Warm Winter Salad ~ Butternut Squash & Quinoa

Food & Home, Rachel Maria's Recipes

I’m no different than most of the human population, hoping to start the New Year on a healthy note! The issue for me is that it’s harder to eat healthy during the winter months. (Right!?) Cold weather goes hand in hand with comfort food, and we all know that a cold and crisp salad is anything but comfort food. So, this past weekend I set out to create a warm winter salad that could bring us the best of both worlds. All the nutrition a salad would have with a comfort food feel. It’s delicious and warm and oh, so good!

Warm Winter Salad

I don’t know why, but I don’t do as much with butternut squash as I should! It’s a delicious and hearty vegetable. It has a ton of vitamins. Potassium. And, a fair amount of fiber. I love roasting it because it comes out tasting sweet and caramelized.

warm winter salad

I decided to combine it with quinoa because…it’s winter. And, I wanted to make this “salad” more substantial. Quinoa is loaded with protein and fiber. I also went with KALE, because well… KALE is like the holy grail of green nutrition. (And, salads should have something “green”, in my opinion anyway.)

Last but not least, I wanted the flavors of balsamic vinegar, cranberry, and gorgonzola cheese. (Which of course can be omitted!) I created a simple dressing (with a splash of cranberry juice), and the dried cranberries and lumps of gorgonzola added even more color to the gorgeous orange and green of the squash and kale.

Seriously, is this not the prettiest color combo?

Warm Winter Salad
Butternut Squash & Quinoa Salad
warm winter salad
Prettiest Colors! Delicious Taste!
Warm Winter Salad ~ Butternut Squash & Quinoa

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

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Servings: 6-8

Warm Winter Salad


  • 1 Medium Sized Butternut Squash, peeled & cut into 1″ chunks
  • 1 Cup Quinoa
  • 1 Head of Kale (1 lb) washed, and chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves (2 minced and 2 chopped)
  • 1/4 cup cranberry juice
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 oz. gorgonzola, feta, or goat cheese ~crumbled
  • 1/4-1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • Olive oil, 1 T butter, salt, and pepper for roasting and/or frying.


  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Arrange chopped Butternut Squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Cook for 15-20 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to directions. Set aside.
  5. Chop onions and and garlic. Set aside.
  6. Chop Kale. Set aside.
  7. Prepare Dressing: minced garlic, cranberry juice, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Whisk together
  8. (Your butternut squash may be finished by now.)
  9. In a frying pan over a medium-low flame, add 1 T butter and olive oil. (Just enough to coat the bottom.)
  10. Add in the onions and shortly after, the garlic. Saute until translucent.
  11. Lower the flame and add in the chopped kale. (You may need to press it into the frying pan and hold it down with a lid.)
  12. Stir after 2 minutes until the kale is wilted, but not overly cooked.
  13. Remove the pan from heat.
  14. Fold in the quinoa and squash.
  15. Pour the dressing before adding the cheese and cranberries. (You may reserve some for serving.)
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Warm Winter Salad

If you like this one, you’ll probably like some of my other recipes with similar ingredients. Click HERE for another Butternut Squash Recipe. Click HERE for another Quinoa Recipe. Both are UH-MAZING!!!

Rachel Scheyer

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