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Best Instant Pot Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

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If you’re searching for a delicious vegetarian salad packed with flavor and healthy ingredients, this Instant Pot Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad could be a great choice.

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Healthy and Flavorful: This salad is packed with nutritious butternut squash and protein-rich quinoa.
  • Quick and Easy: The Instant Pot slashes cooking time, making it a breeze to prepare.
  • Versatile Dish: Serve it as a main, a side, or a wholesome lunch option.

Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to put this butternut squash quinoa salad together.

  • Quinoa: Adds a slightly nutty flavor and a delightful texture to the salad.
  • Butter: Gives the quinoa a rich, buttery taste and helps in sautéing the veggies.
  • Sweet or Red Onion: Adds a bit of sharpness and sweetness that balances the other flavors.
  • Red Bell Pepper & Green Pepper: Provide a vibrant color contrast and a sweet crunch to the salad.
  • Sweet Corn: Brings a hint of sweetness and an enjoyable texture to the dish.
  • Black Beans: Add protein and fiber, making the salad more filling and nutritious.
  • Minced Garlic: Infuses the dish with a robust, aromatic kick that complements the other flavors perfectly.
  • Chicken Broth: Used to cook the quinoa, it adds depth and savory flavors.
  • Coarse Ground Garlic Salt, Seasoned Salt or Kosher Salt, Black Pepper: Essential seasonings that enhance the natural flavors of the ingredients.
  • Butternut Squash: Adds a sweet, nutty flavor and a hearty texture that makes this salad truly satisfying.
  • Water: Helps to cook the butternut squash to a perfect, tender consistency.
Instant Pot Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

How To Make Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

Once you have all the salad ingredients ready, here’s the step by step process you’ll need to follow.

Step 1: Rinse Quinoa

First, rinse the quinoa in a strainer under cold water for about 2 minutes. 

quinoa

Step 2: Sauté Onion And Quinoa

Place the butter in a skillet, and when it’s melted, add the chopped onion, and sauté for 2 minutes. 

Add the quinoa and sauté for another 5 minutes. 

Step 3: Add Peppers And Beans

Add the red bell pepper, green bell pepper, corn, and beans, stir, and cook on medium high heat an additional 5 minutes. 

quinoa234

Step 4: Cook Quinoa In Broth And Seasonings

Add the chicken broth, water, garlic salt, seasoned salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. 

Turn the heat to low, and add the minced garlic, stir well, cover the sauce pan with a lid, and simmer the quinoa mixture for about 20 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. 

Step 5: Prep The Butternut Squash

While the Quinoa mixture is simmering, rinse the Butternut squash under cold water, and dry with a paper towel.

Step 6: Cut The Butternut Squash & Cook

Cut the stem off the Squash, and place the trivet in the Instant Pot. 

Add 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the Instant Pot, and place the Butternut squash on the Trivet, and place the lid on the Instant Pot until it beeps and locks.

Make sure the pressure valve is set to ‘SEALING’.

Step 7: Cook The Butternut Squash In Instant Pot

Press the manual button, and set the time for 6 minutes. 

When the squash is done the Instant Pot will beep and go to off. Do a quick release by turning the pressure valve to ‘VENTING’  from Sealing, and allow all the pressure to be released. 

Step 8: Let The Pressure Release

When the pressure has all been released, and the float valve (stem) is all the way down, remove the lid from the Instant Pot. 

Step 9: Get The Squash Out

Remove the Butternut Squash with a heavy kitchen towel, or a pot holder, and place on a plate. 

Step 10: Chop The Squash Into Bite Sized Pieces

Cut the squash in half, lengthwise, with a sharp (preferably serrated) knife. Butter the inside of the squash. Slice the inside of the squash, (but not the skin) in bite size pieces. 

Step 11: Add To The Quinoa Mixture

Add the chopped squash to the quinoa mixture, and stir to blend. You can either plate the squash mixture, or fill the Butternut squash skins with the quinoa mixture for a dramatic presentation. (See photo’s).

quinoa22

Step 12: Plate And Serve

Serve, and Enjoy

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Cooking Tips

  • We’ve used butter for this recipe, but if you really want to stick to using healthy fats, you can use olive oil.
  • I also think this salad can be a great way to get some more greens on your plate. Consider adding your favorite greens like chopped kale or baby spinach into the mix towards the end.
  • To cut down the cooking time for this recipe, you can use pre cut butternut squash or cooked squash too!
  • To turn this into a vegan friendly casserole or salad, swap the chicken broth and use a veggie broth instead.
  • If you want this salad to have fall flavors, you can add some more seasonings like dried rosemary and thyme.
  • If you want to give this salad a bit of a spicy kick, you can also add some chili powder or a dash of hot sauce into it.
  • To balance the heat in the salad, you can add some maple syrup too!
  • I also love bringing some tart flavors into the salad, and if you do too, you can also add a dash of apple cider vinegar or some lime juice into it.
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Variations

I love experimenting with food, and if you do too, you can bring in your own variations to this salad.

