Aztec Grain Salad Recipe - Aztec Grain Salad combines a South American, high-protein grain called quinoa with aromatic roasted butternut squash, crisp apples, and dried cranberries to make a delicious and colorful side dish.
Aztec Grain Salad Recipe
Aztec Grain Salad

Aztec Grain Salad Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Quinoa, dry
  • 1 3/4 cups Fresh granny smith apples, peeled, cored,
  • cubed 3/4”
  • 1 3/4 cups Fresh butternut squash, peeled, seeded,
  • cubed 1/2”
  • 1 Tbsp Canola oil
  • 1/4 tsp Ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1/3 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp Red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1 dash Ground black pepper
  • 1 dash Ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Optional: use additional cilantro as a garnish
  • 1/3 cup Dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup Golden raisins, seedless, finely chopped

How to make Aztec Grain Salad

  1. Preheat oven to 400 °F. 
  2. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer until water runs clear, not cloudy. Combine quinoa and 3 cups water in a medium pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer until water is completely absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. When done, quinoa will be soft and a white ring will pop out of the kernel. The white ring will appear only when it is fully cooked. Fluff with a fork. Cover and refrigerate. A rice cooker may be used with the same quantity of quinoa and water. 
  3. Combine apples and squash in a large mixing bowl. Add canola oil, 1/8 tsp ginger, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Toss well to coat. 
  4. Pour apples/squash mixture onto a large baking sheet and place in oven at 400 °F. Roast for 15 minutes or until squash is soft and slightly brown on the edges. Do not overcook. Remove and set aside to cool. 
  5. In a medium mixing bowl, combine orange juice, olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, salt, peppers, cilantro, and remaining ginger and cinnamon. Whisk together to make dressing.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, combine quinoa, apples/squash mix, cranberries, raisins, and dressing. Toss well to combine. If desired, garnish with additional cilantro. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours. 
  7. Serve chilled.