I’m hosting Thanksgiving for the first time in a very long time. Despite my years of culinary experience, I’m a little nervous. It’s likely there will be a few new dietary concerns to maneuver. One of my favorite holiday mainstays—Turkey Day Quinoa—can be enjoyed by most anyone. Quinoa is naturally gluten- and dairy-free. Leftovers? It makes a great next-day lunch.
Turkey Day Quinoa
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 14 oz. butternut squash, finely diced
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
- ½ tsp. black peppercorns, divided and freshly ground
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries, chopped
- ¼ cup raw pepitas, chopped
- ½ Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
- 1 tsp. fresh rosemary leaves, minced
- ¼ oz. fresh sage leaves, finely minced
- ¼ oz. fresh Italian parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. lemon zest, freshly grated
Cook quinoa according to directions; chill completely. In a large mixing bowl, drizzle squash with about ½ of the oil; season with ½ of the salt and pepper. Roast on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a preheated 450-degree F oven until edges are browned and squash is just tender and dark golden-brown on the edges (about 15 minutes), turning once. Remove squash from oven; cool completely to room temperature. In an extra-large bowl, drizzle cold quinoa with remaining oil and lemon juice; season with remaining salt and pepper. Add cooled squash, cranberries, pepitas, apple, herbs and lemon zest to the bowl; gently toss. Adjust seasoning, if needed.
Tasty Tip: Meat eaters might enjoy adding ½ lb. finely diced turkey.
Rachael Perron is the culinary and branding director for Kowalski’s Markets. Find more at kowalskis.com.