This Butternut Squash Quinoa Bowl with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce was ever so slightly inspired by my favourite salad from Pret – the salad involves falafel and hummus too, but my favourite part of it is the roasted butternut squash and the delicious red pepper sauce:
While salad leaves are lovely, I wanted to make something slightly more substantial that could work both as a light lunch or a quick weeknight dinner – I decided to create a bowl with my go-to base of quinoa, buckwheat and dried cranberries.
Quinoa is such an amazing food – it’s quick and easy to cook, not too expensive and has tons of health benefits! Helen Nichols from Well-Being Secrets has actually written a very well-researched and informative article on the scientifically-proved health benefits of quinoa (of which there are 27!), so make sure to give it a read if you’re interested in learning more about this superfood!
You can find it here: 27 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Quinoa
I then topped it with some beautifully sweet and tender roasted butternut squash, avocado (because you always gotta have avo), black kalamata olives, a generous sprinkling of seeds and a big dollop of the most delicious home made roasted red pepper sauce!
I actually adapted the roasted red pepper sauce from the wonderful Pinch of Yum’s recipe. I actually made her recipe for Mediterranean Quinoa Bowls with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, and just couldn’t get enough of the sauce!
My slightly tweaked version here goes beautifully with the other flavours in this bowl – it’s naturally sweet from the roasted red peppers, nutty from the almonds, herby from the oregano and basil, slightly tart from the lemon juice and has a bit of a kick from the cayenne pepper!
This is just the perfect meal for summer – why not make double the amount you need and have the leftovers as a packed lunch the following day?
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d love for you to take a photo and tag it #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! It would really make my day to see what you come up with!
- 1 portion three-colour quinoa
- 1 portion buckwheat
- 1 handful dried cranberries
- 1 butternut squash, cut into small cubes with the skin left on
- Olive oil, for roasting
- Salt + pepper, taste
- 1 sweet red pepper, de-seeded and cut into cubes
- Handful of almonds
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Handful fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 clove of garlic
- Salt + pepper, to taste
- Pinch of cayenne chilli pepper, to taste
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 tablespoon seeds (pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds)
- Optional: Few black kalamata olives
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees
- Place butternut squash on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in oven for 30-40 minutes until soft and golden brown
- Place the red pepper on a separate baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and bake in oven for 20-30 minutes until soft and slightly charred
- Cook the quinoa and buckwheat according to instructions on packet. If possible, add the dried cranberries before boiling so that they become plump and juicy during the cooking process
- Make the roasted red pepper sauce by adding the roasted red peppers and all other ingredients for the sauce to a blender - blend until mostly smooth but leave it slightly chunky for texture
- To serve, lay out the quinoa and buckwheat base in a bowl and top with roasted butternut squash, kalamata olives, sliced avocado, a generous dollop of the roasted red pepper sauce and sprinkle with seeds