cooking · Dinner

Butternut Squash Quinoa Pilaf

I served this with a big mess of oven roasted zucchini for dinner. Butternut squash has been a hard one for me to learn to like but I am coming around. Again…just like with quinoa, it is learning how to cook it so it tastes delicious (without of course a ton of cheese, cream, salt, etc). While one could go buy a whole squash (yes I know…it is cheaper) the bags/tubs of pre-cut are so handy. I can source 2 lbs  tubs at Costco for $5 and the recipe uses about half of it. So simple I don’t find excuses to not use it. And more so I don’t worry about having bought a bad squash in off-season (I really hate when that happens). The recipe is easily adapted to vegan – use agave nectar instead of honey.

Butternut Squash Quinoa Pilaf


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups lower sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (half an average lemon)
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups butternut squash (about 1 to 1¼ lbs prepared – or 1 medium size squash), chopped in bite size pieces
  • 1 Tbsp honey or agave nectar


Rinse the quinoa well and shake off. Add it, the broth, lemon juice, ginger and pepper to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover tightly, turn to low and let cook for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile heat a large skillet over medium. Add half the oil and the onion. Sauté until tender and golden, about 10 minutes, stirring often. Transfer the onions to a bowl, set aside.

Add the remaining oil and the butternut squash. Saute till fork tender and turning golden brown on all sides, gently tossing while cooking. It will take about 10 minutes. Stir in the honey or agave and toss gently to coat, sauté for a minute or two. Return the onions to the skillet and work in. Turn off the heat, fluff up the quinoa and add to the skillet, tossing gently to combine.

Serves 4 large servings.


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