This quinoa spinach salad is loaded with fall favorites like butternut squash, chopped apples and quinoa. It’s is packed with nutrition and flavor. You’ll love the apple cider vinegar tahini dressing! 

Hi friends. How’s your Sunday going? We’ve spent most of the morning gearing up for a hurricane. … we went to Whole Foods for a few pantry staples; Lowe’s for a new flashlight and 711 for ice. I’m really hoping the storm creates less damage than what the meteorologists are predicting, but it’s always good to be prepared.

Salad plate filled with spinach harvest salad including butternut squash, cranberries, quinoa, pecans, and apples. A fork of on the plate and a dish towel to the side.

In other news, I’ve been getting super excited about pumpkin recipes lately. I’m truly sorry if you hate pumpkin. Not only are you missing out on a boatload of nutritional benefits, but I just noticed that all the recipes I posted recently have pumpkin in them, even these healthy apple cinnamon muffins. Like I said, I’ve been on a bit of a pumpkin kick… but you’ll be happy to know that today I have a pumpkin-less recipe that features more fall produce favorites — butternut squash, apples and greens. I’ve been eating these things separately or in other dishes, but finally decided to throw them all together for a tasty salad.

Ingredients for the fall harvest spinach salad in a bowl before being mixed-- chopped apple, quinoa, cranberries, pecans, butternut squash, and spinach.

Ingredients for the fall harvest spinach salad in a bowl before being fully mixed-- chopped apple, quinoa, cranberries, pecans, butternut squash, and spinach.

Ingredients for the fall harvest salad in a glass bowl being tossed with the apple cider vinegar tahini dressing.

Tossed fall harvest spinach salad in a glass bowl with wooden spoons.

Hearty fall salads are seriously the best! In this Quinoa Spinach Salad, the roasted butternut squash makes it sweet and satisfying, while the apple and pepitas add a nice crunch. Quinoa adds some staying power and the spinach nourishes the body in a way that no other food (besides other leafy greens) can. If you like my garlicky kale salad, you’ll love this one because the dressing is almost exactly the same – I just added a little maple syrup to sweeten it up a bit. And if you enjoy this salad, you should also check out my full roundup of quinoa salad recipes.

Salad plate filled with spinach harvest salad including butternut squash, cranberries, quinoa, pecans, and apples. A fork of on the plate and a dish towel to the side.

If you make this fall harvest spinach salad be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Your feedback is not only helpful for the EBF team, but for other EBF readers as well!

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Fall Harvest Spinach Salad


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x

Description

Loaded with fall favorites like butternut squash, chopped apples and dried cranberries, this fall harvest spinach salad is packed with nutrition and flavor.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (cooked according to package directions)
  • 3/4 cup butternut squash, chopped
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or pecans
  • 3 Tablespoons dried cranberries

Tahini Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing

  • 2 Tablespoons tahini
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons low sodium tamari or aminos
  • 4 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves of garlic)
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Prepare the squash by peeling it, cutting it in half and scraping out the seeds.
  2. Cut the squash into bite-size cubes, place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and roast at 400° for 30-40 minutes, turning once or twice, until all the pieces are tender and have a few small brown spots.
  3. If your pepitas or pecans are raw, you can toast them in the oven with the roasting squash. Spread seeds/nuts on a separate baking sheet and add to the oven with the butternut squash for 5 to 10 minutes or until the seeds/nuts are golden and crunchy, then remove from the pan to cool. Be sure to watch the seeds/nuts carefully because they can burn quickly. The pepitas will take less time to toast than the pecans because they’re smaller.
  4. While roasting the squash, toss together spinach, cooked quinoa, apple and cranberries in a large salad bowl. Add cooled pepitas (or pecans) once they’ve been toasted.
  5. Prepare dressing by placing all remaining ingredients (tahini through maple syrup) in a blender and blend until smooth.
  6. Once the butternut squash is done roasting, allow it to cool and then place into the salad bowl with the other ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/2 of recipe
  • Calories: 561
  • Sodium: 641mg
  • Fat: 21g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 73g
  • Fiber: 15g
  • Protein: 23g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: fall harvest spinach salad

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    43 comments
  1. My husband & I loved this recipe. I have PCOS & I can’t have gluten or dairy so this recipe worked out great for me.

  2. This recipe is absolutely delicious. Love all the salad ingredients and the dressing is amazing. I will definitely be making this again.

  3. This looks delicious! Is there something you can substitute for the nutritional yeast? Or can you just leave it out?
    Thanks.

  4. Making this salad for a potluck. Love all your vegan recipes! Keep them coming! Your tempeh bowls with coconut rice are a weekly dinner at omg house

  5. Cool recipe but when I got excited at the top of the card with the 15 minute total time to make, but that doesn’t include the 30-40 minutes to prep the squash 🙁

  6. made this today for a pot luck Christmas dinner with friends – was so delicious! I was mad that there weren’t any leftovers!! will make again just for me : )

  7. Finally got to make this last night. Everyone loved it. I added some mushrooms and some cucumber, put more than 3/4 of squash. I was serving 3 adults and I just approximated the quantities. It was soooooo good! I’ll be keeping this in our fall rotation for sure!

