Hi, my name is Natalie and I am a squash hoarder. Currently on my kitchen counter I have two massive butternuts, a little baby butternut, a little acorn, a freckled spaghetti, and a very large kobocha. Whatever. Judge me all you want but once you try this recipe, you’ll be in love too. I wanted to call this recipe “Rainbow Quinoa with Caramelized Butternut Squash, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Toasted Pepitas, and Parmesan.” But then you’d never read it. So I slimmed down the name to Butternut Brussels Sprout Quinoa without skimping out on any of the yummy ingredients.
This time of year, we’re all seeking warm, hearty comfort food. But that does’t mean we have to load up on mashed potatoes and butter, or sodium-rich fat-ladened soups, or all the dinner rolls we can force down our gullet. Sure, this dish is a little heavy on the carbs. But it’s packed with tons of healthy nutrients from the brussels and squash, protein in the quinoa and pepitas (AKA pumpkin seeds), and a good helping of healthy fats!
Oh. And it’s delicious.
Caramelizing the butternut squash in the pan brings out its natural sweetness. And don’t even get me started on roasted brussels sprouts. I have to hide the pan out of sight while I prep the rest of the dish or no joke, I WILL eat them all. Last time, I nearly melted my face off trying to get my hands on those crispy little nuggets.
My favorite part about this dish is how BOMB the leftovers are. Seriously, hot or cold, my lunchbox practically shouts to be opened all day with this inside!
If you time this dish right (and do your prep on Sunday!), you can cook all of the separate parts simultaneously and it makes a quick week-night dinner! But either way, this dish is sure to please. Consider taking it as a side to your next fall event- maybe even Thanksgiving! Enjoy!
One of my favorite fall recipes, this dish stands well on its own or makes a fabulous side dish! Try it for your next fall get together or pack it for a week's lunches!
- 1 lb brussel sprouts, cleaned and shredded (or sub 2 bags pre-shredded)
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and 1/2' cubed (about 4-6 cups)
- 1 cup dry rainbow quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 Tbs maple syrup or brown sugar
- 2 Tbs olive oil, divided
- 1/3 cup pepitas
- 1/3 cup parmesan (optional- omit for vegan option)
- Salt and pepper
- Cook quinoa in broth according to package directions (about 15 minutes), set aside.
- Pre-heat over to 400F, toss brussel sprouts with 1 Tbs olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast brussel sprouts for 10-15 minutes until browned and slightly crispy.
- Meanwhile, heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
- Heat 1 Tbs olive oil in pan and add cubed squash and maple syrup.
- Sautee for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally until golden on all sides.
- (I sometimes set the lid/ a baking sheet over the pan to be sure the squash is cooked through.)
- Add cooked quinoa, brussel sprouts, squash, pepitas, and parmesan to a large bowl and toss to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, enjoy!