Red Quinoa with Dates, Pine Nuts and roasted Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is my favourite autumn vegetable (oh dear, I admitted we’re moving away from summer).  The roasting process intensifies the flavour of this delicious harvest squash, making it absolutely irresistible – not to mention full of nutrients, including beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium, fibre and folate.

I like serving health building quinoa alongside a meal as a substitute for the customary rice or potato.

Red Quinoa Salad with Dates, Pine Nuts and roasted Butternut Squash

  • 1 cup red quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 medium size butternut squash, roasted and cubed
  • 1/3 cup dried pitted dates, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 green onion, chopped
For the Roasted Butternut Squash:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Cut squash in half lengthwise.  Using a spoon, remove seeds and set the seeds aside for drying (you can use them another time in a different recipe – they’re delicious – or, allow them to dry and use them in this recipe instead of the pine nuts).
Cut seedless squash into smaller pieces and place in a baking dish.  Drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper (I also like to add other spices from time to time, such as sweet chili powder – lovely). 

Place squash in oven for about 35 minutes or until it is just tender but not overdone.  Allow squash to cool before cutting into cubes and discarding the skin.

For the Quinoa:

Place rinsed quinoa and 2 cups of water in an uncovered pot on the stove. Heat until it comes to a boil, then cover the pot and reduce heat to lowest setting for 12-15 minutes (or until most of the water has evaporated). Allow quinoa to cool and transfer to serving bowl.  Add cubed squash, dates and pine nuts to quinoa, mixing gently to combine.   Sprinkle with green onion to finish.

Serves 4-6

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  1. says

    This is FABULOUS! I’m dying to try quinoa and have some on order…and I love the combination you have with the other ingredients! Buzzed!

  2. says

    my kind of eats here!!! just quinoa with some hearty veggies!! i love the idea of pairing it with butternut squash :D. i’ve been eating my quinoa salads with spinach, mushrooms, and strawberries!

  3. says

    I’m so excited that it’s officially okay for me to eat winter squash at every meal! This quinoa salad looks like the perfect way to kick off the season!

  4. says

    Beautiful looking, colourful salad, and squash is really good – makes a great alternative to potato chips if you dry roast them (or roast with just a light spray of oil). I actually have a butternut squash and quinoa at home at the moment – maybe I’ll knock this up tonight :D

  5. says

    So colorful and pretty with all these healthy ingredients! I’m excited for all the fall dishes even tho I don’t really get to experience much fall weather in S. Florida!!

  6. says

    We used to make butternut squash quite a bit. Mr. N loved it and so did we. Then one dinner he decided he didn’t like it. I told him he had to eat one more bite and he could be done. After much protesting he did; however let’s just say that it was the last time I have ever asked him to eat just one more bite. It was a very messy clean-up and we haven’t had it since. Perhaps it’s time to revisit the butternut squash. I doubt he remembers that meal when he was three. ;)

  7. says

    It’s as if you were reading my thoughts: I have bought some quinoa and have been wondering which recipe I should choose to cook it for the first time. Yours looks easy and delicious.
    Squash season starts and it’s sad: as you say Summer is almost over :-( I totally agree that grilling or roasting brings out the best in butternut squash or pumpkins. I also love putting lots of curry and hot chili. I think spicy and hot flavours improve all these orange vegetables.

  8. says


    Oh NO… poor Mr. N! I can completely relate to that mommy moment… so hard to predict these things. Youngsters are so intuitive and in touch with themselves. Maybe he could tolerate a small trial. Another way I like to prepare butternut squash once it has roasted is to mash it with a little bit of maple syrup and a touch of butter (similar consistency to mashed potato) Mr. N (and Miss A) might like that version too.

  9. says

    The red quoins then the pine nuts and last squash! A pwrfect mixture of fantastic ingredients. I can’t wait to try it. The picture speaks a million! Thanks for visiting. Love your blog- following u now

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