Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad with roasted sweet potato, carrots, butternut squash, walnuts, and maple-cider vinaigrette. This colorful, hearty salad is a marvelous side dish for fall and winter.
This post is sponsored by Thrive® Culinary Algae Oil.
One of my favorite side dishes to make in bulk and share this time of year is a hearty quinoa salad. Starchy winter vegetables roasted to perfection and mixed in with quinoa, nuts, and fresh herbs is all-things nutritious, inviting, and filling.
If you’re already on the prowl for recipes to make and share over the holiday season, this one’s a keeper! It’s so easy to prepare and is an awesome option when you’re serving guests with dietary restrictions because it is clean as can be.
I use Thrive Algae Oil both for roasting the vegetables and in the dressing for the quinoa salad. The fact that this algae oil has a high smoke point (up to 485 degrees F!) makes it ideal for roasting vegetables, and because it is light and neutral in flavor, it is perfect for using in dressings.
If you don’t have access to algae oil, avocado oil is a great replacement, as it is also a high-temperature cooking oil.
In addition, one of my favorite parts about algae oil is its monounsaturated fat content – it contains a higher percentage of monounsaturated fat than any other oil! In this sense, swapping other oils for algae oil is easy, and it’s a no-brainer.
How to Prepare This Quinoa Salad:
Making this salad is a simple three step process: steam the quinoa, roast the vegetables, and make the dressing.
Cooking the quinoa while your vegetables are roasting helps cut down the prep time. The dressing comes together in a matter of seconds, so you can prepare the dressing while the vegetables are roasting as well.
Once everything is ready, simply toss it all together in a big bowl with fresh parsley and toasted walnuts. The combination of the comforting roasted vegetables, the nutty crunch of the walnuts with the quinoa and tangy dressing makes for a beautiful bite.
I absolutely love consuming this salad warm alongside an entrée, like baked salmon, grilled chicken, pot roast, etc., but the salad can also be eaten cold. For those of you who bring food to work, this is an excellent option for make-ahead lunches.
This easy warm salad recipe is ideal for meal prep or for serving guests. It saves very well, so you can make the whole thing up to 5 days in advance or prepare it easily in parts. Simply make the quinoa, dressing, and/or roasted vegetables anywhere between 1 and 5 days ahead of time and toss it together when you’re ready to eat.
- Add in your favorite root vegetables, such as beets, turnips, or rutabaga.
- Add 1 clove of garlic to the dressing, and/or 1 tsp fresh grated ginger for added flavor.
- Incorporate feta cheese or goat cheese if you do dairy.
- Swap the walnuts for almonds, pecans, or pumpkin seeds if desired.
- Replace the quinoa with wild rice.
Enjoy this roasted winter vegetable quinoa salad alongside the Instant Pot Turmeric Chicken and Root Vegetables I posted a few weeks ago for a complete, highly nutrient-dense meal!
Roasted Winter Vegetable Quinoa Salad:
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 Tbsp Thrive Algae Oil
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 large parsnip, peeled and chopped
- 1 small sweet potato, chopped
- 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped
- 1.5 tsp sea salt, to taste
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/3 cup walnuts, roasted and chopped
Cinnamon Maple-Cider Vinaigrette:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the vegetables over a large baking sheet. Drizzle with algae oil and sprinkle liberally with sea salt. Use your hands to toss everything together until all vegetables are coated. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, or until vegetables are golden-brown and have reached desired done-ness.
- Cook quinoa according to package instructions while the vegetables are roasting.
- Add all ingredients for the cider vinaigrette to a small blender and blend until combined (note: if you don’t have a small blender, no sweat: you can whisk the dressing in a bowl or measuring cup).
- Transfer the cooked quinoa to a serving bowl along with the roasted winter vegetables. Add in all of the dressing, parsley, and roasted walnuts. Toss everything together until combined.
- Taste salad for flavor and add more sea salt and/or cider vinegar to taste.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1 of 6
Amount Per Serving Calories 327Total Fat 16gUnsaturated Fat 0gCarbohydrates 42gFiber 7gSugar 7gProtein 7g