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Winter Quinoa Salad

winter quinoa salad

This winter salad takes full advantage of citrus fruits, squash and pears, all of which are at their peak during the winter. The quinoa and nuts give you that satisfying carb and protein factors which keep you full and happy. This salad is full of color, life, and flavor plus its good for you, which makes it perfect for keeping that winter body under wraps without comprising on that winter comfort food satisfaction. This salad can be served with the ingredients warm or room temperature. Either way you serve it, it’s sure to be enjoyed!

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4 ServingsServings


  • 1 acorn squash, seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice*
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 shallot, minced and divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, divided
  • Zest of 1 orange, divided
  • 1 cup red and white quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • Water
  • 1 Bosc pear, diced peel on
  • 1/2 cup honey glazed pecans or regular pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 box mixed greens
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme, leaves removed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard


1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

2. Dice the acorn squash with the peel on. Toss with the pumpkin pie spice, salt and pepper, and a drizzle of oil. Spread the squash in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until the squash is soft and easily pierced with a fork. Cool and set aside.

3. In a small saucepan, heat about a tablespoon of oil over medium-low heat. Add the 1/2 the shallot, 1 clove garlic and half of the orange zest. Sauté until the shallot is translucent, 3-5 minutes stirring frequently. Add the quinoa and lightly toast it for about a minute but be sure to keep the quinoa moving so it doesn't burn. Pour 1-1/3 cups of water over the quinoa and stir. Bring it to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer. Allow it to simmer for about 15 minutes. Then allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Finally, uncover and fluff with a fork. Allow it to cool.

4. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining shallot, garlic, zest, with the 1/4 cup oil, vinegars, orange juice, honey, mustard and thyme.

5. I.n a large salad bowl, layer the greens, squash, pear, pecans, and quinoa. Drizzle with the dressing and toss to coat.
The squash and quinoa may be served warm or cool/room temperature, whichever you prefer. Be aware that the leaves will wilt if you choose to add the quinoa and squash when they are warm.

* If you cannot find pumpkin pie spice, simply make your own! 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. ginger, 1/8 tsp. ground cloves, 1/8 tsp. allspice, and 1/4 tsp. lemon zest.

On Passover leave out the Dijon.

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