Winter Quinoa Salad with Roasted Squash, Caramelized Onions and Wilted Spinach
- 1 cup quinoa uncooked
- 2-3 cups butternut squash cubed
- kosher salt for sprinkling on squash
- 2 medium onions thinly sliced into rings (approximately 2 cups)
- approximately ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup dried cranberries or more to taste could also use dried cherries
- 2-3 tablespoons EVOO divided plus extra for roasting squash
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh sage chopped
- ½ cup salted cashews more to taste
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1- 1 1/2 cups packed baby spinach
- salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse quinoa
- In a medium saucepan, add quinoa and 2 cups of water.
- Bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat 1-2 tablespoon oil to cover the base of a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add onions, sprinkle with salt and cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until soft and golden brown, approx 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in sage.
- Tip: If you're not using a non-stick pan and get the brown crispy parts on the base of the skillet, add a tablespoon or two of water to the pan stir over medium low heat for a minute. The brown parts will "lift" from the pan and you can add them to the quinoa salad at the end for extra flavor if you want.
Roasted Butternut Squash (roast while quinoa cooks and onions caramelize)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Gently toss cubed squash with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil or neutral oil of choice, place in a single layer on baking sheet and sprinkle with kosher salt.
- Bake 30 minutes, or until tender with crispy edges.
- Set aside.
- Mix together remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and lemon juice.
- Add cranberries to the dressing and let sit for a minute or two.
- Add dressing along with cranberries to cooked quinoa and toss to combine.
- Add onions and sage to the quinoa mixture and toss to combine
- Add squash and spinach to warm quinoa mixture and gently combine and let spinach wilt from warmth of quinoa and squash. Pro Tip: If quinoa and squash not warm enough, you could saute spinach for 1 minute or two to get it a little wilted.
- Add in cashews. Pro Tip: if not eating the entire salad at once, hold out some of the cashews and add in when serving. That way they will stay crunchy and salty.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the extra brown bits from the caramelized onions skillet as desired. Add more lemon juice as desired. Stir well and enjoy!
- Serve warm or room temperature.
- Stays well in the refrigerator for several days in a sealed container.
28 thoughts on “Quinoa Salad with Roasted Squash, Caramelized Onions and Wilted Spinach”
Loved the combination of the sweet onions and the sage in there! Such a great combination! Thanks for another great recipe!?
Isn’t it so good? Thank you! 🙂
SO FANTASTIC. All the flavors balanced perfectly. A new favorite in our house!
Yay! So happy you love it too! Thank you!
This was delicious! Thanks for the recipe.
Thank you! So happy you loved it!
Very good but I think it needs more spice. Do you have any recommendations for other seasonings we could add?
I put cumin and curry powder on the squash and it kicked it up a notch
Great adds! Bet it tasted amazing!
This was delicious! My husband even loved it ? Will definitely make more of your quinoa salads. Thank you for your wonderful recipes!
This salad is the perfect combination of fall veggie, sweet, savory tastes all in an amazing dish. Will definitely make again!
Subbed sweet potatoes and added brown rice and sautéed mushrooms.
This salad is simply YUM! I sent half to college with my son and he loves it too. I used frozen, organic squash because I had it on hand. It saved time, but I will definitely use fresh next time.
This tastes amazing!! Such an easy recipe and so good even left over. I added sautéed mushrooms to mine and I love the added flavor it gave it.
Omg I love this! Omitted the lemon juice but it was still very good. I cooked the onions, added chicken broth and added the qunioa in the same pot to soak up all those flavors. I will definately be making this again.
Chicken broth is a great add! Happy you loved it!
This was yummayyyy. I loved the simple dressing! I didn’t have sage on hand, but still an excellent dish
Thank you! Happy you loved it!
Yummy, hearty, perfect for fall quinoa bowl. Came together so quickly, enjoyed as a salad and as a meal !
I made this today, followed recipe as written. I thought it was great! Added a heavy dose of pepper at end. Welcome Fall!
Forgot to add ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I want to make this delicious sounding salad. Do you have the nutritional content available please?
At this time, I do not have nutritional information.
This was delicious! Will definitely be making it in the future.
Happy you love it! Thank you!
Loved the mix of textures and different tastes ie sweet, salty, tangy, savory. Very good leftover. I made this after Christmas and added some leftover prime rib Will definitely go into my fall/winter rotation
This was delicious and easy to make! Will definitely be having again.
Happy you loved it! Thank you!