quinoa with caramelized butternut squash and roasted brussels sprouts in a dish topped with pepitas

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! 

overhead photo of a quinoa side dish in serving bowls

Fresh and Healthy Vegetarian Side

Brussels sprouts are one of my very favorite foods, but they’re kind of a pain 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 favoritesIt’s be a perfect vegetarian side dish for any night of the week.

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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!

a fork taking a bite of quinoa with caramelized butternut squash and roasted brussels sprouts

Step 1: Make the Quinoa

Start with 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!

Quinoa with Caramelized Butternut Squash and Roasted Brussels Sprouts | iowagirleats.com

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 a scant 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.

Quinoa with Caramelized Butternut Squash and Roasted Brussels Sprouts | iowagirleats.com

Turn the heat down to medium-low then let the quinoa simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork then set aside.

Quinoa with Caramelized Butternut Squash and Roasted Brussels Sprouts | iowagirleats.com

Step 2: Roast the Brussels Sprouts

Meanwhile, spread a 9oz bag pre shredded brussels spouts onto a foil-lined baking sheet then toss with 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, garlic salt, and pepper, and then roast at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Quinoa with Caramelized Butternut Squash and Roasted Brussels Sprouts | iowagirleats.com

Step 3: Caramelize the Butternut Squash

While the sprouts are roasting, 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, stirring often.

caramelized butternut squash in a hot skillet

Step 4: Combine

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 then toss to combine.

Quinoa with Caramelized Butternut Squash and Roasted Brussels Sprouts | iowagirleats.com

That’s all she write! Scoop onto plates, top with more parmesan cheese if desired, then serve. I hope you love this tasty little vegetarian side – enjoy!

quinoa side dish in serving bowls

Quinoa with Caramelized Butternut Squash and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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Description

Quinoa with Caramelized Butternut Squash and Roasted Brussels Sprouts is a delicious vegetarian side dish that pairs with most any meal!

Ingredients

serves 6 as a side

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • scant 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 inch cubed butternut squash
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup pepitas

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Combine quinoa, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, parmesan cheese, and pepitas in a large bowl then toss and serve with extra parmesan cheese, if desired.

Notes

  • If you can't find pre-shredded brussels sprouts, trim the ends, peel off any outer leaves that are loose, then shred thinly with a sharp knife.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

photo collage of quinoa with caramelized butternut squash and roasted brussels sprouts