Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa and Spinach Salad

November 2, 2015

Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa and Spinach Salad

I’ve confessed again and again that I’m just the kind of person that way too often hits on something that can't stop eating. For days, weeks, months.
It happened with coconut curry chicken, garlic mushrooms, creamy mashed cauliflower, and now this salad.
I’m telling y
ou, if I had a butternut squash right now at home, instead of writing this post, I’d be peeling, chopping, and roasting it.
No kidding.

Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa and Spinach Salad

I realize that this is one of those recipes I’m going to refresh as often as I can get away with. The second I had these ingredients together — butternut squash, quinoa, spinach, avocado, and lemon — I couldn’t believe it was the first time.
They were meant to be together, and in the times that I’ve had them apart in other recipes, I always know what they’re missing.

Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa and Spinach Salad

Roasting is my favorite method for cooking butternut squash: chopped into small cubes, and roasted until it's browned and slightly caramelized.
It’s so awesome, I have to exercise some serious restraint not to eat it all straight from the oven.

Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa and Spinach Salad

The roasted cubes of butternut squash are then layered on a base of baby spinach, with chopped avocado, fluffy quinoa, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
It's simple, but so delicious you won’t even believe it.
Just make sure you season it properly. Quinoa and roasted squash will fall flat without a generous seasoning of salt, don't be shy.

Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa and Spinach Salad                                                      Print this recipe!

Serves 6

1 medium butternut squash (about 2-2.5 lbs), peeled, seeded, and diced into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon fine grain salt, divided
1 cup / 6.3 oz / 180 gr uncooked quinoa
2 cups / 500 ml water
1 large avocado, pitted and chopped
6 cups / 3.5 oz / 100 gr baby spinach (or any green of your choice)
Juice of 1 lemon


Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and place a rack in the middle. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Spread chopped squash onto the baking sheets and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the top. Toss to coat.
Spread the squash into an even layer, being careful not to overcrowd, and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt.
Roast for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until the bottom starts to brown.
In the meantime place quinoa into a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse thoroughly with cool water for about 2 minutes. Rub and swish the quinoa with your hand while rinsing. Drain.
Place quinoa and water in a small saucepan and season with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer, and cover. Cook until all water is absorbed, about 16 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, fluff with a fork and let cool.
To make the salads, add baby spinach in a large bowl and toss it with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Top with avocado, quinoa and roasted squash.
Garnish with a couple more pinches of salt, a small amount of fresh lemon juice drizzled over top and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Serve immediately!

Nutrition facts

One serving yields 313 calories, 14 grams of fat, 44 grams of carbs, and 8 grams of protein.


  1. This looks delicious and wholesome! Love the avocado- I've been missing avo at college :)

  2. This is seriously all my favorite foods in one beautiful salad! the avocado is always a must :)

  3. So...I just discovered your site a few days ago, and already I've made the Mongolian Beef and the Brazilian Chicken Salad...I must say "YUM!" The Italian Stew is next this week, and I will be surely adding this salad to my list! I <3 butternut squash and avocado!

    1. That's awesome Jess, I'm so glad you're enjoying my recipes!

  4. Some of my most favorite ingredients, love this dish!

  5. Mmm all of these yummy ingredients are making me HUNGRY!! I love roasted squash. I mean, roasted ANYTHING.

    1. Ha! I'm right there with ya, roasting is the best!

  6. HI Mike. My friends make fun of me because I rave about roasted butternut squash; until they try it and then they too, are hooked. I make it as often as I can, roasted with salt and onions. But this looks great- I must try it.

  7. Hi Mike, I kind of eat the same way, beautiful salad in every way.

  8. I can't blame you at all, this salad looks so delicious I would eat it everyday for weeks ;)

  9. yesss! I love every ingredient in this dish! I've been eating squash more than ever.


  10. Mike, your roasted cubes of butternut squash look fantastic! And Heck - your pictures look awesmazing! Roasted Butternut squash and avocado is such a wonderful combo!

  11. Looks amazing! I also always manage to eat at least 1/3 of the roasting squash directly out of the oven, before actually getting to the actual recipe I had planned to make. :)

  12. This looks so good, I want to make it right now! But can you believe that neither of the supermarkets close to me sell quinoa??

  13. just found your blog - and am thrilled that i have all these ingredients (even cooked quinoa yesterday) my butternut squash is in the oven and I'll be eating this gorgeous dish in an hour or so.... I can't wait. PINNING for sure!

  14. I've never combined these ingredients together either, but they do sound perfect! I'd like a bowl to magically appear at my desk right now and eat it as a mid-morning meal haha