Quinoa with Caramelized Butternut Squash and Roasted Brussels Sprouts is a delicious, vegetarian side dish chock-full of good-for-you ingredients. Perfect for Thanksgiving!
Can we talk about deviating from the grocery list? Oh my gosh it’s so much fun. Every weekend I create a meal plan for the week then write out a list of ingredients I’ll need to make the recipes, categorized by department of course, then shop. I do my best to keep my eyes forward, but occasionally they’ll wander.
Sour Licorice Rips for $.50/bag? Don’t mind if I do.
Mini Champ Cones on sale? Ben will want those. (Yeah, Ben…)
Candy corn and honey-roasted peanuts? Better stock up for the holidays!
Notice a theme? Usually it’s the sweet treats that cause me to stray, but recently I made a beeline for a healthier list buster – shaved brussels sprouts, which I used in this Quinoa with Caramelized Butternut Squash and Roasted Brussels Sprouts!
Brussels sprouts are one of my very favorite foods, but they’re kind of a pain in the butt to prep. Trim the ends, cut in half, peel off the outer leaves, and repeat x100. Ever since spying pre-shredded sprouts at the store a few weeks ago I’ve been playing around with different uses, and this quinoa dish is one of my favorites. It’d be a perfect vegetarian side dish to serve at Thanksgiving.
Fluffy quinoa combines with sweet, caramelized butternut squash, roasty-toasty shaved brussels sprouts, creamy parmesan cheese, and crunchy pepitas in one fab little side dish. Disgustingly healthy. Plus there’s only 3 main ingredients, and they each cook in about the same amount of time. I’ll show you!
Start with the 1 cup quinoa which, like all my other rices/small-cut pastas, I store in a mason jar. One trick I do to both remind me of what’s inside AND how to cook it is to cut off the instructions from the original packaging and pop it in the jar. Easy!
Rinse the quinoa very well in a fine mesh sieve under cold running water (even if the packaging says “pre-rinsed”) then add it to 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth that’s boiling. Quinoa has a bitter outer coating that will make the whole dish taste off if it’s not rinsed.
Turn the heat down to medium-low then let the quinoa simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork then set aside.
Meanwhile, get those aforementioned shaved brussels spouts ready. SO glad this now exists! You’ll need 1, 9oz bag. If you can’t find these at your local grocery store, slice the brussels sprouts a la this recipe >>
Place the sprouts onto a foil-lined baking sheet then toss with 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, garlic salt, and pepper then roast at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
While the sprouts are a roastin’, get to work caramelizing 2 cups 1/2″ butternut squash cubes. Here’s how you make the cubes from a whole butternut squash >> Melt 2 Tablespoons butter with 1-1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar in a large cast iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat then add the squash and saute for 15 minutes, or until tender and golden brown on the outside.
I’ve been making caramelized butternut squash like crazy lately. First for Caramelized Butternut, Crispy Kale + Fontina Pizza last week, then randomly to snack on. It is mind-blowingly good, and so easy to make. I keep chopped butternut squash in the freezer then toss it right in a hot skillet when I need a fix. No thawing necessary!
Add the quinoa, roasted brussels sprouts, and caramelized butternut squash to a bowl with 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup pepitas (look for pepitas in the bulk bins) then toss to combine.
Scoop, top with more parmesan cheese if desired, then serve!
Quinoa with Caramelized Butternut Squash and Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Serves 6 as a side
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
9oz shaved brussels sprouts (I used Green Giant brand)
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
garlic salt & pepper
2 Tablespoons butter
2 cups 1/2″ cubed butternut squash
1-1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pepitas
- Bring chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan then add rinsed quinoa (be sure to rinse well in fine mesh sieve under cold running water – even quinoa that comes “pre-rinsed”.) Place a lid on top then turn heat down to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork then set aside.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees then line a baking sheet with foil. Add brussels sprouts, oil, garlic salt, and pepper to baking sheet then toss with fingers to evenly coat. Roast for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Melt butter in a large cast iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add brown sugar and butternut squash then saute, stirring every so often – more so near the end – until tender, about 15 minutes.
- Combine quinoa, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, parmesan cheese, and pepitas in a large bowl then toss and serve with extra parmesan cheese, if desired.
Although this dish only has a few main ingredients, it needs nothing more. The garlicky roasted brussels sprouts are perfect with the sweetened caramelized butternut squash. The parmesan cheese makes the dish ever-so creamy, and pepitas offer a satisfying crunch. Enjoy!