Butternut Squash Black Bean Quinoa

Butternut Squash Black Bean Quinoa

Things have settled down since all the anticipation of Thanksgiving and the actual holiday.

It’s one of my favorite long weekends of the year from the cooking and the leftovers to the lounging and the shopping.

Now that I have room in the fridge again I feel like our eating is getting back to normal. Space is always a challenge when you’re gearing up to entertain.

With my pantry and kitchen organized, I discovered I had four butternut squash.

I thought I only had two, but four!?

There was a lot of indecision on my part to settle on sides for the big meal. This has been going on for the past few weeks.

Butternut Squash Black Bean Quinoa

I bought those squash as an insurance policy to cover me for any what-ifs that might come along as I finalized the sides.

Butternut squash didn’t make the cut in the end.

When thinking about what to do with my surplus, I decided that it couldn’t be at all inspired by Thanksgiving. 

No offense to the best food holiday of the year, at least in my opinion, but I needed something else.

And that’s how I ended up making butternut squash black bean quinoa. 

Butternut Squash Black Bean Quinoa

How To Make Butternut Squash Black Bean Quinoa

To start, I preheated the oven to 400 degrees F. 

I tossed peeled and cubed butternut squash in a mixture of olive oil, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.

While the squash roasted, I simmered the quinoa on the stove.

Once the squash and grains were ready, I combined them in a large bowl.

Butternut Squash Black Bean Quinoa

I carefully folded in the black beans followed by lime juice, scallions and lots of chopped cilantro.

Because of the seasoning mix, the squash turned out a little spicy and smoky. It was a big departure from Thanksgiving! 

I ate this butternut squash black bean quinoa as a veggie main, but I also served it as a side with a Sunday night taco dinner.

To stretch the leftovers, I transformed it into a salad with by adding chopped kale and salsa.


Butternut Squash Black Bean Quinoa

Butternut Squash Black Bean Quinoa
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40-45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x


2 medium or 1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for serving
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
115 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 scallions thinly sliced
1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro
Juice of 2 limes


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss the butternut squash with olive oil, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Spread into a single layer on a sheet pan. Roast for 25-30 minutes until the squash is tender and starting to brown.

Bring the water and quinoa to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 12 minutes until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and let the quinoa cool for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the butternut squash and quinoa. Fold in the black beans, scallions, cilantro and lime juice.

Season with salt to taste.


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