We’ve started planning our Thanksgiving meal. There are so many “must-haves” with the turkey, stuffing, rolls, cranberry sauce, etc. that adding anything new or different doesn’t seem necessary. Every year, however, I struggle with getting enough vegetables on my plate at Thanksgiving, so I don’t feel overwhelmed by all the food and can really enjoy myself.
When there are so many tasty options, however, I find people skip over the veggies. Unless they’re coated in some sauce or topped with marshmallows of course. Hopefully, we can change all that, with recipes like this quinoa squash salad.
The mustard dressing is the same one I’ve used in a few recipes, so you’ll love how versatile it is. This salad can be made up to a day ahead of time to save on the craziness in the kitchen as well.
Quinoa Squash Salad
I’m usually all about creating recipes with few ingredients. As a self-proclaimed veggie lover, I love letting the flavors of fresh produce be front and center. This quinoa squash salad seems to have a lot of ingredients, but it’s really pretty straightforward and super delicious because of its simplicity.
I got the idea for the salad at a quick lunch stop on our recent trip to St. Louis. They had a fall salad with roasted butternut squash and dried cranberries. I always love whole grains in salad as an easy way to add some heartiness. In the case of quinoa, it’s good protein too.
I’ve been enjoying finely chopped kale in salads over spinach and spring mix recently as well (this whole grain mustard vinaigrette really makes it easy). Because the roasted squash is softer in consistency, the crunchiness of the kale really is the perfect compliment. And what better way to top a chopped kale, quinoa squash salad than with this delicious mustard vinaigrette.
It’s the perfect starter, side dish, or even an entree (especially with some extra protein added). And if you want to know a crazy secret, I threw this mixture into some beaten eggs and baked a frittata. It was one of the best breakfast dishes we’ve ever had!
QUINOA SQUASH SALAD
This salad recipe is the epitome of fall for me. I've long loved roasted squash and potatoes on salad. Adding crunchy kale and quinoa (for some protein) was just what my salad was missing, however. It's a winner and on repeat in our home!
- 3-4 cups kale chopped
- 2 cups cooked quinoa instructions here
- 1 cup roasted butternut squash*
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- 2-4 ounces light feta OR goat cheese crumbled
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ lemon juiced (approx. 2 Tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon honey dijon mustard**
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
Combine salad ingredients in large bowl.
Whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour half of dressing into salad. Mix thoroughly. Add remaining salad dressing in small batches until desired flavor.
*How to Roast Squash: skin and cut squash into 1-inch cubes. Coat with 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, and ⅛ teaspoon ginger. Roast for 25-30 minutes at 400 degrees until tender.
**Honey dijon will have a sweeter and more subtle flavor. Deli mustard is best for mustard lovers.