Kabocha and Dried Cherry Quinoa Salad

I am head over heels in love with dried cherries right now.

Is that weird? I feel like it’s not normal to be smitten with dried fruit, but I can’t help it.

Ever since I made that Halloween trail mix, I’ve been stuck on dried cherries.

They’re so sweet and tart and aren’t all dried out and tough like other dried fruit.

Dried cherries are awesome in trail mix, delicious in cookies, tasty by the handful, and even better mixed into savory salads like this one.

Are you burned out on winter squash yet? I hope not.

The season is just starting and we’ve got some long cold, dark months ahead.

Kick off your squash quota with this salad – fluffy quinoa, roasty toasty squash, sweet dried cherries, and some chickpeas for staying power.

If you make this and aren’t addicted to dried cherries like I am, something is wrong.

 

Kabocha and Dried Cherry Quinoa Salad

Makes: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups kabocha squash, diced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 and 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss the diced squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast at 425 for 20-25 minutes, flipping once, until the squash is browned and tender.
  2. While the squash is roasting, bring quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Lower the heat and simmer the quinoa, covered, for 5-10 minutes until the water is absorbed.
  3. Toss the roasted squash with the cooked quinoa, chickpeas, dried cherries, olive oil, orange juice, salt, and pepper. Serve warm or room temperature.

 

 

17 comments

  1. J is obsessed with dried cherries! I always add them to granola, but havent added them to a savory dish. Looks yummmmy

  2. I wouldn’t have thought of adding dried cherries to a salad like this but it sounds immense!

  3. It’s been far too long since I’ve made a quinoa salad but I am looking for some salad recipes for Christmas dinner. Think I may have found one. ;)

  4. Mmmmm, this looks perfect! I needed a good autumn salad recipe and I think I found it!

  5. I made almost this exact dish last week to use as filling in hollowed-out baked acorn squash! (So the squash was the dish, not in the dish. Ha!) Dried cherries are the perfect little pop to a warm quinoa salad, and I also love adding chopped almonds and goat cheese crumbles.

  6. I am a dried cranberry fanatic but I haven’t tried dried cherries. Once again, we have posted similar recipes today :)

  7. Love dreid cherries! I keep baking with them :)

  8. I love Quinoa but seemed to have developed an intolerance to it!! Too much quinoa?
    So annoying :-(

  9. 2 of my favorite foods! Together they can only be better, right?

  10. Clearly I need a reading test. As I was looking at this recipe instead of kabocha I was thinking kombucha and wondering if you were making it into a dressing. Clearly I need my caffeine. It looks delicious and I know I’ve been meaning to do a quinoa salad with squash myself, though I was thinking about making mine a tad more indulgent with some crumbled goat cheese, a little crisped pancetta and some apple for crunch.

  11. Oh gosh, this is right up my ally. I may have to sub butternut as I can’t seem to find kabocha anywhere. Aren’t dried cherries the best? I wish they weren’t so expensive though. Did you plant any winter squash in the garden?

  12. This is the perfect fall meal! Love the colors. :)

  13. ha quinoa IS the theme today! this one sounds delicious–i don’t think i’ve ever tried kabocha OR dried cherries…must fix that!

  14. i’m totally smitten with tart dried cherries, so it’s not crazy :) in fact, i’m also smitten with winter squash, so I’m all over this! YUM.

  15. I’ve been obsessed with dried cherries for about a year now. I can’t even remember the recipe I made that first turned me onto them. I’ve been eating them in my oatmeal all week. I tend to put them in granola and granola bars a lot too.

    This sounds like a great recipe!

  16. This is the kind of salad I NEED for lunch this week. Need.

  17. I love everything about this! I love dried cherries too but often go for cranberries instead b/c I’m cheap :)

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