Roasted Butternut Squash and Cranberry Quinoa Salad with Cider Dijon Vinaigrette

Roasted butternut squash, cranberries, and shallots are folded into fluffy quinoa and tossed with a cider Dijon vinaigrette for a side dish that's perfect for the fall and holiday season. Top with toasted pecans and goat cheese for extra crunch, creaminess, and flavor.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword butternut squash, cranberries, quinoa, side dish, thanksgiving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 (1/2-cup servings)
Author Jessica Levinson


For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the quinoa:

  • Cooking spray
  • 4 cups diced butternut squash (~1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen whole cranberries (~6 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 cup uncooked white quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced sage (cut chiffonade style)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons toasted chopped pecans (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese (optional)


  1. To make the dressing, whisk together the apple cider, mustard, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.
  3. Toss diced squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil and spread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast 15 minutes until the squash is tender and starting to brown.
  4. Toss cranberries and shallots with maple syrup and the remaining teaspoon oil. Add to the baking sheet and toss with the squash. Roast 10 to 15 minutes until the squash is crisp and browned on the outside, the cranberries have started to soften and burst, and the shallots are caramelized.
  5. While the squash and cranberries are roasting, prepare quinoa. Combine quinoa and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until all water is absorbed, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer quinoa to a bowl and let cool about 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Toss quinoa with lemon zest, most of the sage, and half the dressing. Add the roasted squash, shallots, and cranberries, the rest of the dressing, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and freshly ground pepper, to taste. Toss, garnish with remaining sage, and serve warm. Top with pecans and goat cheese, if desired.