This cinnamon roast pumpkin quinoa salad is made with kale, feta cranberries, walnuts and a simple balsamic dressing. It’s easy, healthy and a perfect side to any meal.
Have you ever tried cinnamon roasted pumpkin before? It’s such an incredible combination.
This pumpkin and quinoa salad has been one of my go-to recipes to serve during the holidays for years!
Roasting the pumpkin in cinnamon brings out the beautiful natural sweet flavour, then we combine it with massaged kale, quinoa, salty feta, crunchy walnuts and cranberries. A simple balsamic dressing ties it all together and you have the most delicious salad ever.
Ingredients you’ll need
You only need 10 ingredients to make this pumpkin and quinoa salad recipe:
- Pumpkin: I used Japanese pumpkin (also called kobocha squash in America).
- Kale: I used curly green kale but lacinato/ tuscan kale would be great too.
- Feta cheese: grated cows milk feta is my go to here but goat cheese or a dairy free cheese would also work well.
- Dried cranberries
- Balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil
- Cinnamon: to season the pumpkin and little in the dressing!
- Salt + pepper
How to cut and peel a pumpkin?
Before you begin making your salad, you’ll need to slice and roast your pumpkin
- Cut the pumpkin in half: Using a large sharp knife, cut the pumpkin in half down the middle (lengthwise).
- Deseed: Use a spoon to scoop out all the seeds, pulp and strings.
- Peel and cube: Cut each pumpkin half into thick wedges. Then, use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin (or use the knife). Once peeled, cut the wedges into small cubes ready to roast.
How to make pumpkin quinoa salad
Start by preheating the oven to 180C/ 350F and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Pumpkin: Combine pumpkin with 1/2 a tablespoon oil on the baking tray. Season with cinnamon and salt then roast for 20 minutes or until tender.
Quinoa: While the pumpkin is roasting, cook the quinoa on the stove top according to package instructions.
Dressing: Combine all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake well until smooth.
Kale: Add the kale to a large bowl and pour over half of the dressing. Massage the kale with you hands, for about 1 minutes to soften the leaves.
Combine: Add the cooked quinoa, roasted pumpkin, walnuts, feta and cranberries. Pour over the remaining dressing and gently toss to combine. Serve and enjoy!
- To make vegan: Swap feta cheese for a dairy free alternative.
- Leafy greens: Kale can be swapped for rocket (arugula) or baby spinach leaves. Skip the massage step!
- Grains: Quinoa can be swapped with wild rice, barley, or farro.
- Dried cranberries: Could be swapped with raisins, goji berries or fresh pomegranate seeds.
- Nuts: Swap walnuts for pecans, hazelnuts or pumpkin seeds to make it nut-free.
How to store
If you have leftover roast pumpkin and quinoa salad or want to prepare it ahead of time, it can be stored in an airtight container. It will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Enjoy this salad cold, no need to reheat it.
Can I use butternut squash in this recipe?
Yes, butternut squash/ butternut pumpkin works just as well in place of the pumpkin in this salad. Season and cook it the same.
How can I make this recipe dairy free?
Omit the feta cheese or substitute with a dairy free feta cheese.
Can you eat the skin on pumpkin?
Short answer- yes, however it depends on the type. The skin on Kent or Jap pumpkin/ kobocha squash is edible. Simply cut into thin wedges, add seasonings, spray with olive oil and roast.
Other pumpkin salad recipes
If you try this pumpkin quinoa salad recipe or have a question, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.Print
This cinnamon roasted pumpkin quinoa salad is made with kale, feta, cranberries, walnuts and a simple balsamic dressing. It’s easy, healthy and a perfect side to any meal.
- 600g Kent pumpkin, peeled + cut into cubes*
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil*
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 4 cups (120g) curly kale leaves
- 1/2 cup (75g) grated feta cheese
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup roasted walnuts
- Salt + pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Salt + black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Combine pumpkin with 1/2 a tablespoon oil on the baking tray. Season with cinnamon and salt then roast for 25 minutes or until tender.
- While the pumpkin is roasting, cook the quinoa on the stove top according to package instructions.
- To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake well until smooth.
- Add the kale to a large bowl and pour over half of the dressing. Massage the kale with you hands, for about 1 minutes to soften the leaves.
- Add the cooked quinoa, roasted pumpkin, walnuts, feta and cranberries. Pour over the remains dressing and gently toss to combine. Serve and enjoy!
- I used Kent pumpkin but Jap pumpkin or butternut squash can be used too.
- I prefer to roast my pumpkin with olive oil spray as too much oil can make it “soggy”.
- Store leftovers for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
Keywords: pumpkin, quinoa, kale, feta,