This Quinoa salad with pumpkin is loaded with flavour from sweet roasted pumpkin and the zesty dressing. It is the perfect fall salad for a light lunch or dinner. Full of healthy ingredients and really easy to make.
This healthy Quinoa pumpkin salad is a great fall salad full of sweet chunks of roasted pumpkin. In this recipe, the pumpkin is roasted in the oven covered in spices, it makes the pumpkin so sweet and tender. Perfect to add to a salad with some salty feta, peppery arugula and zesty dressing.
If you’re looking for another salad full of flavour and protein, try this amazing Red Lentil Salad
Make this wonderful fall quinoa salad with just a few ingredients. Take a look at the ingredients and instructions below. The full written recipe and quantities, scroll down or press the link below.Jump to Recipe
- Pumpkin, peeled and cut in cubes. I used butternut squash, but feel free to use any pumpkin of your choice.
- Olive oil, or avocado oil works great for roasting veggies in the oven. Any neutral tasting oil works as well.
- Spices, sea salt, dried thyme, course ground pepper and chili flakes. These all work so well with the pumpkin and the rest of the ingredients.
- Quinoa, I used while quinoa in this recipe, but any colour or a mix works great.
- Arugula, it has a fresh and peppery flavor that works so well in this fall salad.
- Feta cheese, crumbled. I like to buy a block of feta and crumble it with my hand, I think it is creamier. But ready crumbled feta works great as well.
- Pumpkin seeds, for a little added crunch.
- Red onion, thinly sliced. Shallots works great too!
- Dijon mustard
- Olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper
See recipe card for quantities.
Making this healthy quinoa pumpkin salad is really easy. Just follow the step by step photos below.
For the full instructions see the recipe card at the bottom.
Toss the pumpkin in the olive oil and spices. Place on a baking sheet and bake, stirring half way.
Let cool down completely before adding to the salad.
Cook the quinoa while the pumpkin is in the oven.
Mix all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and set aside.
To a large serving platter or bowl, add the arugula, quinoa and roasted pumpkin. Top with the crumbled feta cheese, red onion, pumpkin seeds and drizzle with the lemon dressing.
Hint: I like to add the red onion to the dressing to marinade, it pickles the onions a little, makes them a little less sharp and super tasty!
Substitutions and Variations
- Arugula – instead of arugula, you can use kale or spinach.
- Vegan – to make this fall quinoa salad vegan, replace the feta with vegan feta.
- Pumpkin – sweet potato or carrots are a great alternative.
- Feta cheese – A great alternative to the feta is cubes of fried hallomie or crumbled, mild goat cheese. Some parmesan word work great as well.
- Spicy – add a little dried chilli flakes, or a few drops of hot sauce to the dressing.
Also try this Roasted sweet potato lentil salad.
This salad tastes best when served straight away. If you want to prep this ahead of time, prepare everything but keep it separate until it’s time to serve. Roast the pumpkin, cook the quinoa and make the dressing. These can all be stored separately in airtight containers in the fridge. Once the salad is mixed with the dressing, the arugula starts wilting.
The roasted pumpkin and there cooked quinoa can be frozen in airtight containers or ziplock bags for up to 3 months. I do not recommend freezing the rest of the ingredients.
Cooking the quinoa in vegetable broth instead of water will give it extra flavour. Adding some dried herbs like oregano or thyme also works well.
Always rinse the quinoa before cooking. To clean it, and to get rid of the natural coating quinoa has that’s called saponin, which can taste bitter.
Yes you can, always cool down the cooked quinoa, then store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
More salads to try:
These are my favorite soups to serve with Quinoa salad with pumpkin:
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This Quinoa salad with pumpkin is the perfect fall salad for a light lunch or dinner. Full of healthy ingredients and packed with flavour from the roasted pumpkin and zesty dressing.
- 500 g pumpkin, peeled and cut in cubes
- 2 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ¼ tsp course ground pepper
- ⅛ tsp chili flakes, optional
- ½ cup quinoa, uncooked
- 100 g arugula
- 100 g feta cheese, crumbled
- 4 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ large lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 200C (390F)
Toss the pumpkin with the olive oil and spices. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stirring half way. Let cool down completely before adding to the salad.
While the pumpkin is in the oven, cook quinoa in vegetable broth instead of water. Follow the package instructions and let cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix all the ingredients for the dressing and set aside. Optional, I like to add the red onion to the dressing to marinade, it makes it a little less sharp.
To a large salad bowl, add the arugula, quinoa and roasted pumpkin. Top with the crumbled feta cheese, red onion, pumpkin seeds and drizzle with the lemon dressing. Gently toss to serve.
Serve with some crusty bread and enjoy!