clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Caramelized Apple and Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

  • Author: Audra


  • 3 cups butternut squash, diced into bite size pieces
  • 3 cups apples (2 medium size apples), diced into bite size pieces
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 4 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 2 cups toasted chopped pecans, for garnish (separate directions below)


  1. First rinse butternut squash and dry. Pierce the butternut squash with a knife in multiple places all around the squash. Place on a paper towel and microwave on high for 4-5 minutes. Just enough to soften the squash so you can comfortably cut, slice, and peel without struggling.
  2. Once the butternut squash is done peel, cut open, clean out center, and dice into bite size pieces.
  3. Next, peel (optional) and core apples. Dice apples into bite size pieces
  4. In a large saute pan melt butter over medium heat.
  5. Add diced apples and butternut squash.
  6. Sprinkle brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt over the mixture.
  7. Combine all ingredients and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Turn off heat, cover with lid and let the mixture sit for another 5-7 minutes.
  9. In a large serving bowl gently combine the caramelized apples and butternut squash with the quinoa. Garnish with toasted pecans and best if served warm.

For toasting pecans:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and evenly spread 2 cups of chopped pecans on baking sheet.
  3. Mist with cooking oil and toast for 5-10 minutes, stirring half way through. (cooking time may vary)


I cook 1 & 1/2 cups quinoa in 3 cups of vegetable broth to add more flavor. Bring the quinoa to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the quinoa to sit for 5 minutes with the lid on. You can tell if the quinoa is done by seeing the delicate brown rings around each grain. You may also leave the apple peels on the diced apples to add more natural beauty to this dish. I used honey crisp apples in my recipe, but you may use any variety of apples you wish.