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Quinoa Pilaf with butternut squash {Naturally Gluten Free}

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If you’re looking for a healthy side dish that’s naturally gluten-free, this quinoa pilaf is hard to beat. Nuts add crunch while dried cranberries and butternut squash add tons of flavor.

Quinoa pilaf

I have been on a quest to find tasty ways to add quinoa to my diet because it is such a healthy food.

Not only is it packed with vitamins and minerals, it is a complete protein, and gluten free.

Although it looks like a grain, it is not a grass. It is a member of the beet and kale families.

One would never know it based on the bland taste of plain boiled quinoa.

Fortunately, it blends well with other flavors to make a nutritious, delicious side dish that’s a great alternative to rice or potatoes for holiday meals.

Quinoa Pilaf

I found this recipe in Canadian Gardening Magazine and it is one of the best quinoa recipes I have tried yet!

Ingredients

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Quinoa Pilaf ingredients

Here is your shopping list for this Quinoa Pilaf recipe:

  • Quinoa – obviously!
  • Fresh fruits & vegetables – 1 butternut squash, 1 lemon
  • Oil – 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Dried spices – salt, pepper
  • Dairy – 1 Tablespoon butter – Unsalted works best. If you use the salted variety, you can reduce the amount of salt you add to the recipe.
  • Dried fruit, nuts and seeds – ¼ cup dried cranberries, ½ cup pecans, ¼ cup pumpkin seeds, ¼ cup pistachios – For less work, buy shelled pistachios.
  • Fresh spices – 1 Tablespoon parsley. You can substitute 1 teaspoon of dried parsley if you don’t have any fresh parsley available.

How To Make Quinoa Pilaf

quinoa and pumpkin seeds in half a butternut squash

Prep work

Pre-heat the oven to 350℉.

Peel the squash, remove the seeds and cut it into 1 inch cubes.

Zest and juice half of a lemon.

Chop the pecans.

Shell the pistachios (if you didn’t buy them without the shell on).

If you like extra crunch, roast the pumpkin seeds on a cookie sheet in the oven for 5 minutes.

Chop the parsley.

Cook The Squash

The first step to making this quinoa pilaf recipe is to cook the squash.

Before you start, line a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper. This helps to prevent the squash from burning.

Butternut Squash on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

Spread the cubed squash out on the cookie sheet and toss with oil, salt and pepper.

Then bake at 350℉ for 20 to 25 minutes or until soft.

Cook The Quinoa

cooked quinoa in a bowl

Put 2 cups of water in a pot and bring to a boil.

Add the quinoa to the pot, then cover and reduce the heat to low.

Cook for about 12 minutes. Inserting the handle of a wooden spoon between the lid and the rim of the pot will prevent it from boiling over.

Remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

Then fluff the quinoa with a fork.

Make The Pilaf

Quinoa pilaf with butternut squash in a bowl
Quinoa Pilaf

Put the cooked quinoa in a large serving bowl with the cooked squash, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1 Tablespoon butter, ¼ cup dried cranberries, chopped pecans, ¼ cup pumpkin seeds, ¼ cup shelled pistachios and the chopped parsley.

Toss until mixed.

Serve warm.

Quinoa Pilaf

Quinoa Pilaf

I have been on a quest to find tasty ways to add quinoa to my diet because it is such a healthy food. I found this recipe in Canadian Gardening Magazine and it is one of the best quinoa recipes I have tried yet!
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Canadian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 275 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • Zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup pecans chopped
  • ¼ cup pistachios shelled
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds roasted
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley chopped

Instructions
 

Cook The Squash

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Peel the butternut squash and cut into ¾” cubes.
  • Spread out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Toss the squash cubes with the olive oil and the salt and pepper.
  • Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender and golden, stirring once in a while.

Cook the Quinoa

  • Meanwhile, boil the water in the medium sauce pan.
  • Add the quinoa.
  • Cover and reduce the heat to simmer for 12 min. 
  • Remove the cooked quinoa from the heat and let sit for 5 min. Then fluff with a fork.

Make The Pilaf

  • Put the quinoa into the bowl and toss with the butter, lemon zest, lemon juice and the squash.
  • Stir in the cranberries, pumpkin seeds, pecans, pistachios, and parsley.
  • Serve warm and be prepared for compliments!

Notes

To prevent the quinoa from boiling over the sides of the pot, insert the handle of a wooden spoon between the rim of the pot and the lid.
Reduce the amount of salt added, if you are using salted butter instead of unsalted.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 gCalories: 275 kcalCarbohydrates: 27.8 gProtein: 7.9 gFat: 16.2 gCholesterol: 5.1 mgSodium: 395.6 mgSugar: 2.6 g
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Quinoa Pilaf

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