Loaded with soft delicata squash, tangy cranberries and crunchy apples, this delicata squash quinoa salad is the perfect winter side salad for any gathering and doubles as fantastic lunch leftovers!
I don’t know about you but I’ll gladly fill in all the cookie cracks with a loaded quinoa salad with all the winter salad goods which for me requires: a) squash b) cranberries + nuts c) apples d) cheese. As all my salads require but that’s neither here nor there.
C’mon. Look at this heaping bowl of salad BEAUTY. All those beautiful colors and textures hanging out together in one massive bowl.
I promise you’ll win major beauty points if you bring this delicata squash quinoa salad to any holiday gathering. Promise you’ll win major points if you also just hoard it to yourself.
First and foremost you’ll need to pull out a big beautiful delicata squash. I freaking LOVE the texture this squash gives to the salad. We’re gonna roast it til it’s nice and tender in just a little bit of olive oil + spices.
From there, you’re gonna need to cook up some fluffy quinoa and toss some dried cranberries, toasty pecans, crunchy apples, and sharp Parmesan into the situation.
Why not sweeten the salad deal and whip up some tangy orange vinaigrette to drown all of the above in? Heck yeah, we’re doing it, team.
The freaking COLORS and textures in this salad though, guys. It’s like winter/fall in a bowl and it is to die for.
And also healthy, so you bet you’re having that extra cookie.
Cranberry Apple Delicata Squash Quinoa Salad
- 1 small delicata squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-in cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 3 cups cooked quinoa
- 2 medium apples, cored and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a small bowl, toss squash cubes with oil, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 400F 15-20 minutes until tender. Set aside to cool.
- In a serving bowl, toss quinoa with apples, cranberries, pecans, Parmesan cheese, and squash. Set aside for a moment.
- In a small bowl, whisk orange juice with Dijon and honey. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly until dressing is thick and smooth. Whisk in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- When ready to serve, toss salad with orange vinaigrette and serve immediately. Enjoy!