Harvest Quinoa with Roasted Butternut Squash

finished quinoa

My  Harvest Quinoa with Maple Roasted Butternut Squash is flavored with fresh mint and sage with a touch of cumin. When I serve this in the  as a main course, I garnish it with sauteed shiitake mushrooms, scallions, mint, sage. roasted squash and wilted arugula. Quinoa is known as the “ancient grain” and is one of the healthiest grains you can serve. This is a great vegetarian/vegan dish which also can be served with grilled chicken or fish!


For the quinoa

  • 3 cups of cooked quinoa
  • see recipe for instructions
  • 1 teaspoon olive or canola oil
  • 3 shiitake mushrooms stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cooked diced roasted butternut squash, instructions below
  • 2 green onions, trimmed and sliced on a diagonal
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage (about 4 or 5 leaves)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint (about 8 leaves)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • a pinch of salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons spiced pepitas

Wilted Vegetables

  • 1 teaspoon canola or olive oil
  • 6 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 2 green onions trimmed and sliced on a diagonal
  • 1 cup cooked diced roasted butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons spiced pepitas
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint or sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 cups loosely packed arugula

Spiced Pepitas

  • 1/2 cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • a touch of salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil instructions below
  • Pumpkin seed oil garnish, optional


Prepare the quinoa

quinoaRinse 1 1/2 cup quinoa in a sieve under cold water. Place quinoa in a pot filled with 3 cups of water. Simmer until the quinoa “pops” open. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes. Place in a sieve and rinse with cold water to cool it down. Can be saved in the refrigerator in this state, covered, for several days.

Prepare the roasted butternut squash

cutting squashPurchase a butternut squash with a long neck. It is easier to work with these since there is more “meat” in the neck…less seeds.

Cut the squash at the base when the “bulb’ starts. Peel the squash (use sharp paring knife or a vegetable peeler. Cut the bulb in half, remove the seeds then peel.

squash in panSlice squash into 1/2 inch slices then dice into 1/2 inch pieces. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. Spray with nonstick food spray.

Place the squash in a large bowl and toss with 3 to 4 tablespoons maple syrup. Place on the pan and roast until tender….about 12 to 14 minutes depending on size of pieces. Remove and let cool. Store in a covered container in refrigerator until ready to use. Can be stored for several days.

For additional instructions, view my roasted pear and butternut squash salad recipe.

To make the spiced pepitas

pepitas with ingredientsPlace the pepitas in a large bowl. Add the sugar, smoked paprika (available at most specialty food stores) and oil. Toss to combine.

Place in a preheated 350 degree oven. Roast for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and let cool. Store in an air tight container or in a zip lock bag until ready to use Can be made several days ahead.

To finish the quinoa

quinoa vegetablesPlace the oil in a large saute pan. Add the green onions and shiitake mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms begin to soften.

Add the squash, quinoa, fresh herbs, cumin, 2 tablespoons of pepitas and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until combined and heated through. Add maple syrup and mix.

arugula with vegetablesWhile you are heating the quinoa, make the wilted vegetable mixture. Place the remaining oil in a saute pan. Add the remaining shiitakes, green onions, squash, pepitas and fresh sage. Heat until softened. Add the arugula. Turn off heat and toss to “wild” the arugula.

To plate as an entree

platingPlace the quinoa in the center of four plates (We use a small round mold for our restaurant presentation.

Divide the wilted vegetable mixture around the quinoa. If desired, drizzle with pumpkin seed oil (available on line and in specialty food stores.)

removing mold quinoaYou can also simply put the quinoa in a serving bowl and top with the wilted vegetable mixture.



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2 Responses to Harvest Quinoa with Roasted Butternut Squash

  1. Gwen Kober says:

    I first heard you on WPR, and am continually thrilled with your healthy, and very often gluten free recipes, a necessity for my Celiac husband. Thank you for sharing your tips and recipes! Cooking gluten free has opened a whole new educational realm for us.

    • Chef Terri says:

      Thanks Gwen My new on line recipe of Mixed Grain Taboulleh can be done with just quinoa to make it gluten free. For a better texture, use half red or black quinoa with the traditional white variety. The red and black quinoa will have a bit more “crunch.”

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