Fall Quinoa Harvest Salad

This quinoa harvest salad is perfect for a Thanksgiving side dish. Enjoy the nutritional benefits of this superfood combination, with the sweet and savory flavors of cranberries, goat cheese, pumpkin seeds and butternut squash. 


Quick and Easy Quinoa Harvest Salad

As I was making this recipe, I was thinking back to when I first cooked quinoa.

I was a sophomore in college. I was just beginning to transform my lifestyle from unwholesome to healthy, and I was doing my research on how to improve my diet. I always pronounced it like ‘kee-know-uh’, and was so surprised when I finally learned it’s actual pronunciation. Nevertheless, I was so excited to have found this superfood, especially because I enjoyed it so much. A few years later, here I am sharing my own recipes with the ingredient.

Quinoa Harvest Salad

This recipe is probably my favorite side dish that I’ve ever made. Seriously.

The savory roasted butternut squash melts in your mouth like a mouthful of dissolving cotton candy at the state fair. I love the combination of sweet dried cranberries with tangy goat cheese and crunchy, salty roasted pumpkin seeds – it took the dish to another level and was complimented perfectly with the quinoa and drizzle of olive oil.

Incorporating or replacing this as a side to your Thankgiving feast makes for a nutritious addition to our otherwise, customary side of buttery mashed potatoes or green bean casserole *cringe*.

Here’s what you’re packing with the two shining stars:

  • Butternut squash 
    • Fiber
    • Potassium
    • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
    • Magnesium
  • Quinoa
    • Protein (quinoa is a complete protein)
    • Fiber
    • Iron
    • Manganese

Quinoa Harvest Salad

Did I mention this recipe is ridiculously easy? I would call it semi-homemade but I hate that description. The only cooking you’re doing is for the butternut squash and quinoa.

Quick & Easy Quinoa Harvest Salad


  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the cubed squash atop a baking sheet. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use your hands to make sure each cube is covered with this trifecta.
  3. Set to bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Place the quinoa and water in a rice cooker and set to cook. If you don't have a rice cooker, you can use a small sauce pan with the same quinoa to water ratio. Set the stove to medium-high heat and cover the mixture. Bring it to a boil then lower the heat for about 20 minutes.
  5. When squash is finished baking, and quinoa is finished cooking, combine the two in a large bowl. Add toppings, sprinkle with about a tsp of salt and pepper, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

Quinoa Harvest Salad

Quinoa Harvest Salad

If you like this recipe, don’t forget to pin it!

Quinoa Harvest Salad

Join the conversation:
What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?
If you could choose only one Fall vegetable for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Dried fruit: love it or hate it?

The Ultimate Guide to Breakfast On-The-Go


  1. says

    This dish looks so freaking good. I haven’t found a quinoa recipe that I’ve liked yet, but I’m thinking this might be it since I love all of the other ingredients. Fingers crossed this makes me a quinoa believer. 😉

  2. says

    I despiiiise the term “semi-homemade”! Wasn’t there a show on The Food Network that specialized in that category?
    When I first had quinoa I was weirded out by the texture. Now idk what “texture” I was talking about…it’s just so amazing and versatile.
    Jess @hellotofit recently posted…Easy chicken nachosMy Profile

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