I served this quinoa pilaf from the October issue of Style at Home at Thanksgiving dinner. It is a colourful and tasty side dish, and hearty enough serve as a vegetarian entrée. I roasted the squash ahead of time, kept it in the fridge, and then rewarmed it quickly in the microwave before tossing everything together just before serving.

You can roast the squash in advance

The recipe calls for white quinoa; I used regular quinoa and it was fine. I also chose to double up on the pistachios instead of buying pumpkin seeds.

Cranberry Pecan Quinoa Pilaf

To avoid additives and preservatives in this recipe, use fresh lemon juice and dried cranberries without colour or sulfites. I used Craisins brand original dried cranberries.


1 butternut squash

2 tsp olive oil

Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 cup white quinoa

Zest and juice of ½ lemon

1 tbsp unsalted butter

¼ cup dried cranberries

½ cup roughly chopped pecans

¼ cup shelled pistachios

¼ cup roasted pumpkin seeds

1 tbsp chopped parsley


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Peel the squash and cut the flesh into ¾” cubes. Toss with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper and spread on a baking sheet.

Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the quinoa for 12 minutes.

Drain and transfer to a bowl. Toss quinoa with the squash, lemon zest and juice and butter. Stir in cranberries, nuts, pumpkin seeds and parsley. Serve warm. Serves 6.

From the October 2011 issue of Style at Home