.

5. Top quinoa mixture with onion, butternut squash slices and crumbled cheese. Drizzle with half of Lemon Honey Vinaigrette (or more, to taste). Pass remainder of vinaigrette at table.

Lemon Honey Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1. Place vinaigrette ingredients in small bowl and whisk to emulsify.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Coco in the Kitchen November 8, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Beautiful. Must try.

Cathy | She Paused 4 Thought November 8, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Forget waiting until Thanksgiving, making this one now.

Irina @ wandercrush November 8, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Beautiful mix of ingredients. Perfectly light and autumnal… I love the brightness of the lemon.

Adri November 8, 2013 at 11:48 pm

What a terrific dish. I love all the different textures, the soft squash, sweet and yielding, and the quinoa, with its bite. I’m going to have to try this one. I agree with you about the peeling. It is a trial. I started using a large ceramic peeler for the job, and it works well. It does not alleviate all the headache, but it helps. Happy Thanksgiving!

Ana November 9, 2013 at 9:57 am


Lentil Breakdown November 11, 2013 at 11:01 am

I’m sure the Pilgrims would have loved this since Indians ate quinoa in the Andes—not with such impeccable plating, of course.

Adri November 17, 2014 at 11:03 am

Oh my, but this is an absolute delight. I do think this one will make its way to our family’s Thanksgiving table this year. Thanks!!

janet February 6, 2015 at 1:44 am

Hi Lynne,
Just started subscribing to your blog and it looks amazing. Reading yr recipy for Roasted Butternut & Quinoa Salad with Lemon & Honey I saw that peeling the pumpkin created a problem. A tip that I come accross alot here is to immerse the pumpkin in nearly boiling water for 30 secs.to a minute. After that easy peasy. I always do as it makes life alot easier. Regards Janet

Lynne February 7, 2015 at 3:14 pm

Hi Janet ~ Thanks for the tip. I’m going to try your method next time. It totally makes sense and will be so much easier. Lynne xo

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