  • You can consider roasting butternut squash instead of cooking it in the Instant Pot. The roasted butternut squash will lend the salad a nice, rustic and earthy flavor. The roasted squash can also be a great side, when seasoned correctly.
  • If you love making sheet pan meals, you can work this recipe out in that way too. Just lay some vegetables mixed with seasonings and olive oil and some chopped butternut squash quinoa on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until cooked. You can then combine the roasted vegetables with cooked quinoa and top it all with some fresh herbs.
  • The black beans are essentially what lend this salad a lot of protein. If you don’t have black beans, you could use canned (and drained) chickpeas instead.

What To Serve With This Recipe?

  • This quinoa salad is a great recipe to make and serve for the whole family.
  • You can serve it as is in a large serving bowl or turn it into a butternut squash quinoa casserole by layering some of it in a large casserole dish and topping it with some crumbled goat cheese and other toppings of your choice.
  • If you don’t have goat cheese, you could also used feta cheese or any other cheese of your choice.
  • Don’t forget to top the salad with some chopped herbs or other toppings of your choice. I love serving the salad with some dried cranberries or pomegranate arils on the top.
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Storage & Reheating Instructions

  • Fridge: The best way to store any leftovers that you might have is to transfer them to an airtight container and refrigerate them. You could also just transfer them into a clean mason jar and pop them in the refrigerator.
  • Freeze: To freeze Instant Pot Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad, place it in airtight containers, ensuring it’s cooled to room temperature, and store in the freezer for up to three months, but note that the texture of certain ingredients may be affected upon thawing.
  • Reheat: Reheat Instant Pot Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad by gently warming it in the microwave or on the stovetop, adding a splash of water or additional dressing if needed, until heated through.
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Instant Pot Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes

If you're searching for a delicious vegetarian salad packed with flavor and healthy ingredients, this butternut squash quinoa salad could be a great choice

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 sweet or red onion - chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper - chopped
  • 1 green pepper - chopped
  • 1 cup of sweet corn
  • 1 can of black beans - rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon of coarse ground garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon of seasoned salt or Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup of water

Instructions

  1. First, rinse the quinoa in a strainer under cold water for about 2 minutes. 
  2. Place the butter in a skillet, and when it's melted, add the chopped onion, and sauté for 2 minutes. 
  3. Add the quinoa and sauté for another 5 minutes. 
  4. Add the red bell pepper, green bell pepper, corn, and beans, stir, and cook on medium high heat an additional 5 minutes. 
  5. Add the chicken broth, water, garlic salt, seasoned salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. 
  6. Turn the heat to low, and add the minced garlic, stir well, cover the sauce pan with a lid, and simmer the quinoa mixture for about 20 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. 
  7. While the Quinoa mixture is simmering, rinse the Butternut squash under cold water, and dry with a paper towel.
  8. Cut the stem off the Squash, and place the trivet in the Instant Pot. 
  9. Add 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the Instant Pot, and place the Butternut squash on the Trivet, and place the lid on the Instant Pot until it beeps and locks.
  10. Make sure the pressure valve is set to 'SEALING'.
  11. Press the manual button, and set the time for 6 minutes. 
  12. When the squash is done the Instant Pot will beep and go to off.  Do a quick release by turning the pressure valve to 'VENTING'  from Sealing, and allow all the pressure to be released. 
  13. When the pressure has all been released, and the float valve (stem) is all the way down, remove the lid from the Instant Pot. 
  14. Remove the Butternut Squash with a heavy kitchen towel, or a pot holder, and place on a plate. 
  15. Cut the squash in half, lengthwise, with a sharp (preferably serrated) knife. Butter the inside of the squash.  Slice the inside of the squash, (but not the skin) in bite size pieces. 
  16. Add the chopped squash to the quinoa mixture, and stir to blend. You can either plate the squash mixture, or fill the Butternut squash skins with the quinoa mixture for a dramatic presentation. (See photo's).  
  17. Serve, and Enjoy

Notes

  • We've used butter for this recipe, but if you really want to stick to using healthy fats, you can use olive oil.
  • This salad can also be a great way to get some more greens on your plate. Consider adding your favorite greens like chopped kale or baby spinach into the mix towards the end.
  • To cut down the cooking time for this recipe, you can use pre-cut butternut squash or cooked squash too!
  • To turn this into a vegan-friendly casserole or salad, swap the chicken broth and use a veggie broth instead.
  • If you want this salad to have fall flavors, you can add some more seasonings like dried rosemary and thyme.
  • If you want to give this salad a bit of a spicy kick, you can also add some chili powder or a dash of hot sauce into it.
  • To balance the heat in the salad, you can add some maple syrup too!
  • I also love bringing some tart flavors into the salad, and if you do too, you can also add a dash of apple cider vinegar or some lime juice into it.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 263Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 1372mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 9gSugar: 7gProtein: 10g

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