Roasted Pumpkin Quinoa Salad (With Pecan & Cranberry)

This Warm Roasted Pumpkin Quinoa Salad is perfect for lunches throughout these dark, cold winter months. It’s hearty, nutritious, filling and tastes so divine. Packed with all the most delicious Autumn/Winter flavours, think toasted caramelised pecans, dried cranberries, roasted pumpkin seeds, and an orange maple dressing. So good.

Roasted Pumpkin Quinoa Salad

This roasted pumpkin quinoa salad recipe is basically a combination of 4 different little autumnal recipes – the roasted pumpkin, roasted pumpkin seeds, toasted caramelised pecans and the orange-maple dressing. So, you could use each recipe for different dishes if you wish! But they’re delicious all combined together. The flavours compliment one another so well.

This roasted pumpkin quinoa salad includes not only the pumpkin flesh, but also the seeds, which is a great little tip to avoid food waste. You won’t believe how delicious the seeds are when roasted! I cook them in the oven with garlic powder, maple syrup, salt and spices. They’re so crunchy and add a warmth to the salad. I also love keeping them as a little snack through the week. I’ve included the recipe further down!

Every year in the UK over 8 million pumpkins, which is over 18000 tonnes of edible pumpkin flesh is thrown away. Scary. Moreover, most of this goes into general household waste rather than food waste or compost. Pumpkins that end up in landfill will eventually decompose and emit methane, an incredibly dangerous greenhouse gas which is much more potent than CO2. Please eat your pumpkins! And compost the rest.

Why should we be avoiding food waste?

  • One third of all food produced in the world gets thrown away, whilst food poverty exists.
  • Reduces methane emissions from landfills, contributing to climate change. Methane is 84x more harmful than CO2.
  • Lowers your carbon footprint
  • Food waste in the home has shown to be the single largest contributor of total food waste in the UK – we can do better!
  • Food waste alone is responsible for 8% of all global greenhouse gas emissions

Read more on avoiding food waste on the BBC

Food Prepping

I love meal prepping a huge batch of this roasted pumpkin quinoa salad on a Sunday, then enjoying it for lunches during the week. It’s a great one for meal prep! However, make sure to keep your dressing and toasted nuts/seeds on the side then add them when you’re about to tuck in (otherwise the salad and seeds can go soggy when left)! I like keeping them in little jars or tupperware.

I like to use quinoa for the grain as it’s a great options for vegans, as it’s a complete protein, meaning it contains all 9 amino acids. It’s also packed with fibre, meaning it’ll keep you full for a while, helping to prevent snacking on less nutritious things! However, you can also use cous cous, cooked rice or barley, all options would be fab!

If you make this roasted pumpkin quinoa salad recipe, please make sure to comment below or tag me over on Instagram – @georginaburgess_ , I love seeing your recreations!

Oh, and if you like this, why not give my Cannellini Bean Salad a try?

Roasted Pumpkin Quinoa Salad

How to Make My Roasted Pumpkin Quinoa Salad

If you’re going to make this delicious roasted pumpkin quinoa salad, you’ll need the following ingredients:

1 small Pumpkin (peeled and de-seeded – but keep the seeds!) Pumpkin is a nutritious and versatile ingredient. It’s a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as fiber. Roasting the pumpkin adds a sweet and earthy flavor to your salad.

4 tbsp Light Olive Oil (for roasting) Olive oil is a healthy fat that adds richness to your dish. It contains monounsaturated fats, which can be beneficial for heart health. Using it for roasting helps enhance the flavors and texture of the pumpkin.

Salt & Pepper Salt and pepper are essential for seasoning your dish. They enhance the flavors of all the ingredients and bring out the natural tastes of the dish.

2 tsp Garlic Powder Garlic powder adds a savory and aromatic flavor to the dish without the strong pungency of fresh garlic. It complements the other flavors in the salad.

