Butternut Squash Black Bean Quinoa

5 from 5 votes

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This roasted butternut squash quinoa with black beans is seasoned with a mix of dried spices including cumin and chili powder plus fresh cilantro and lime juice.

Butternut squash quinoa with black beans on a plate

Olive oil, salt and pepper are essential for good roasted vegetables, but they are just a starting point. Boosting the seasoning with a mix from your spice drawer can transform a dish and transport you to another cuisine or another part of the world. Lately, that has been my version of travel.

Roasting fall veggies like squash, sweet potatoes and pumpkin takes a different direction when the excitement of autumn and Thanksgiving is long gone. I feel more free to kick up the heat and flavor. And when I take that first bite, I always wonder why I don’t make this my default strategy for roasted vegetables no matter the season.

For this combination of butternut squash and black beans, I go big on cumin, chili powder and other spices along with lime and cilantro. The result is a quinoa side that can also be served as a vegan main. It’s that kind of flexibility that has me cook this recipe planning to fit it into multiple meals.

Butternut Squash Black Bean Quinoa

Tips For Roasting Butternut Squash

Once you get past peeling, it’s pretty easy to roast this type of squash. I do have a few simple tips:

Use a Y-Peeler. Yes, it can be a total pain to peel squash. A good Y-peeler is a must. You will be amazed how easily this low-cost gadget strips the skin right off. When I stopped using my straight vegetable peeler and switched to the Y version, it was life changing. That’s not an exaggeration.

Try to cut the squash the same size. Do your best. I know this can be tricky, especially when you get to the curved bell part of the vegetable, but this is the key to getting everything on the sheet pan to roast evenly. Keep practicing. Every time you prep, you will get better and more efficient.

Spread out the squash across the entire pan. Take advantage of all the space you have on your baking sheet. Each piece of squash should make direct contact with the hot metal of the pan to maximize browning potential. This is true with roasting any vegetable, and if you keep them touching, even better. When they are too close together, they will steam instead of roast.

Ingredients including, butternut squash, beans, quinoa, scallions and cilantro

Ingredients & Substitutions

This is what you need for the recipe:

  • Butternut squash should feel heavy for its size in your hand and have smooth skin. One of the things I love about winter squash is that it can sit on your counter for a week or so before you use it, and it will still be fresh. That’s the beauty of these so-called storage vegetables. They have a longer shelf life than more delicate veggies. You can use sweet potatoes as a substitute.
  • Black beans are one of my pantry staples. I always have at least one can stashed away. The spices in this recipe take inspiration from Mexican and Tex-Mex flavors, so black beans are the right match for this dish.
  • Quinoa: You can use white, red or tri-colored quinoa. If you don’t have quinoa in your kitchen, you can use brown rice, barley, farro or another grain instead.
  • Spices: I season the squash in a blend of cumin, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • Olive oil: The best way to evenly distribute the spices is to stir them into olive oil, and then toss the squash in that mixture.
  • Lime juice: Once the butternut squash, black beans and quinoa are combined, I squeeze in lime juice.
  • Cilantro: I love including dried spices and fresh herbs in all my cooking. For this recipe, I add lots of chopped cilantro, which is always a great choice with lime.
  • Scallions: In addition to cilantro, I add two thinly sliced scallions for something crisp and oniony.
Stir the oil and spices together in a bowl. Then add the squash.
Butternut squash on the pan before and after roasting
Combine the squash and beans in a bowl. Then stir in the quinoa, scallions and cilantro.

How To Make Butternut Squash Black Bean Quinoa

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Make the spiced olive oil. It’s best to combine the cumin, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder and onion powder with the oil in a bowl that’s big enough to hold the squash too.
  3. Stir the butternut squash into the spices and oil. Toss it around so every piece is dressed in the mixture.
  4. Spread the squash across a sheet pan and roast for 25-30 minutes until the squash is tender in the center and browned at the edges.
  5. Make the quinoa. You can do this while you’re roasting. Simmer the grains on the stove. Once the water is absorbed, wait 5 minutes. Then fluff it with a fork.
  6. Combine the roasted squash and black beans in a bowl. Stir in the lime juice. After that, fold in the quinoa, scallions and cilantro.

Serving The Quinoa

As mentioned, you can serve the quinoa as a side dish or a main. Pair it with Chipotle Roasted Cauliflower Tacos or Veggie Fajita Bowls.

With the beans, you can think of it like a grain bowl. If you want, you can add shredded rotisserie chicken or tofu.


Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to 4 days. You can eat them cold straight from the fridge and even add greens and a splash of salsa to make a salad. If you prefer the dish warm, heat it quickly in the microwave.

More Butternut Squash Recipes

Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Pasta
Spicy Chipotle Squash Soup
Turmeric Butternut Squash Apple Soup
Roasted Butternut Squash Broccoli Orzo
Sautéed Butternut Squash and Kale

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Butternut Squash Black Bean Quinoa

5 from 5 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
This roasted butternut squash quinoa with black beans is seasoned with a mix of dried spices including cumin and chili powder plus fresh cilantro and lime juice.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 butternut squash about 2-1/2 pounds, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup quinoa rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-15 ounce can black beans drained and rinsed
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, cumin, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir in the butternut squash, coating in the oil and spices.
  • Spread the squash across a sheet pan. Roast for 25-30 minutes until it is tender and starting to brown at the edges.
  • While the squash is roasting, make the quinoa. Bring the water and quinoa to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 12 minutes until the quinoa is cooked and the water has been absorbed. Let the quinoa sit for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
  • Combine the roasted squash and black beans in a large bowl. Stir in the lime juice. Then fold in the quinoa, scallions and cilantro.


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 days.


Calories: 454kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 1013mg | Potassium: 1632mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 30508IU | Vitamin C: 69mg | Calcium: 211mg | Iron: 7mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
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Hi, I'm Paige.

Welcome to Last Ingredient where you will find simple seasonal recipes with plenty of fruits and vegetables, all for the home cook.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Soooo good. Truly a healthy side/meal that is also delicious. That blend of spices in the butternut squash…so good. Thank you for this one. I’ll definitely be making it again.