Autumn Quinoa Salad with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

This autumn quinoa salad with roasted squash and bacon is a great side dish or even a main dish. The maple mustard vinaigrette drives the fall flavors home.

This autumn quinoa salad with roasted squash and bacon is a great side dish or even a main dish. Get the easy recipe on RachelCooks.com!

I don’t think it is any secret that I love quinoa. I almost always cook up an entire bag and throw some in the freezer for quick and easy meals. Or I’ll make a triple batch of pancakes.

They usually last about a week. My husband loves them for breakfast! Okay…so do I.

I’ve done salads, stuffed peppers, chili and more.

It’s a feel good food. Eat it, feel good. You’re treating your body well! Much better than the Arby’s, popcorn, and lasagna that this pregnancy has been driving me to consume. But we don’t need to get into that. Let’s talk about this salad! It’s the perfect fall food. Roasted squash, one of my favorites. Dried cranberries to give it a sweet and tangy chewy element. Feta for a little tangy-salty bite. And bacon—well, that’s just obvious.

This autumn quinoa salad with roasted squash and bacon is a great side dish or even a main dish. Get the easy recipe on RachelCooks.com!

Autumn Quinoa Salad with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

This autumn quinoa salad with roasted squash and bacon is a great side dish or even a main dish. The maple mustard vinaigrette drives the fall flavors home.

Ingredients:

for the maple mustard vinaigrette:
    • 1/4 cup (high quality) extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
    • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    • black pepper to taste
    • 1. Add all ingredients to small bowl and whisk until combined. OR: Put all ingredients in a jar and shake until combined (my preferred method!).
for the salad:
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, cooked according to package directions and cooled slightly (yields about 4 cups)
  • 3 cups roasted, diced butternut squash (I used this recipe minus the cayenne)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat feta cheese
  • 6 ounces center cut bacon, slices cut into one inch pieces and cooked until crispy, grease drained and removed
  • maple mustard vinaigrette (see above)

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir gently to combine. If preparing in advance, leave bacon out until last minute so that it remains crispy. Serve warm, at room temperature or cold. It is great all three ways! Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Could easily be a vegetarian dish--just leave out the bacon! Quinoa packs a ton of protein.

I ate this leftover with some toasted walnuts on top (California Walnuts sent me some great ones)--so yummy!

Verdict: Perfection! I loved the flavors in this, great for fall.
Husband’s take: He liked this a lot! I’m always a little scared to serve him quinoa (I don’t know why), but we’re usually safe if there is bacon involved. E is still not a huge fan of quinoa (I think it is a texture thing, although she loves rice). She ate out the cranberries, squash and bacon though.
Changes I would make: None!
Difficulty: A little bit of prep work but otherwise very easy!

This autumn quinoa salad with roasted squash and bacon is a great side dish or even a main dish. Get the easy recipe on RachelCooks.com!

This autumn quinoa salad with roasted squash and bacon is a great side dish or even a main dish. Get the easy recipe on RachelCooks.com!

Want more fall flavors? I know you do! I made a similar yet different salad – a farro salad with butternut squash. It also has bacon, cranberries, and feta. It’s pretty amazing.

Farro Salad with Butternut Squash, Bacon, Cranberries, Kale and Feta. This hearty salad is fall in a bowl! Get the easy recipe on RachelCooks.com!

   
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29 comments

  1. This is such a perfect fall salad – I really love the combination of sweet and tart and salty. So delicious!

  2. That dressing with the quinoa looks divine! I’m always afraid to serve my main squeeze quinoa as well, hearing him try to pronounce it is even better!

  3. Rachel, love all those fall colors!

  4. I like the fall flavors here!

  5. This is embarrassing, but Ive only tried quinoa once..Ive had a box sitting in my pantry for months and I haven’t known what to do with it..even though there are about a million and one ways people make use of it! You’ve convinced me to give it another shot…Im good with anything that includes bacon πŸ™‚

  6. i love quinoa too Rachel. And can you believe? i only just tried it for the first time earlier this year. so many wonderful comforting fall flavors in this side dish. my sister is obsessed with quinoa (more than me) and she would FLIP for this stuff. πŸ™‚

  7. totally making this vinaigrette and then probably drinking it with a straw πŸ˜‰

  8. I’m nuts about quinoa, too! I can’t get enough of the stuff! This looks great, and I’ve been thinking about trying quinoa pancakes… maybe with banana. YUM!

  9. Swoon! I love Quinoa – especially any version that includes sauces and fall flavors!

  10. This is so completely right up my alley. I love the feta in here!

  11. I can’t wait to try this salad. I love everything about it.

  12. that vinaigrette sounds amazing!!

  13. Now this looks insanely yummy!! Ben would flip for this, I just know it!

  14. YUM!!!! I love everything about this. I’m a quinoa addict.

  15. What a great fall salad! I love maple/mustard dressings & I know I would love this!

  16. How does one go about making a bowl of this appear magically on their desk for lunch today? Looks so tasty!

  17. What kind of rice do you recommend as a substitute for the quinoa?

  18. I think I will serve this hot and adjust the fruit and sweet to make savory and then add the rest in for a cold salad the next day. Only 2 of us here so we have leftovers.

  19. Made this last night for my man’s birthday. He loved it! Looking forward to making it for Thanksgiving. Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe πŸ™‚

  20. This Quinoa recipe looks delicious….sending it to my daughter she loves Quinoa, and she will love your Raspberry dressing too….

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  24. Wow, this is lovely and looks so incredibly delicious. I cant wait to try this out.

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