Full of delicious and healthy ingredients this Roasted Squash, Quinoa, Avocado and Feta Salad is perfect for a light lunch or dinner and can be prepped ahead of time for an easy work lunch. It’s suitable for vegetarians and is gluten-free too!
Ever since the indulgences of Easter I have been craving healthy food, which has been quite strongly reflected in my blog. So far since Easter I have shared my Spinach, Cauliflower, Quinoa and Chickpea Curry, my Sticky Harissa Chicken Traybake and my recipe for Harissa Prawns with Coconut Cauliflower Rice. All delicious, healthy and, of course, easy peasy!
If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you will have seen this delicious and healthy salad already. I created it one day last week when I was trying to work out what to have for lunch. I really wanted something healthy but also delicious AND quick AND easy. I ended up throwing together a few of my favourite ingredients, including a bag of ready cooked quinoa and it was one of those lovely moments where it just ‘worked’ – a super healthy, delicious lunch dish in a matter of minutes, with very little faff. I know I’m going to be having this again and again!
This lovely vegetarian salad is also incredibly easy to adapt to whatever you might have in the fridge. You could switch the roasted squash and tomatoes for courgettes, aubergine or cauliflower. Or don’t bother roasting any veggies at all and instead throw in some raw salad vegetables, such as peppers, radishes or cucumber. You could swap the feta cheese for goats cheese, if you prefer. Or leave the cheese out entirely to make this vegan and dairy free, adding in a handful of toasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds instead.
Alternatively, you could make this meaty by adding in some leftover chicken, turkey or ham. Or for extra vegetarian protein you could add in some chickpeas. Given how flexible and easy to adapt this salad is, it’s particularly great for families where some members eat meat and others don’t.
I used a bag of Merchant Gourmet ready cooked white and red quinoa – one of my store cupboard lifesavers, which makes whipping up a quick and healthy salad really super easy. But you could swap this for any bag of ready cooked grains of your choice – couscous, bulgur wheat, brown rice…or else you can cook up your own quinoa…30g dry weight is roughly equivalent to 80g cooked. So for this recipe you would need 100g dry quinoa. Cook according to packet instructions (or your own preferences…I usually cook my quinoa a little less than the packets suggest, as I like mine with a decent amount of ‘bite’).
Finally, to bring it all together, I drizzled over my current absolute favourite Honey, Mustard and Cider Vinegar Dressing…this combination is just a little bit awesome (in my humble opinion 😉 ). And it’s super, super simple to make….just throw all the ingredients into an old jam jar (clean obviously!), screw on the lid and shake.
- 2 tablespoons olive or rapeseed oil
- 800g butternut squash, chopped into 1cm cubes
- 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Black pepper to taste
- 250g ready cooked quinoa (or cook 100g dried couscous)
- 2 avocados, chopped into 1cm cubes
- 150g mixed salad leaves (I used spinach, watercress and rocket)
- 200g feta cheese, crumbled
- 4 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
- 4 tablespoons cider vinegar (or lemon juice, or white wine vinegar)
- 8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoons salt
- Black pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 200C.
- Place the butternut squash and cherry tomatoes in a roasting tray and drizzle over 2 tablespoons of oil, ½ a teaspoon of salt and a few twists of black pepper. Toss the vegetables in the oil and seasoning and place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Next, mix together the dressing ingredients. Simply place all the dressing ingredients into a clean jam jar, screw on the lid and shake until everything is combined.
- Place the quinoa in a large bowl, add the avocado, feta, salad leaves and dressing and toss everything together to mix thoroughly.
- When the squash and tomatoes are cooked, add them to the salad and toss everything together again. Serve straight away or place in boxes in the fridge for work lunches.
Want more delicious and hassle-free midweek meals? Find more here…
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