Autumn Quinoa Salad Puts A Deliciously Healthy Spin On A Thanksgiving Classic

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and that means only one thing: food — and lots of it!

If you go the traditional route, then you probably already know what’s on your menu. You have your turkey, your stuffing, your potatoes, and your cranberry sauce. But maybe you’re looking to shake things up — just a little, not too much.

That’s where this fall but still fresh salad comes in.

It’s hearty and filling, but not so much that it’ll leave you feeling leaden and ready for a nap (don’t worry, though, the rest of the food will do that for you). It’s also made with healthy ingredients like butternut squash, fresh spinach, and quinoa.

Quinoa is the edible seed of a plant native to the Andes of South America and has been eaten by people there for thousands of years. It’s recently been celebrated by the world over for being a healthy alternative to wheat. It’s popped up in all kinds of dishes, even in desserts like marshmallow squares.

If you’re looking for something that’s healthy but still hearty and delicious this Thanksgiving, check out the recipe and video below for this quinoa and squash salad. And feel free to make a lot, because it’s great as leftovers, too!

And be sure to SHARE this recipe with anyone looking to do something a little different this Thanksgiving without losing the spirit of the holiday.

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed
  • 3 cups chicken broth (or vegetable, for a vegan option)
  • 2 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Place cubed squash in a microwave safe bowl and pour in water.
  • Microwave until tender.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add squash and onion. Stir fry until onions are golden brown. Turn off heat and set aside.
  • In a medium pot, add quinoa and broth. Cook for 20 minutes or until tender.
  • In a large salad bowl, combine squash and onion mix and quinoa. Add in spinach and stir.
  • Add cranberries and pistachios and stir until mixed.
  • Serve and enjoy!