This butternut squash quinoa salad features butternut squash, cranberries, apples, and a homemade apple cider vinaigrette and is sure to satisfy!
Prepare the dressing. Add the vinegar to a large bowl. Slowly add ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, whisking continuously. Set aside.
Using a fine-mesh strainer, rinse and drain quinoa. Place in a pot with water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed (~15 minutes). Look for a white ring that pops out when the quinoa is cooked. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and transfer to the bowl with dressing.
While the quinoa is cooking, heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add remaining 1 Tablespoon oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the diced butternut squash. Stir occasionally at first, then more frequently as the squash browns; cook until tender and lightly brown, (~15 minutes). Add the diced onion during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Add butternut squash, onions, and remaining ingredients to the bowl with the slightly cooled quinoa. Using a spatula, fold until well-combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
For extra flavor, toast the quinoa in the pot before adding the water.
To speed up prep time, use pre-chopped butternut squash.
Be sure to toast the pecans for best flavor.