Quinoa and Glazed Butternut Squash salad
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4.75 from 4 votes

Quinoa and Glazed Butternut Squash Salad Recipe

Simple, hearty and healthy, Quinoa and Glazed Butternut Squash salad with spinach, cranberries and toasted sesame seeds is a delicious vegetarian main dish or side.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Vegetarian dish, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings (change as needed): 4 mains (or 5-6 sides)
Author: Cheryl


  • 3/4 lb butternut squash, peeled, cut in 1 inch chunks ( (about 400g)
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp good balsamic vinegar (or more to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • ROAST BUTTERNUT SQUASH: Toss butternut squash with oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper in a bowl. Place in single layer on a parchment lined pan (or foil-lined pan sprayed with oil). Roast for 20-30 minutes until tender and slightly caramelized. I crank the heat to 450F for the last 5-10 minutes to brown the squash more. Remove from oven and sprinkle with thyme.
  • MAKE QUINOA: Rinse quinoa in a mesh strainer. Place in medium pot with 1 2/3 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let the quinoa cool a bit.
  • MAKE DRESSING: Put all dressing ingredients in a cup. Whisk to blend.
  • ASSEMBLE AND SERVE: Add spinach to the warm quinoa and mix. Spinach will wilt. In large bowl, combine quinoa-spinach mixture, cranberries, butternut squash and dressing. Gently mix together. Taste and adjust seasonings. Pour into serving bowl. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds (note 1).  Serve warm or at room temperature.


To Toast Sesame Seeds: Place seeds in a dry pan over medium heat. Shake pan every minute or two for 4-5 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool.