Roasted Butternut and Red Quinoa Salad with Spicy Lime Vinaigrette

By Jillian Bernardini
August 23, 2013
27 Comments


Author Notes: This is my red quinoa salad with roasted squash, white beans, toasted pumpkin seeds, and cilantro, all mixed in a spicy lime vinaigrette. You can save the seeds from the squash to use as a garnish too! The bright, citrusy element of the dressing complements the filling, richness of the squash and beans, which also really helps to lighten up this whole grain, whole veggie meal. Jillian Bernardini

Food52 Review: This is one of the best quinoa salads I've ever made. The dressing is insane -- I would love to make ceviche with it! When roasting the pumpkin seeds I added an extra teaspoon of olive oil to effectively make a paste with the paprika to coat. I would recommend tossing the salad with half of the dressing to start, and adding as you go. This has some great flavors and texture going on. cratecooking

Serves: 4

Ingredients

Vinaigrette

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • Zest of 1/2 lime
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Quinoa Salad

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 pounds peeled, seeded butternut squash cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 15 ounces white beans or 1 can, drained
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

Directions

Vinaigrette

  1. In a small bowl, combine the shallot, garlic, jalapeño, lime zest and juice, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and red pepper.
  2. Gradually whisk in the olive and canola oils in a slow steady stream until combined. Taste for seasoning, and set aside until ready to dress the salad.

Quinoa Salad

  1. Set the oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet, combine the pumpkin seeds with the olive oil and paprika in one even layer. Toast for 8 minutes in the oven, or until browned and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
  2. Turn the oven temperature up to 400 degrees, and on the same baking sheet, combine the butternut squash and canola oil. Season with salt and pepper, and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, tossing halfway through to evenly brown and caramelize. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, toast the quinoa, stirring often, for 2 minutes, or until the grains are aromatic. Add the water and a pinch of salt. Stir well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Transfer to a large bowl and fluff with a fork.
  4. Add the squash, white beans, half of the pumpkin seeds, and half of the cilantro to the quinoa. Drizzle with the lime dressing and toss gently. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper. Garnish with remaining pumpkin seeds and cilantro.

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Reviews (27) Questions (0)

27 Comments

Joeyman9 October 9, 2016
I know this recipe has been around awhile, however, this is amazingly delicious, great flavors. I didn't expect much for a dish that doesn't look as colorful as it tastes.
 
robin L. March 7, 2016
Curious to hear what other oil than canola people use for this...?
 
suziqcu March 7, 2016
Avocado Oil would work nicely, or grapeseed.<br />
 
MM92572 January 30, 2016
This was delicious! I realized at the last minute that I was all out of quinoa (oops!) so used isreali couscous instead, and it was great. Used about 3/4 of the dressing bc otherwise it could have been too much. Will definitely make again.
 
Danielle March 9, 2015
It's just starting to feel like spring here, and this was the perfect dish to transition seasons. The hearty squash and beans paired with the bright citrus and cilantro is such an unexpectedly delicious combination. Separately, I may become addicted to these pumpkin seeds. So good!!
 
suziqcu March 6, 2015
Trying to incorporate more quinoa in my diet. Snowed in and wondering it it would be substantially different if I roasted sweet potatoes instead?
 
Arakasi March 6, 2015
I'm pretty sure that would be awesome.
 
suziqcu March 6, 2015
Great to know you think so. I'm going to get started now!
 
Author Comment
Jillian B. March 6, 2015
That sounds like a lovely alternative! As long as they still have a nice textural balance with the quinoa, sweet potato would be great.
 
Arakasi February 19, 2015
I think the pepitas come out better if you toast them first, and then toss with oil and paprika.
 
Leanne L. January 17, 2015
Is this meant to be cold? Can it be made a day ahead and kept?
 
Author Comment
Jillian B. January 18, 2015
You can enjoy this at room temperature, or chilled. If you make it a day ahead, I would wait to toss in the vinaigrette, so the mixture doesn't get overly soaked or soggy!
 
rachelanna October 17, 2014
This ended up so, so delicious. Making the dressing a day ahead was totally fine. I cooked the quinoa the night before too -- made it easy enough to throw together on a Monday night after a long day at work. This is going in the dinner rotation for sure.
 
QueenOfGreen October 17, 2014
This is my new favorite desk lunch! (I topped it off with a little grilled chicken too.)
 
rachelanna October 12, 2014
I'm excited to make this tomorrow. Question: can I make the dressing a day ahead? Trying to prep for the week. If anyone has tested this out/has a hunch, let me know. Thanks!
 
Margey D. October 12, 2014
Yes! Just give it a good whisk.
 
Manhattan T. September 7, 2014
Much more delicioius than the sum of its parts. Though there are multiple components at work here, they certainly all seem to work together beautifully, taste-wise. I'm not a huge smoked paprika fan but used the full amount with great success. I skipped the pepper flakes in fear of the dressing being too spicy and I'm glad I did. It was great w/o. I could see that a bit of baby kale, wilted, would also be great in this.
 
Marques June 24, 2014
Fantastic recipe! Just had a feeling it would be good...It's summer, so used new corn and asparagus instead of butternut squash. Went light on the peppers because I was serving to others, but it could stand more heat. Wiil DEFINITELY add this to the rotation, maybe try different peppers.
 
Adam E. March 19, 2014
Boy, I really wanted this one to work. Maybe I messed it up, but I don't think so. My only modification: serrano rather than jalapeno chili. Threw a lot away.
 
Amanda March 4, 2014
I made this for an Oscar party and it was a hit! I doubled the recipe and am still eating it. Tastes even better as the days go on. Love it, and will definitely make this again.
 
Lauren S. December 18, 2013
I have made this several times now for a dinner party, a friend who was recuperating from surgery, and a potluck. Each time it hits the spot. It travels and stays well. The mix of ingredients, tastes and textures are so perfect. Thanks for sharing!
 
blackberry November 12, 2013
This is an outstanding quinoa recipe...I've converted many onto quinoa with this one! I could eat this on its own all week long. I've made it at least a handful of times to rave reviews, and it's now in the regular rotation. At first I was very modest with the jalapeno and flakes, but once all the ingredients are assembled, the sweetness of the squash balances perfectly with the light heat of the jalapeno and chili flakes, the smokiness of the paprika, and the bright acidity of the lime. Perfect! Also love how healthy and nutritious the mix of ingredients are. I generally cut the oil in the dressing down in half as I like my dressings more acidic, and it still tastes perfect to me. Thanks for a great recipe Jillian! Tonight it's being paired with piri piri bbq chicken :)
 
Author Comment
Jillian B. November 9, 2013
Thanks so much for sharing my recipe and all of the kind words! Hope to post some more healthful, flavorful new dishes for the winter!
 
Margey D. September 28, 2013
Delicious! Pretty easy to make, although a little time consuming. Well worth it, in my opinion. The dressing is wonderful
 
Patty C. September 23, 2013
Made this last night to serve with grilled skirt steak. It was very good. The roasted pumpkin seeds would make a very good snack. The dish was very flavorful but not overpowering.
 
deb September 18, 2013
Going to try this.