    Thank you!!

  8. Hi! I discovered your blog the other day and love it. I made this salad today with just a few tweaks based on what I had at home. Instead of spinach, I roasted some broccoli and at the same time roasted the butternut squash seeds (I had roasted the squash last night for some soup), as well as some chick-peas tossed in olive oil, pepper, paprika and turmeric. I tossed all of that plus the squash in the dressing with the quinoa, apple, cranberries and some diced red pepper I had. Super good, thanks for the recipe!

  9. Hi!

    I can honestly say that I have never followed a blog before yours. I have always been a health food junkie (without the junk of course). I stumbled onto your blog and I have been reading and rereading it over and over again. I am living abroad in the Republic of Georgia, and whenever I feel homesick I read your blog. Your positive attitude helps me feel less homesick. I bet you didn’t expect to hear that on a salad recipe comment;) Anyways, I did buy P90X before coming to Georgia. I wasn’t sure there would be a gym. It is pricey so I bought it from Amazon.

    I read the top comment and I am sorry, to the Beachbody coach. I have to watch the P90X tapes with the sound off, Tony…he is a little too motivated, however, now that he is some of the only English I hear…starting to appreciate his lame jokes. Overall I have been a very fit person for a long time. I ran DI track and cross country all throughout college. I only just graduated in May, and P90X has many of the moves that we did to stay lean and race ready. It really gets your heart pounding. I highly recommend it. Also there is no coffee here in Georgia, if you don’t count instant or Turkish, and I don’t, but when I get home I am totally making your pumpkin spice latte:) Thanks for writing this blog. You are a lifesaver to this homesick teacher.

    p.s. Sorry this is so long, obviously I haven’t been using English too much, and it all comes out on a post!

    • Hi Mary – I’m excited to be the first blog that you’ve followed. Thank you for such a sweet comment.

      Did you do the full P90x program? I’m wondering if I should do the classic or lean program?

      • Thanks for the reply:)

        I have two weeks left of the classic. I am a fan of strength training. 1) because I like that more muscle burns more calories when my body isn’t working 2) I have always been a fan of toned over super thin. You are already thin, so the classic will get you toned for the dress. Plus with the arms workout, I think toned might be the goal here. I would go classic:)

        Also I didn’t bring weights with me or a pull-up bar. I am using bands, and have really great results!

  10. I’ve never done P90x before, but I would definitely recommend sometime of structured workout program for the months leading up to your fitting. If you decide P90x isn’t for you, maybe you could sign up for some group classes? Since you’ll have signed up and paid for the class, you might feel more motivated to go. No matter what program you choose, I’m sure you’ll look fit and fantastic on your big day! 🙂

  11. Yum! Can’t wait to try this!

    I’ve done two full rounds of P90X. The first time, I did the “traditional” rotation and was very disappointed with my results. The second time, I did the “lean” rotation and added 3 additional runs per week and was THRILLED with my results! Yes, it can get monotonous, but I’m happy I found a way to make it work for me!

  12. Mmmmmm I love giant fall salads too! I jumped on the P90X bandwagon about a year ago but quickly fell off. I think the program didn’t work for me because I get bored very easily and once you learn the routines your doing the same thing all the time it felt like. On the bright side, the work outs themselves are really great and you do see the benefits quickly. I like to incorporate the workout separately into my own routine each week.

  13. OOH your salad looks to DIE for!!! Yum yum yum!! And I love quinoa as well!! Ahhh lol! I’m also hoping this storm is not as bad. I’m in Alexandria, VA & just praying everyone stays safe. Stay safe there! 🙂

  14. Love your website – I’m addicted! 🙂 I have done P90X before and LOVE it! It makes you want to puke the first week but it gets better as you go along – good luck!

  15. I feel like I should have prepared for this thing a little more than I did. Toly just informed me that we are low on bottled water so that could be a problem. :/ Stay safe love!

  16. I’m a BeachBody coach and love P90X it is more strength, less cardio – Insanity is GREAT too! Let me know if I can tell you anything about BeachBody fitness programs or answer P90X questions for you 🙂

      • It truly depends on your goals – lean will focus more on lenthening your muscles not as much on definition, classic (what I did in prep for my wedding this past July) will give you more definition…I push for classic for those already in shape 🙂 Lean is a bit less strenuous

  17. I hope the storm doesn’t end up being as bad as anticipated; all over the news here in Ireland too….
    How could anyone not LOVE pumpkin! I’m eating it pretty much everyday in one form or another, can’t get enough. When you can’t get pumpkin…eat butternut squash! Totally with you! Love your salad! The dressing sounds delicious!

  18. I love the idea of using Quinoa in a salad for some protein staying power! I’ve never tried it but I definitely will! Nothing better than roasted squash and dried cranberries in a salad!

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