Quinoa with Caramelized Butternut Squash Recipe

Yields: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes


For the Butternut Squash

  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 lbs), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 3/4 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Additional Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans or walnuts (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • Balsamic glaze, for drizzling (optional)
  • Goat cheese or feta, for topping (optional)


1. Roast the Butternut Squash

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a bowl, toss the butternut squash with olive oil, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Spread in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until tender and caramelized.

2. Cook the Quinoa

  • While the squash roasts, rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa, broth (or water), and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.
  • Fluff quinoa with a fork and set aside.

3. Assemble

  • In a large bowl, combine the roasted butternut squash, cooked quinoa, dried cranberries, and toasted nuts (if using).
  • Gently toss to combine. If desired, fold in chopped herbs.

4. Serve

  • Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, if needed.
  • You can enjoy the dish warm or at room temperature.
  • For a finishing touch, drizzle with balsamic glaze and top with crumbled goat cheese or feta (optional).


  • Make it ahead: You can roast the squash and cook the quinoa up to a day in advance. Store separately in the refrigerator and assemble just before serving.
  • Customize it: Add other roasted vegetables like bell peppers or onions, swap nuts for pepitas, or use different herbs to adjust flavors.


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