This vegan roasted butternut squash quinoa pomegranate salad is the perfect balance of sweet and savory. The roasted butternut squash adds a natural sweetness while the quinoa provides a nutty flavor and a boost of protein. The pomegranate seeds add a burst of sweetness and a pop of color. This vegan salad is a fall or winter salad that will bring your guests back for seconds! Exploding with flavor, this gluten-free, plant-based salad is the perfect vegan side dish for your next holiday get-together!
Ingredients & Substitutions For This Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Pomegranate Salad Vegan Recipe
The ingredients for this delicious vegan salad are quite simple and easy to find. You will need a butternut squash, either fresh or frozen and pre-peeled and cubed, extra virgin olive oil, quinoa, “chickenless” or vegetable broth, dried cranberries, candied pepitas or pumpkin seeds, candied pecans (candied with maple syrup for a healthier choice), vegan feta (optional), fresh pomegranate seeds (frozen will not work in this case), chopped curly parsley, scallions, pomegranate molasses to drizzle, and salt and pepper to taste.
Pomegranate molasses is a delicious and unique ingredient that adds a balance of sweet and sour to the salad. If you haven’t tried it before, you can find it in the international aisle at your grocery store. If you can’t find it, a balsamic reduction can be used as a substitute.
The star of the salad, the roasted butternut squash, is the perfect balance of sweet and savory. It pairs perfectly with the nutty flavor of quinoa and the tartness of dried cranberries. The addition of candied pepitas and pecans adds a delightful crunch, while the vegan feta (if used) gives a hint of saltiness. The fresh pomegranate seeds add a pop of color and a burst of sweetness. Finally, the dish is finished off with a drizzle of pomegranate molasses, adding a tangy and slightly sweet flavor that brings all the ingredients together in perfect harmony.
Overall, this salad is a delicious and healthy meal option that is perfect for any occasion.
- Baking sheet
- Medium saucepan
- Large serving bowl
- Fork for fluffing quinoa
How To Make This Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Pomegranate Salad
To make this delicious vegan salad, preheat your oven to 400°F. Next, place the cubed butternut squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, as well as a little salt and pepper.
Roast the butternut squash for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cubes are tender and golden brown.
While the butternut squash is roasting, begin cooking the quinoa. In a medium saucepan, add in the vegetable stock and quinoa. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer for 12-15 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and let it sit covered for 5-10 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork.
Once the quinoa is ready, transfer it into a large serving bowl. Add in the roasted butternut squash, dried cranberries, candied pecans and pepitas, scallions, vegan feta (if using), and fresh pomegranate seeds.
Mix the ingredients together very gently, making sure not to mash the tender butternut squash cubes. Drizzle the salad with pomegranate molasses, if desired, for an extra tangy kick.
To make this salad even more delicious, top it off with vegan feta cheese, but it’s not necessary as the salad already has a variety of flavors. This salad is perfect as a holiday side dish or as a healthy lunch option and leftovers are great too.
Serve the salad as a main dish or side, and enjoy the sweet and savory flavors of the roasted butternut squash, nutty quinoa, and tart pomegranate seeds all in one delicious bite.
Tips & Tricks
Here are some tips and tricks for this Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Pomegranate Salad:
- Use fresh butternut squash for the best flavor, but frozen pre-peeled and cubed squash can save time and effort.
- For a healthier option, candy the pecans with maple syrup instead of white sugar.
- Use pomegranate molasses to add a tangy and sweet flavor to the salad.
- For best results, mix all the ingredients together right before serving. The quinoa and squash can be cooked ahead of time and stored in the fridge, but keep the candied nuts and seeds separate until ready to serve.
FAQ: Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Pomegranate Salad
While you can use chicken broth, it won’t be vegan anymore. Vegetable broth is the recommended option.
Yes, you can use walnuts, almonds, or any other nut you prefer.
Yes, make sure to use gluten-free quinoa and check the labels of any other ingredients you’re using for potential gluten contamination.
Yes, the salad will still be delicious without it.
Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Pomegranate Salad
- 1 Butternut squash or about 3 cups cubed (Fresh is best, but frozen pre-peeled and cubed is SO much easier)
- 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 + ¼ cup Quinoa
- 2 cup “Chickenless” or vegetable broth
- ¼ cup Dried cranberries
- ¼ cup candied peptias or pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup Candied pecans (I candied mine using maple syrup for a healthier choice)
- ½ cup Vegan feta (optional)
- The seeds of 1 fresh pomegranate (frozen will not work in this case)
- ¼ cup Chopped curly parsley
- 2 Scallions, thinly diced
- Pomegranate molasses to drizzle
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Pre-heat the oven to 400°
- Place the butternut squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and a little salt and pepper
- Roast for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally
- While the squash is roasting, begin cooking the quinoa. In a medium saucepan, add in the vegetable stock and the quinoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it sit covered for 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
- Now, transfer the quinoa into a large serving bowl. Add in the roasted butternut squash, dried cranberries, candied pecans and pepitas, scallions, vegan feta and pomegranate seeds.
- Mix the ingredients together very gently, serve, and enjoy!
This roasted butternut squash quinoa pomegranate salad is a perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors. It is a great option for a plant-based meal. It is also versatile and can be served as a holiday side dish or a delicious lunch. The combination of butternut squash, quinoa, dried cranberries, candied nuts, and pomegranate seeds creates a perfect balance of texture and taste. The recipe is simple and easy to follow, and with a few helpful tips and tricks, it can be prepared ahead of time for a stress-free meal. Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or just looking for a healthy and delicious meal, this salad is definitely worth trying. So, grab the ingredients and give it a try!