I don’t care how basic this makes me sound, I cannot QUIT this butternut squash quinoa salad.
I’ve literally been craving it every.single.day for lunch and here’s why:
It’s loaded with the most delicious fall flavors (hearty roasted butternut squash, nutty quinoa, sweet honey crisp apples, quick candied maple pecans, creamy, salty chunks of feta and warm apple cider dressing, oh my!).
It’s filling and satisfying (i.e. not hungry again until dinner).
It’s such a simple batch recipe (i.e. prep all the ingredients ahead of time and the salad comes together in minutes).
But the best part?
The delicious ingredients ALSO work double duty by containing plenty of gut-healthy and hormone-balancing nutrients to help you feel and look your best, all season long.
Snag all the details and recipe below.
Loaded with soluble fiber which works to increase healthy bacteria in the gut, lower inflammation and regulate bowel movements (especially important to eliminate excess estrogen that can otherwise disrupt hormones!)
Rich in fiber, antioxidants and glucosinolates, which support the gut in safely eliminating excess estrogen.
Quinoa is high in prebiotic fiber that works to enhance gut bacteria diversity (important for both gut and hormone health). That being said, some people with digestive issues report quinoa can enhance their discomfort. If you feel this may be you, try swapping for brown rice, millet or leave out all together.
Contains a beneficial combination of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids which helps to lower gut inflammation as well as high fiber content to improve digestion.
Contain prebiotics that feed good gut bacteria.
To make this recipe dairy-free, simply leave off the feta cheese (it’ll still have a ton of flavor) or try swapping it for a dairy-free version made of nuts.
To make this salad paleo-friendly, leave out the cheese and quinoa (try adding chicken instead for extra protein and flavor).
Leave out the cheese to make this recipe completely vegan-friendly.
Sprouting quinoa decreases the level of phytic acid, an enzyme inhibitor that can block the absorption of nutrients and cause poor digestion. You can rinse and soak quinoa at home prior to cooking, or save time by purchasing it sprouted. I love this brand.
Arugula is seriously underrated IMHO, especially when it comes to elevating the taste and hormone-health benefits of this recipe (thanks to it’s sulphur containing compounds that support your gut and liver in detoxification, especially important if you experience pms or heavy, painful periods).
Not only is this a time-saver, but the process of cooking and cooling the squash creates something called resistant starch, which helps feed the friendly bacteria in your gut and increases the production of short-chain fatty acids like butyrate. I’ll often roast the squash earlier that day or the night before to let it cool, then warm on the stovetop or in the microwave before using.
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This insanely simple + delicious butternut squash quinoa salad is loaded with flavorful + seasonal ingredients that boost gut health.
Author: Lauren Chambers
Recipe Type: salad, side, entree
*The dressing, pecans, quinoa and butternut squash make large portions. I recommend cooking or prepping them all at once, then using your discretion to add them to individual sized portions throughout the week and adding other ingredients (feta, apple, leafy greens, etc.) based on serving amount. This way the salad comes together in minutes, and you can customize the portions.
**All ingredients will last in the fridge for a week, with the dressing lasting 1-2 weeks.
***The dressing tastes best warm, however you’ll want to store it in the fridge. If reusing, I recommend removing from fridge prior and using a fork to whisk as it will most likely separate. Reheat your squash and quinoa and toss with dressing first, then add remaining ingredients.
I’m honored to support you on your journey to optimal hormone health + happiness. Thanks for being here babe.