This beautiful Thai quinoa salad is packed with antioxidant-rich, nutritious ingredients and bursting with flavor. It’s the perfect salad to make ahead and enjoy for lunch throughout the week or to serve at a cookout with family and friends.
You guys. I’m telling you, this is the official “party in your mouth” salad. So many different flavors, colors and textures, all of which i’m equally in love with. It’s my new favorite thing.
So what is in this beautiful mess, you may ask? Here’s the run-down: Roasted butternut squash, crispy kale, quinoa, purple cabbage, red bell pepper, green onions, basil, cilantro AND cashews, all tossed in the most heavenly, creamy Thai dressing. I will be eating this on repeat all week.
This delicious salad is also incredibly nutritious. It’s packed to the RIM with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and has almost 7 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per serving! There’s nothing better than a light, healthy meal that is equally filling and satisfying. If anything needs to happen on your Memorial Day, it is to make this salad and share it with as many people possible! Plus, it’s unlikely that anyone else will be supplying veggies for your festivities, so you’re going to walk in like Wonder Woman (or Captain America), whichever suits you.
Light, yet filling. Simple, yet flavorful. Pure happiness in a bowl.
Thai Butternut Quinoa Salad (Gluten-Free)
- 3 cups butternut squash cubed (~1 small butternut squash)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
- 2 cups kale torn
- 1 cup purple cabbage chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1/4 cup each fresh basil and cilantro roughly chopped
- 2-3 tbsp thinly sliced green onion
- 1/4 cup unsalted cashews roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp Tahini sesame seed paste
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp Tamari or reduced-sodium soy sauce if not making gluten-free
- 1 tsp freshly ground ginger
- 1 tbsp olive or canola oil
- 1 tsp fish sauce optional
- 1 tbsp water
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Add butternut squash, drizzle with olive (or coconut) oil and add a pinch of sea salt. Toss to evenly distribute and spread out squash evenly on pan, avoiding crowding. Roast for 25 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
- This step is optional but if you prefer kale more mild and softer in texture, I would recommend massaging it gently with a touch of olive oil for ~1-2 minutes until it starts to slightly break down. Once it reaches your desired level of tenderness, combine it in a large bowl with remaining salad ingredients: quinoa, purple cabbage, bell pepper, basil, cilantro, green onion and cashews.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients until creamy. Add more water to reach desired consistency if needed.
- Once squash has roasted, allow it to cool for ~5 minutes before adding it in salad. Once added, pour dressing into salad and toss to evenly distribute. Top with additional cashews or herbs before serving if desired. Serve cold or at room temperature.
To make vegan, sub honey for pure maple syrup