Fall Quinoa Spinach Salad

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!

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.

I typical go crazy with pumpkin recipes as soon as fall hits, but 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.

More Fall Favorites to Check Out:

More Quinoa Recipes you Might Enjoy:

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

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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.

Fall Harvest Spinach Salad


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 2
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

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


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: 0mg

Keywords: fall harvest spinach salad

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    65 comments
    1. Veronica
      October 13, 2020 AT 3:38 pm

      Amazing recipe! Simple ingredients, short prep time 🙂 I love it!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 13, 2020 AT 5:34 pm

        So glad you loved this salad, Veronica! I so appreciate you making it and coming back to leave a comment + star rating!

    2. Zora
      October 11, 2020 AT 11:04 pm

      This turned out so good! I subbed chopped dates for dried cranberries and it was delish!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 12, 2020 AT 10:59 pm

        Yay!! So glad you enjoyed this salad, Zora. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    3. Annie
      October 10, 2020 AT 10:34 am

      Do you use ground nutritional yeast or flakes?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 10, 2020 AT 1:34 pm

        I use the flakes, but either should work!

    4. Amy
      October 8, 2020 AT 10:14 pm

      I WILL be making this! Everything about this recipe looks yumm! Thank you for posting.

    5. Marly Thompson
      October 8, 2020 AT 9:21 pm

      Made this tonight to go with fall pork chops
      So good! Only sub I made was added a few chickpeas for the quinoa and used sweet potatoes instead of butternut:) definitely making again!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 9, 2020 AT 1:21 am

        Yay! So glad this salad was a hit, Marly. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it!

    6. Jan
      September 22, 2020 AT 9:07 pm

      Love this salad, second time making it. I have been subbing ingredients with what I have in hand, but the dressing makes it all come together!😊

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 23, 2020 AT 1:41 am

        Woo!! I’m so glad this salad was a hit. Thanks for making it + for coming back to leave a comment + star rating, Jan. I so appreciate it.

    7. Kristen
      September 21, 2020 AT 2:38 pm

      LOVED this salad recipe, especially the dressing which I can’t wait to use on all kinds of other things too! Perfect for transiting from fall to summer.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 23, 2020 AT 1:51 am

        Yay!! I’m so glad this salad was a hit. Thanks for making it + for coming back to leave a comment + star rating, Kristen. I so appreciate it.

    8. Jeannine
      September 14, 2020 AT 1:10 pm

      Husband has declared this “The best salad he has ever had!” Seriously though, it’s delicious.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 14, 2020 AT 2:58 pm

        Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Jeannine!! I’m so pumped this salad was a hit. Thanks for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    9. Allison
      August 11, 2020 AT 2:10 pm

      This is my absolute favorite fall salad. The dressing is incredible and so so flavorful.

    10. Shannon
      August 5, 2020 AT 12:18 pm

      I have been CRAVING a really good salad — like Sweetgreen good (I hope that’s okay to say)! But, my husband and I are not visiting restaurants now in an effort to really quarantine. This recipe HIT THE SPOT! It was so, so good and so filling! I used freeze dried blueberries instead of cranberries and slivered almonds for the nuts since that’s what I had. Can’t wait to make this again!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 5, 2020 AT 12:44 pm

        Of course that’s okay to say. I LOVE a good salad shop salad. We don’t have a Sweetgreen in Richmond, but I like to eat there whenever we visit a city that has one so I get it! I’m so glad this salad hit the spot! Thank you so much for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. It seriously helps my site so much so thank you. If you’re looking for another good one to try, this Mexican Street Corn Kale Salad is a favorite of mine lately!

    11. Pauline
      September 30, 2019 AT 7:53 pm

      I was a little nervous about the dressing but I am SO glad I tried it. This recipe is absolutely delicious. Thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 1, 2019 AT 3:56 pm

        Yay, I am so happy you went for the dressing and enjoyed it! 🙂 Thank you for trying this dish and for taking the time to leave a comment and star rating. I so appreciate it, Pauline! <3

    12. Steph
      September 22, 2019 AT 5:47 pm

      Hello! Can I make this ahead of time and serve chilled? Also, how long will it keep refrigerated?

      Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 22, 2019 AT 7:20 pm

        Totally! I prep everything and keep the dressing on the side until you’re ready to serve.

    13. Ashley Courtade
      November 29, 2018 AT 4:37 pm

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

    14. Dian
      November 15, 2018 AT 12:57 pm

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

    15. Raquel
      October 14, 2018 AT 5:46 pm

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

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 14, 2018 AT 6:45 pm

        Hey Raquel. It adds an amazing nutty, cheesiness to the dressing. I’d highly recommend trying to find it at your local grocery store because it really makes the dressing!

    16. Michelle
      September 28, 2018 AT 1:32 pm

      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

    17. Heidi
      October 14, 2013 AT 4:44 pm

      Accidently came on this site! LOVE this blog! Thank you!

    18. Caitlin
      October 13, 2013 AT 1:00 pm

      This was delicious!!!!! I’m definitely going to make it again this week 🙂

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 13, 2013 AT 1:34 pm

        Hooray. So glad you liked it Caitlin.

    19. Matt
      September 25, 2013 AT 8:38 pm

      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 🙁

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 25, 2013 AT 10:56 pm

        Bummer! I’m so sorry about that! I’ll updated the time.

    20. Lyn, a baby boomer who loves food and gets younger every day
      August 16, 2013 AT 7:14 am

      The first thing I noticed when I looked at this page was the beautiful bowl of salad. I love that it only takes a short amount of time (relatively short anyway) to get this from all the lovely ingredients to chopped up and ready to eat. Not only that but practically everything in here is so healthy for you that you can eat as much as you want.

    21. Wendy @ VeggieYogi
      January 13, 2013 AT 7:43 pm

      Neat combination. Thanks for sharing!

    22. Randi
      December 25, 2012 AT 11:15 pm

      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 : )

    23. Chatelaine
      November 16, 2012 AT 12:22 pm

      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!!

    24. sarah
      November 13, 2012 AT 11:46 pm

      I want to make this for a Thanksgiving gathering. How many servings is it?

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