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, all with quinoa as the main ingredient.

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!

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!

 

Autumn Quinoa Salad with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

Autumn Quinoa Salad with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

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 vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • black pepper to taste

For the salad:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 3 cups roasted, diced butternut squash (I used this recipe
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat feta cheese
  • 6 ounces center cut bacon, chopped into one inch pieces

Instructions

  1. Add vinaigrette ingredients to small bowl and whisk until combined. OR: Put all ingredients in a jar and shake until combined (my preferred method!).
  2. Cook quinoa according to package directions. One cup of uncooked quinoa will make about 4 cups cooked. Cool slightly.
  3. Fry bacon pieces until crispy. Remove bacon to paper-towel lined plate to drain.
  4. Place cooled quinoa, roasted squash, cranberries, feta, cooked and drained bacon, and dressing in a large bowl and stir gently to combine. If preparing in advance, leave bacon out until last minute so that it remains crispy.
  5. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold. It tastes great all three ways! Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Notes

Make this vegetarian by leaving 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! Or you could add some roasted sunflower seeds or pepitas, if desired.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 of 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 311 Total Fat: 16g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 25mg Sodium: 473mg Carbohydrates: 29g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 11g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 12g
RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.
Verdict: Perfection! I loved the flavors in this autumn quinoa salad, so great for this time of year. 
Husband’s take: He liked this a lot! I’m always a little hesitant 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 picked out and ate the cranberries, squash, and bacon, though. Typical for a toddler, right?
Changes I would make: None!
Difficulty: A little bit of prep work but otherwise very easy!