Being one of my favorite seasonal winter ingredients, I try to use butternut squash as much as possible. My local Whole Foods always has a great stock of locally grown squash so I take full advantage when it’s in season.
This salad is an excellent way to use butternut squash, it’s a great mix of a gluten free grain for protein, a healthy green, walnuts for a crunch, and cranberries for a little sweetness.
Another great thing about this salad is it can easily be changed to suit your taste. If butternut squash really isn’t an ingredient you enjoy, sweet potatoes would make an excellent substitution. Or if you haven’t quite warmed up to kale, spinach or arugula would work just as well.
Butternut Squash Kale Quinoa
Make 6-8 Servings
3 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and 1/2 inch diced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
2 cups quinoa, uncooked
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 cups kale, cleaned and ripped into bite sized pieces
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prep butternut squash – peel, seed, and dice into 1/2 chunks. (How To Cut a Butternut Squash Tutorial Link)
2. Place squash on a sheet pan and toss in extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until tender.
3. While the squash is cooking, cook the quinoa. Add 2 cups of quinoa and 3 1/2 cups of water to a sauce pan, bring to a simmer. Simmer while stirring occasionally until the water is gone, about 15-20 minutes.
4. Chop walnuts and prep kale.
5. In a large bowl, mix butternut squash, quinoa, kale, dried cranberries, and walnuts.
6. Serve right away while warm or chill and serve later. Enjoy!
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