2 handfuls Baby Spinach Baby spinach is a nutrient-rich leafy green that adds freshness, color, and a mild flavor to the salad. It’s a good source of vitamins and minerals.

1 cup Quinoa Quinoa is a high-protein grain that’s also rich in fiber, making it a great addition to your salad. It has a slightly nutty flavor and adds a pleasant texture.

For The Toasted Caramelised Pecans

1/2 cup Pecans Pecans provide a buttery and slightly sweet flavor. They’re a good source of healthy fats and can add a satisfying crunch to your salad.

2 tbsp Maple Syrup Maple syrup adds sweetness and a touch of complexity to the pecans. It complements the overall flavor profile of the dish.

Generous Pinch of Salt The salt in this step will balance the sweetness of the maple syrup and enhance the flavors of the pecans.

For The Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds (washed in a colander) (from the Pumpkin) Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are a nutritious snack. They’re high in protein, healthy fats, and various minerals. Roasting them adds crunch and a slightly nutty flavor to the salad.

1 tbsp Light Olive Oil The olive oil helps the pumpkin seeds crisp up during roasting and adds a bit of richness.

1/2 tsp Salt Salt enhances the natural flavor of the pumpkin seeds and balances their taste.

1/2 tsp Garlic Powder Garlic powder adds a savory element to the roasted pumpkin seeds.

1 Pinch Chilli Powder Chilli powder adds a hint of spiciness and depth to the pumpkin seeds.

1 Pinch Paprika Paprika contributes a smoky and slightly sweet flavor to the pumpkin seeds.

1 tsp Maple Syrup Maple syrup provides a touch of sweetness and helps create a caramelized coating on the roasted pumpkin seeds.

For The Dressing

Juice of One Orange Fresh orange juice adds a zesty and slightly tangy flavor to the dressing, brightening up the overall taste of the salad.

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil Extra virgin olive oil lends a robust flavor to the dressing and helps bind the flavors together.

1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar Apple cider vinegar adds acidity and a subtle fruity note to the dressing, enhancing the overall complexity of flavors.

2 tbsp Maple Syrup Maple syrup contributes sweetness to balance the acidity of the vinegar and citrus flavors.

Generous Pinch of Salt Salt is crucial for balancing the flavors and making the dressing taste well-rounded.

1/2 tsp Garlic Powder Garlic powder adds a savory undertone to the dressing, complementing the other ingredients.

Vegan Roasted Pumpkin, Pecan & Cranberry Quinoa Salad

Roasted Pumpkin, Pecan & Cranberry Quinoa Salad (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Georgina Burgess
This Warm Roasted Pumpkin, Pecan & Cranberry Salad is perfect for lunches throughout those dark and cold winter months.
It's hearty, nutritious, filling and tastes divine.
Packed with all the most delicious Autumn/Winter flavours, think toasted caramelised pecans, dried cranberries, roasted pumpkin seeds, and an orange maple dressing. So good.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Course Lunch, Salad
Servings 6 Portions


The Fundamentals

  • 1 small Pumpkin (peeled and de-seeded – but keep the seeds!)
  • 4 tbsp Light Olive Oil (for roasting)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 handfuls Baby Spinach
  • 1 cup Quinoa

For The Toasted Caramelised Pecans

  • 1/2 cup Pecans
  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • Generous Pinch of Salt

For The Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • Pumpkin Seeds (washed in a colander) (from the Pumpkin)
  • 1 tbsp Light Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Pinch Chilli Powder
  • 1 Pinch Paprika
  • 1 tsp Maple Syrup

For The Dressing

  • Juice of One Orange
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • Generous Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder


  • Preheat the oven to 190-200c
  • Spread out the cubed pumpkin over a large baking tray
  • Drizzle with olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper
  • Using your hands, mix it all so that all of the pumpkin is coated
  • Place in the oven to roast for around 50 minutes (1 hour until the pumpkin is soft inside and going crispy on the outside)
  • While the pumpkin is cooking, prepare the roasted seeds
  • Grease the bottom of a small baking tray
  • Ensure you've washed the seeds thoroughly in sieve or colander (and they're patted dry)
  • Add the seeds to a small bowl along with the other ingredients
  • Stir together and spread over the greased baking tray
  • Place in the oven for around 10-15 minutes until they're browning and crispy. Leave them to cool (they go crispy as they cool!)

