This Harvest Quinoa Salad is bursting with fall flavors! Butternut squash, apples, dried cranberries, pepitas and toasted almonds are all tossed in a cider vinaigrette for a healthy and seasonal salad!
When it comes to Thanksgiving are you more about the turkey or the side dishes? I’m definitely more of a side dish girl! I love turkey, assuming it’s not all dried out, but all those colorful, flavorful side dishes really get me excited.
When I make Thanksgiving dinner I’m not only thinking about the flavors of the food, but the colors as well. I want the table to be full of color! Red cranberries, orange sweet potatoes, yellow butternut squash, golden brown turkey, green Brussels sprouts or green beans.
Along with having lots of color on the Thanksgiving table, I think it’s important to have enough options so that everyone will have something to enjoy. With all the diets and food allergies out there right now, sometimes it can feel overwhelming when you’re trying to come up with a menu.
Mashed potatoes are an obvious gluten-free side dish, but this year I wanted to add something else that’s a little more unexpected. Not only is this harvest quinoa salad gluten-free, but vegan as well.
The salad is loaded with all sorts of fall goodies such as protein rich quinoa, butternut squash, baby kale, dried cranberries, toasted almonds, pepitas, an apple and then it’s dressed in my favorite fall cider vinaigrette!
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup cubed and roasted butternut squash
- 1 apple, diced (I used a Gala apple)
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cups baby kale or spinach, chopped
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds
- 2 tablespoons pepitas (raw or roasted and salted)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cider vinaigrette for dressing the salad.
- In a medium sized saucepan bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil.
- Rinse and drain the quinoa then add it to the boiling water.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover and let the quinoa cook for about 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
- Remove the quinoa from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
- Prepare the cider vinaigrette and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the cooled quinoa, roasted butternut squash, apple, green onion, baby kale, dried cranberries, almonds and pepitas.
- Mix in the desired amount of cider vinaigrette and season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper as needed.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
If you plan to make the salad ahead of time, wait until just before serving to add in the toasted almonds so that they stay crunchy.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 222Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 208mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 7gSugar: 16gProtein: 6g