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butternut squash quinoa salad in oval white bowl

Butternut Squash and Cranberry Quinoa Salad

  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Chop
  • Cuisine: American


Butternut squash cranberry salad is the BEST fall salad! Made with butternut squash, cranberries, quinoa, pumpkin seeds and Balsamic Vinaigrette.


  • 3 cups butternut squash, chopped into 3/4-inch wide cubes
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 3 Tbsp. toasted pumpkin seeds
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper

Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange coated squash on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until tender and lightly browned.
  3. While the squash is roasting, rinse quinoa under cold water until water runs clear. Place quinoa and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook partially covered until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  4. To assemble the salad, combine the cooked quinoa while still warm, roasted squash, cranberries, red onions, and toasted pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and lightly toss until combined. Refrigerate 2 hours up to overnight. Before serving, taste for salt and pepper.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

  1. Whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.


  • BIG TIP! One of the biggest tips when it comes to making this salad is to toss the salad with the vinaigrette while the quinoa is still warm and then chill the salad. At first, it will look like there’s too much dressing but after the salad had time to chill the quinoa will soak up the majority of dressing. It’s a great salad to make ahead. It holds up amazing!
  • Add Ins: spinach, arugula, feta, goat cheese are some of our favorites. Also if you don’t like pumpkin seeds, swap them out for walnuts or sunflower seeds.
  • Leftovers: leftover quinoa salad will stay fresh in the fridge for 4-5 days if made as written.
  • Recipe originally published October 2014.

Keywords: side salad, healthy, easy, meal prep, fall