Prepare The Pecans

  • Heat a small frying pan over a medium-high heat
  • Once hot, add the pecans
  • Let them toast for a couple minutes on either side
  • Add in the maple syrup and salt – stir so the pecans are all coated
  • Toast for a further 2-3 minutes (then take off the heat and set aside)

Cook the quinoa

  • Add 1 cup of quinoa to a pan along with 2 cups of salted water (or veggie broth)
  • Bring to the boil and then lower the heat to a simmer (cover)
  • Cook for around 15 minutes (or until the water has absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy)
  • As soon as it's cooked, stir in the spinach so that it starts to wilt with the heat of the quinoa.

For The Dressing

  • Add all of the dressing ingredients to a jar and shake up until combined.

Bringing It All Together

  • Add the quinoa-spinach mix, roasted pumpkin and dried cranberries to a large bowl and carefully stir together
  • If you're going to eat it straight away, sprinkle over the toasted nuts and seeds and drizzle over the dressing


If you’re cooking ahead/meal prepping – keep the nuts, seeds and dressing separate until you’re ready to eat.
Keyword vegan lunch

Can You Eat Cold Quinoa?

Yes, you can absolutely eat cold quinoa! In fact, quinoa is quite versatile and can be enjoyed both hot and cold. Cold quinoa can be used as a base for salads, added to yogurt parfaits, or even eaten as a side dish.

To prepare cold quinoa, you would cook it as you normally would and then allow it to cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Once it’s chilled, you can use it as the foundation for various cold dishes. The texture might be slightly different compared to when it’s hot, but many people find the nutty and slightly chewy texture of cold quinoa to be quite enjoyable in salads and other cold dishes.

If you’re using quinoa in a salad like this roasted pumpkin quinoa salad, you can cook the quinoa ahead of time, let it cool, and then mix it with the other ingredients to create a refreshing and nutritious cold dish.

How Long Does Quinoa Last in The Fridge After It’s Cooked?

Cooked quinoa can generally be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4-6 days. To maximize its shelf life and maintain its quality, it’s important to store the cooked quinoa properly:

  1. Cooling: Allow the cooked quinoa to cool down to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator. This helps prevent moisture buildup and bacterial growth.
  2. Storage Container: Transfer the cooled quinoa to an airtight container. Make sure the container is clean and dry to avoid introducing excess moisture.
  3. Sealing: Ensure that the container is tightly sealed to prevent air from entering, which can lead to drying out or spoilage.
  4. Labeling: If you’re storing multiple items in your fridge, consider labeling the container with the date you cooked the quinoa. This helps you keep track of its freshness.
  5. Hygiene: Always use clean utensils and hands when handling the cooked quinoa to avoid contamination.

If you’re planning to keep cooked quinoa for an extended period or if you’re unsure if you’ll be able to consume it within the 4-6 day window, you can also freeze cooked quinoa. Portion it into smaller containers or freezer bags, label them with the date, and store them in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. When you’re ready to use the frozen quinoa, thaw it in the refrigerator or reheat it directly from frozen.

Remember that these storage guidelines are general recommendations, and factors like the freshness of the quinoa when cooked, the cleanliness of your storage containers, and the temperature of your refrigerator can all affect how long the cooked quinoa remains safe and palatable to eat. Always use your judgment and if in doubt, it’s better to err on the side of caution and not consume food that might have gone bad.

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1 Comment

  1. I am so glad I found this recipe. I swapped the pumpkin for butternut squash. Made this on thanksgiving and it was such a hit. I cant wait until I make this again

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