This roasted pumpkin quinoa salad combines all the fall flavours with pumpkin, spice and the best pop of sweetness from pomegranate seeds. Easy to make, it's a delicious fall lunch or light dinner!
This fall quinoa bowl is the perfect combination of healthy vegetables, plant-based protein from quinoa and the crunch of nuts and seeds. And the pomegranate gives such a nice sweetness. A vegan and gluten free bowl that makes for a tasty lunch or light dinner!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Fall flavours - the pumpkin is roasted with hints of spice, which feels very seasonal!
- Versatile - you can easily swap ingredients such as the nuts and seeds or herbs in and out for those you prefer or have to hand.
- Healthy - packed with fresh vegetables, nuts, seeds and herbs.
All the ingredients and their quantities are set out in the recipe card below.
Some notes on a few of them:
- Pumpkin - choose fresh produce, without bruising or wrinkles.
- Quinoa - I tend to use white quinoa but you can also use a quinoa blend.
- Sweet paprika - this flavours the pumpkin. I like the Szeged sweet paprika.
- Pumpkin seeds and pistachios - you want to use unsalted nuts and seeds, and those that have not been roasted or have added flavouring.
Swaps and variations
Swap pumpkin for squash. The salad will be delicious with other forms of squash such as butternut squash or gem squash.
Swap parsley for cilantro. Both work so well as fresh and light flavours for the bowl.
Add cheese. If it works for you, then a little cheese such as creamy mozzarella or a goat's cheese would be a nice addition.
Add more toppings! Love a nice sweetness? Top with an extra sprinkle of pomegranate seeds. All about the crunch of nuts and seeds? More pumpkin seeds and pistachios will make it a heartier dish!
Step by step instructions
Just a few steps to make this fall salad, and all are easy to do:
Roast the pumpkin. Dice the pumpkin into bite-size pieces. Personally I like to peel mine, but it isn't necessary. Scatter on your baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Then sprinkle with sweet paprika, salt and black pepper (image 1).
Cook the quinoa. Add to a pot and cook according to packet instructions (image 2).
Dry toast the pumpkin seeds. Add the seeds to a dry skillet (without oil) and cook on a gentle heat until they start to very slightly brown and pop (image 3).
Combine the salad ingredients. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and stir to combine (image 4). Drizzle over the dressing, and add any extra toppings you like. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe tips and notes
- Peeling or not peeling the pumpkin (or squash) is to personal choice. I prefer to peel, but it isn't necessary if you like the skin on.
- Make sure the quinoa has cooked such that it has turned from a hard seed to a softer seed with the 'tails' out.
- Be sure to use unsalted nuts and seeds, as that wouldn't likely taste too good!
- Toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry pan, so without any oil.
More fall recipes to enjoy
Pumpkin Quinoa Salad
- Preheat the oven to 200C / 390F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Once the oven is to temperature add the pumpkin to the baking tray, drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle over the sweet paprika, salt and black pepper. Toss so that the pumpkin is evenly coated. Bake for 30 minutes or until fork tender.
- Cook the quinoa according to packet instructions.
- Dry toast the pumpkin seeds by adding to a dry skillet (without oil) and frying on a low heat until they start to very slightly brown and pop, about 4-5 minutes. Toss occasionally to prevent burning.
- Make the dressing by combining the ingredients, and stirring well. Taste test and adjust to preference.
- Combine all the ingredients in your serving bowl and drizzle on the dressing. Top with a little more herbs or pomegranate if you like, then serve immediately and enjoy!
- It is to personal preference whether you peel the pumpkin or not. Personally I tend to at times, but not others.
- Other forms of squash such as butternut squash can be used as a swap for pumpkin.
- Dry toast the pumpkin seeds, so without any oil.
- Be sure to use unsalted nuts and seeds.
- If you like a sweeter dressing, add a touch of maple syrup.
- Please note that nutritional information is offered as a courtesy. It is auto-generated and should be understood to be an estimate.
- arugula isn't scored on the SIGHI food list. Use a different salad leaf if you prefer.
- black pepper, which scores 2 although SIGHI states that small amounts are tolerated. Omit if you prefer.
- pumpkin rates as low histamine on the SIGHI list, but as high histamine on some other lists.
- apple cider vinegar, which scores 1.
- garlic, which scores 1.
- ginger, which scores 1.