Roasted Butternut and Quinoa Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing

Hi Everyone and Happy Monday!!

When is Spring getting here?  This Sunday the weather was crappy!  It was cold and rainy, and just dismo looking.  It has been so long since I have seen the sun.  Sigh…  I miss that big yellow bright light in the sky.  Since the weather was so bad, I got to catch up on some cooking and baking.  I even batch cooked some goodies for this week for easy put together recipes.  I spent 8 hours cooking, crazy, but fun!!  Hubby watched football and there I was with my dog Sampson at my feet.  He kept stealing carrot tops out of the garbage.  That dog loves to eat!!!  I think more than his Mom!

Butternut Squash and Red Quinoa Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing












Today I have for you my copycat recipe of Trader Joe’s Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing.  I picked up TJ’s salad last week and I fell in love with it.  Their salad has wheat berries in it, but I didn’t have any, so I skipped it and made my salad a little bigger to get a few more calories.  This is salad is so good and full of flavor.  It’s loaded with roasted butternut squash, red quinoa, dried cranberries,  raisins and it lies on a bed of spinach and arugula and then topped with crumbled goat cheese.  It is savory, yet a little sweet from the dried fruit and squash.  It’s perfect!!   And makes for a perfect healthy salad!

Butternut Squash and Red Quinoa Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing

I read the label on the package for the dressing and tried to duplicate it, and I think I did a pretty good job of it.  It’s made with canola oil, honey, soy sauce, garlic powder and rice vinegar.  It’s a sweet balsamic dressing.  The recipe makes for 3/4 cups of dressing, and a little bit goes a long way on the salad.  It’s mixes well with the peppery arugula and sweet butternut squash.  I never make to many salad dressings, and I don’t know why?  They are rewarding and easy!  I guess we can just chop it up to me being lazy.

Butternut Squash and Red Quinoa Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing

I didn’t put the dressing on the salad to show you because this is my lunch for work, but I loved it so much I had to share it with you!  This salad can be put together pretty quickly if you batch cook your quinoa and butternut squash.  I had the biggest butternut squash to roast, and let me tell you, it took like a half hour to peel and cut it.  The thing was HUGE!!  The quinoa was cooked and cooled by the time the squash was done.  I’m totally telling you, you should spend a couple of hours on Sunday to do some batch cooking.  It makes life throughout the week, so much easier!!  Here are all the goodies I made today.

Batch Cooking

I have my butternut squash, quinoa, lavash crackers, my Jalapeno and Cilantro Hummus, which is a nice treat for an afternoon snack.  Plus I made two batches of cookies, recipe to come later, strawberry quick jam, the Honey Balsamic Dressing and some cut up celery.  I think I’m pretty set for the week, plus whatever I have leftover for dinners throughout the week!!

Butternut Squash and Red Quinoa Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing


Roasted Butternut and Quinoa Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 1 Serving
  • Serving size: 1 Serving
    Prep time: 
    Total time: 
    A sweet and savory salad made with roasted butternut squash, red quinoa, dried fruit and goat cheese, topped with a sweet honey balsamic dressing.
    • Salad Ingredients:
    • 1 cup spinach
    • 1 cup arugula
    • ¼ cup quinoa, cooked
    • ½ cup butternut squash, cooked
    • 1 tbsp. raisins
    • 1 tbsp. cranberries, dried
    • ½ oz goat cheese, crumbled
    • Dressing: Makes ¾ cup
    • ¼ cup canola oil
    • ¼ cup rice vinegar
    • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
    • 1 tbsp. honey
    • 2 tbsp. water
    • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
    • ¼ tsp. sugar
    1. Place all salad ingredients in a bowl.
    2. To make dressing:
    3. In a small bowl add all the dressing ingredients and whisk together until incorporated. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of dressing over salad.
    Calories for salad without dressing: 262, Fat: 7.8, Cholesterol: 15, Sodium: 99, Potassium: 317, Carbs: 42.7, Fiber: 3.1, Sugar: 15, Protein: 10.1

    Dressing calories per 2 tbsp.: 109.3, Fat: 9, Cholesterol: 0, Sodium: 313, Potassium: 1.8, Carbs: 6.8, Fiber: 3.3, Sugar: 3.2, Protein: 0

    Butternut Squash and Red Quinoa Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing

    I wanted to let you know I did some research on the nutritional facts on quinoa and after comparing labels at Trader Joe’s, the white, tri-color and red quinoa are the same.  Their wasn’t any different nutritional information, so you can use whatever color quinoa you like or have available.

    I thought I would give you an update on my New Years goals.  I exercised 5 days last week and yes I included cardio for each of those days.  I haven’t snacked after dinner and I have even cut back on coffee.  I only went to Starbucks once last week, normally I go everyday.  I’m doing good on my fitness and food goals and I even lost 1lbs!  Yah!!  I really think the nighttime snacking is what did it!  Oh and I barley ate any processed foods!  One week down, the rest of my life to go!!  🙂

    Well my Friends, that is it for me today, it’s late on Sunday night and I still need to get ready for work!

    Have a wonderful day and a super fab week!



    Butternut Squash and Red Quinoa Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing



    1. I took part in a local food share this winter & have received an abundance of mixed greens, squash & on a whim @ the local market, I picked up some red quinoa… Now I know what to do with it for lunches this week! Thank you!!!

    2. This is my kind of salad-hearty and nourishing! Love the honey balsamic dressing as well.

    3. I keep saying I need to eat more salads. The closest thing I get is a green monster smoothie which I have a t least 2 a week.

    4. Girl this is definitely my kind of salad! It has all of my favorite ingredients in it. And that dressing – love it!

    5. i love quinoa and just bought some more of it to cook with at the store today. I love recipes like this using it – simple, healthy yet so flavorful!

    6. Wow, you were a little cooking work horse this weekend! Your salad looks wonderful. I wish I had it for my lunch at work, I would be happy all day thinking about it! :)_

    7. This does sound like my kind of salad. And I totally agree with you on the benefits of batch cooking for the week. I never peel my butternut squash before I roast it because the chewy, roasted skin is my favorite part (plus, it makes my life so much easier).

    8. Jen, I love days like that cold and rainy because like you, I would set up in the kitchen and cook all day. Beautiful salad.
      Thanks for sharing it with us.


    9. I am getting tired of winter weather too 🙁 This salad looks so fresh and delicious, yum!!

    10. I’m in love with quinoa, so healthy and so tasty. And now I love this salad. I pinned it so I won’t forget to make it. My 2013 will be a very healthy year 🙂

    11. Lovely and fresh winter salad you’ve made!

    12. Is there supposed to be balsamic vinegar in the Honey Balsamic Dressing?


    1. […] though I’ll probably be dropping by TJ’s whenever I have a craving for this salad, I did find a copycat recipe in case you’re interested in recreating it at […]

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