Healthy Fall Recipe: Roast Squash and Quinoa Bowls

Photo: Johnny Miller

San Francisco cookbook author and food blogger Heidi Swanson has built a reputation on turning healthy into delicious. And this innovative quinoa dish, which combines tender squash with crunchy pepitas, is no exception. A yogurt dressing spiked with ginger, cilantro, and serrano chile adds a dollop of decadent flavor. "Take time to focus on getting the seasoning right by using enough salt and lime juice as you prepare the various ingredients," advises Swanson, who just released her latest book, Near & Far ($17; "I also like to serve it with a poached egg on top for a one-bowl meal."

Roast Squash and Quinoa Bowls

Serves: 4-6

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes


2 cups plain Greek yogurt
¾ cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
½ cup loosely packed baby spinach leaves
¼ cup chopped scallion greens (from about 6 scallions)
1 serrano chile, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
5 tbsp plus 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 lb acorn or delicata squash, halved, seeded, and sliced ¼-inch thick
1½ cups red quinoa, rinsed and drained
1½ tsp smoked paprika
¼ cup fresh lime juice


1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. In a blender, purée yogurt, cilantro, spinach, scallions, chile, and ginger; salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl; chill.
3. Spread pepitas on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toast for 5 minutes, until browned. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.
4. On the same baking sheet, spread squash. Drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, turning slices halfway through, until tender.
5. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine quinoa and 2 ¾ cups water; boil. Reduce heat to moderately low, cover, and cook until water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork.
6. In a small bowl, whisk 3 tbsp olive oil with paprika. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Spoon quinoa into four bowls. Top with yogurt sauce, squash, and pepitas. Drizzle with paprika oil and lime juice.

For more fall recipes, pick up the October issue of InStyle, now available on newsstands and for digital download.

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