Salads

Easy Lunch – Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad

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This easy vegetable quinoa salad is my ultimate quick go-to lunch. A few roasted vegetables, nuts, seeds, and some greens, and you’re set.

If there is one salad to rule them all for me, it’s probably this one. There is nothing more satisfying to me than a filling and hearty salad that makes me feel good inside and out. Earthy roasted vegetables pair beautifully with creamy quinoa and tender greens, topped with a sweet and salty dressing and topped with crunchy nuts and seeds.

And since we’re entering the Fall season, I could easily call this a Fall Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad, but I like to eat this salad all year long, so why be limited?

Butternut squash, carrots, and cauliflower are all in season right now and I find it that much more rewarding to eat seasonally as much as I possibly can. And it’s also a good time to visit the farmer’s market stands to explore all the beautiful fall produce.

Why This Quinoa Salad Is A Staple

  1. It’s easy to whip up for lunch
  2. Perfect to make ahead for meal-prep and toss it together last minute
  3. The roasted vegetables store very well in the refrigerator
  4. It’s vegan, gluten-free, allergy-friendly

Ingredients For Your Shopping List

Butternut Squash: It adds a wonderful creamy texture to the salad. You can also use sweet potato instead though.

Cauliflower: Good texture, extra creaminess in the salad too.

Carrots: Earthy texture, lots of nutrients.

Thyme: Fresh as well as dried will work.

Quinoa: Regular white quinoa will work, red or even rainbow, as well as sprouted.

Pumpkin + Sunflower Seeds: They add protein and crunch.

Walnuts: Healthy fat, good crunch, and flavor.

Dressing: Made simply with lemon juice, maple syrup, mild vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

How To Make It

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut butternut squash into small 1/2″ cubes, carrots into 1″ strips, and cauliflower into small bite-size florets. In a large bowl toss the vegetables with 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1 tsp dried or 2 tsp fresh thyme. Add coated vegetables to a large roasting sheet and spread them evenly. Roast vegetables for 20-25 minutes or until squash and carrots are soft and a little charred. Set aside.

Step 2. Meanwhile, prepare your quinoa according to the package instructions. Or if you have leftover quinoa, that’s even better.

Step 3. In a small frying pan, toss in the pumpkin seeds and toast them over medium heat for 5 minutes tossing them regularly until they are fragrant and a little crispy. Set them aside.

Step 4. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp maple syrup, 2 tsp rice wine vinegar, 1 tsp lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Step 5. Add 1/2 cup quinoa, the greens, roasted vegetables, seeds, and walnuts to the bowl and toss everything well to combine. Add additional salt and pepper as needed and mix again. Serve salad right away.

Top Tips + FAQs

What’s The Difference Between Sprouted And Regular Quinoa?

For this salad, you can use classic white, red, or rainbow quinoa – that’s entirely up to you. White quinoa (or classic) will ultimately provide the creamiest texture. I also like to go a step further and get sprouted quinoa. This is particularly helpful if you’re someone who has digestive issues. Sprouted quinoa is simply regular quinoa that has begun to sprout into a plant but the process is interrupted early. The benefit is that sprouted quinoa is easier on digestion as the grain has started to release the antinutrients that are often found in grains. Sprouted grains in general are gentler on the digestive system.

What Greens Should You Use In The Salad?

Tender greens work best here. Mixed baby greens, spinach, and baby romaine are good options. I like chopping everything into bite-size pieces so if you’re using regular remained lettuce, just chop it into small bits.

Can You Mix And Match The Vegetables?

I find earthy vegetables to work well so if you don’t have the recommended ones, you can try using any roasted combination of beets or parsnips, sweet potatoes, and roasted red onion would also work very well in this.

Will You Have Leftover Vegetables?

You will have plenty of roasted vegetables you can store in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. You can use them for additional salads,

Variations On The Salad

You can get creative and add any other toppings you’d like. Here are some ideas:

  1. Add grilled chicken
  2. Hardboiled eggs
  3. Fried tempeh
  4. Cooked tofu
  5. Hemp hearts
  6. Flax seeds
  7. Sesame seeds
  8. Any other roasted vegetable you like

More Salad Recipes You Might Like

Apple and Beet Salad with Candied Walnuts and Cashew Cheese
Low-FODMAP Salad Nicoise
Best Cannelini Bean Salad with Tuna and Artichoke Hearts
Simple Winter Salad with Apple and Pomegranate
Quick Curried Tuna And Chickpea Salad With Radicchio

Easy Lunch - Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Easy Lunch - Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This easy quinoa vegetable salad is my ultimate quick go-to lunch. A few roasted vegetables, nuts, seeds, and some greens, and you’re set.

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch long strips
  • 1/2 head cauliflower florets, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
  • 3/4 tsp salt divided
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp rice wine vinegar or any other mild vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard

Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut butternut squash into small 1/2″ cubes, carrots into 1″ strips, and cauliflower into small bite-size florets. In a large bowl toss the vegetables with 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1 tsp dried or 2 tsp fresh thyme. Add coated vegetables to a large roasting sheet and spread them evenly. Roast vegetables for 20-25 minutes or until squash and carrots are soft and slightly charred. Set aside.

    2. Meanwhile, prepare your quinoa according to the package instructions. Or if you have leftover cooked quinoa, that’s even better.

    3. In a small frying pan, toss in the seeds and toast them over medium heat for 5 minutes tossing them regularly until they are fragrant and a little crispy. Set them aside.

    4. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp maple syrup, 2 tsp rice wine vinegar, 1 tsp lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

    5. Add 1/2 cup quinoa, the greens, roasted vegetables, seeds, and walnuts to the bowl and toss everything well to combine. Add additional salt and pepper as needed and mix again. Serve salad right away.

Notes

1. Feel free to use any substitute for roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes, parsnips, or beets.

2. The salad greens you use are up to you, but I recommed baby greens, baby spinach, or romaine, chopped into bite size pieces.

3. The leftover roasted vegetables will store in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

4. The cooked quinoa stores for up to a week.

Your shares are very much appreciated!

Do you find this recipe helpful? Your shares would be much appreciated! You can find me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram . If you make and like a recipe, tag me on Instagram and I'd love to share your posts in stories! x - Daniela

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