Healthy Recipe: Quinoa Salad with Winter Squash & Feta

Healthy quinoa salad recipe with squash and feta

Quinoa Salad with Winter Squash & Feta

Recipe by Charity Ferreira | Photo by Erin Kunkel

Equally at home as a fresh side dish or a satisfying packed lunch, this bountiful salad is packed with fall veggies, including sweet red onions and winter squash. Kabocha is a type of Japanese pumpkin that’s extra fluffy, but if you can’t find it, butternut, acorn, or any winter squash will work. You can roast the veggies and cook the quinoa a couple of days ahead, but the salad will taste best if you bring all of the ingredients to room temperature before serving.


1½ cups (9 oz/280 g) mixed red and white quinoa
1 small kabocha squash (1½–2 lbs/750 g–1 kg)
1 red onion
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup (3 fl oz/80 ml) balsamic vinegar
¼ cup (1 oz/30 g) pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds), toasted
1 cup (1 oz/30 g) packed baby arugula leaves
2/3 cup (3 oz/90 g) crumbled feta or fresh goat cheese


Rinse the quinoa under running water and drain. In a saucepan, bring 2 cups (16 fl oz/500 ml) water to a boil. Add the quinoa, adjust the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, let stand for about 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Use a large knife to cut the squash in half and scoop out and discard the seeds. Slice into wedges, trim the peel from each wedge, and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes. Trim and peel the onion and cut into wedges about ½ inch (12 mm) thick. Place the squash and onion on a large rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Roast, stirring once or twice, until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the squash, onion, quinoa, balsamic vinegar, remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, and pepitas. Season with salt to taste and mix gently to combine. Fold in the arugula last. Top with the feta just before serving.

Makes 6 servings as a main meal

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories 407
Protein 13 g
Total fat 20 g
Saturated fat 5 g
Carbs 45 g
Fiber 7 g
Total sugars 7 g
Added sugars 0 g
Sodium 83 mg

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