Roast Pumpkin Quinoa Salad with Feta, beetroot, mixed green leaves, and toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds drizzled with a light balsamic vinegar and honey dressing, a healthy and nutritious salad that makes a fantastic side dish or even a meal on its own. A great packed lunch option or a light dinner.
The first recipe that comes to my mind when I think of pumpkin is, of course, the pumpkin pie. The Thanksgiving dinner is usually the mother of all feasts, so how about we make something light, healthy, but super delicious too? That should also ease up the guilt of indulging in way too heavy and sugary treats.
Plus, a good nutritious salad can be enjoyed all year round too. And not just a plain leaf salad, but one that is packed with so much goodness. The ideal packed lunch really, for all tastes and ages too.
When it comes to savory recipe, I let my imagination go wild and add pretty much anything that tastes good.I never worry about exact amounts of ingredients, or even same ingredients. It's not baking, a precise science, so anything goes.
But, unlike other dishes, a good salad needs a good dressing to give it that wow factor, otherwise we just end up with a bunch of ingredients that taste ok, but not amazing. And this simple dressing is all we need.
Ingredients needed to make a pumpkin and quinoa salad
- small pumpkin - or 2 cups cubed pumpkin
- feta cheese or cow's cheese
- cooked beetroot
- pumpkin and sunflower seeds - or any other seeds
- a handful of mixed green leaves
- olive oil - my preferred oil for salads
- balsamic vinegar
So, this salad is one variation that I absolutely love. But, as promised, we can swap ingredients to create so many more options, equally healthy and delicious.
Swap pumpkin for sweet potato or butternut squash (or any other squash), again roast or boil. The roasting time may vary according to the vegetable used.
Swap quinoa for bulgur wheat, couscous, rice, pasta or orzo. They all cook pretty quickly, just make sure they are cooled down when added to the salad, it tastes a lot better cold.
Feta can be swapped for cow's cheese or farmer's cheese. This is super easy to make at home with only 2 ingredients. What a treat!
Step-by-step photos and instructions
We have 2 options here: we either boil the pumpkin, or roast it. Boiling takes a lot less time, but then the pumpkin is not as yummy. Roasting brings the natural sweetness of the pumpkin out, and it slightly caramelizes the edges. So, I like to go for this option.
- peel and cut a small pumpkin into cubes
- spray a roasting tray with cooking spray oil, spread the cubed pumpkin, and spray more oil on top
- roast in the preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius (390 Fahrenheit) for 30-40 minutes until tender
- in a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa, feta cheese, cubed beetroot and salad leaves
- heat up a frying pan, add the pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and toss for 1-2 minutes
- add them to the bowl together with the roasted pumpkin
- to make the dressing, mix the olive oil with balsamic vinegar and honey, and drizzle over the salad
Other healthy salads
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Roast Pumpkin Quinoa Salad with Feta
- ½ cup quinoa
- 1 small pumpkin (2 cups cubed pumpkin)
- ½ cup cubed feta
- 3 cooked beetroot
- 3 tablespoon pumpkin and sunflower seeds
- a handful of mixed green leaves
For the dressing
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (390 Fahreneheit).
- Peel and cube the pumpkin, spray cooking oil over a roasting tray, and spread the pumpkin cubes over. Spray again with oil.
- Roast for 30-40 minutes until soft.
- Meanwhile, place the quinoa in a pan, add 2 cups of water and cook according to the packet instructions.
- Drain the water, and leave to cool.
- In a large bowl, add the mixed salad leaves, quinoa, pumpkin, feta, cubed beetroot and mix.
- Heat up a pan, add the seeds, and toss for about a minute or so.
- Spread the seeds over the salad.
- To make the dressing, mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey, and drizzle over the other ingredients. Toss well and enjoy cold from the fridge.