Black Quinoa and Roasted Pumpkin Salad

Ali Segersten Nov 09, 2011 17 comments
Black Quinoa and Roasted Pumpkin Salad

Ever tried black quinoa? It is delicious, and very nutty-flavored. A bit fibrous. Great for salads. It cooks up quickly like its white counterpart. This quinoa salad embodies the flavors of autumn. Roasted sugar pie pumpkin with a hint of cinnamon combined with dried cranberries, roasted pecans, shallots, and a zesty dressing. Perfect for a simple, nutritious lunch or as part of your Thanksgiving feast.

I grew over 20 sugar pie pumpkins in our little front yard garden patch this year...from only two plants! They are sitting in our garage in boxes right now. I've been using them for pies, soup, muffins, and quinoa salads! 

Black quinoa is colored by a class of compounds called anthocyanins which protect the plant against oxidation and UV damage. Anthocyanins act as powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents that when ingested, protect our bodies against chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Our modern lifestyle has caused many people to become chronically inflamed. Stress, nutritional deficiencies, elevated toxins in our environment, and lack of sufficient antioxidants causes our bodies to produce higher levels of cytokines which cause inflammation and tissue damage. Cancer cells grow and reproduce under inflammatory conditions. Anthocyanins decrease inflammation and promote cancer cell to death (apoptosis).

Not only is black quinoa a rich source of anthocyanins, but so are blueberries, black rice, black beans, blackberries, black raspberries, purple broccoli, purple cauliflower, red cabbage, cherries, and many more. Just think black, purple, dark blue, and dark red!


About the Author

Ali Segersten

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University and a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States. She is a Functional Nutritionist, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Alissa is the founder and owner of Nourishing Meals®.

See More

Nourishing Meals Newsletter

Email updates.

Add Comment


I just wanted to let you know that I made this salad when a group of friends came around for a barbecue last weekend. None of them had tried quinoa before and they were all entranced. I loved the flavour of the orange zest, and it was just as good the following day. thank you for your wonderful recipes and every post is chock-a-block full of wonderful information.

I've never seen black quinoa but I love how it looks in your autumn salad. Beautiful, I will have to watch for it. Appreciate the nutritional info as well. Yours is one of my favourite blogs! Thanks for sharing

Love quinoa...never heard of black. Who makes it? This salad sounds perfectly delicious, minus the nuts.(boys have nut allergies)I am always on the look out for another way to eat my quinoa, with all the squash in season, the combination is perfect. susan H. @ the food allergy chronicles

I love this recipe! Funny but true- I have been playing with a quinoa recipe with thai seasonings and roasted pumpkin. I've even used black quinoa! Now I'll have to pick a different kind of quinoa or something or everyone will think I copied you! lol. Love the seasonings and holiday flair.

*hugs* Sea

Ali, this looks lovely. I'm teaching a GF Thanksgiving class tonight and will be including this recipe with a link to your blog. I especially love the substitution suggestions. I try to stay away from citrus because the acid bothers me, so I'll try it with apple cider instead. Plus I'll be using a butternut squash. One of the things I like to teach people in my classes is that recipes are blueprints that can be played with and altered per your ingredients, time of year, mood, etc. Your recipes really lend themselves to edits. Thank you!!!!!

Thanks everyone!

Jenna - Try using a good organic apple cider in place of the orange juice and omit the zest. It should be very tasty this way too. :)

What a great combination. I'm getting lots of CSA pumpkins lately, so this is perfect timing. I love the colors in that photograph. Beautiful!

This recipe sounds like an autumnized version of the Quinoa salad that I love for the summer. Looking forward to trying it.

Ooh, I haven't tried black - just red quinoa and the regular stuff. Looks like a fun savory Halloween recipe with the orange pumpkin and black quinoa contrast!

This looks amazing. Thank you!

I had not heard of black Quinoa, very cool. What do you recommend for one who is avoiding citrus :) Fun for thanksgiving-Thanks!

This is an awesome looking recipe Ali! I'll see if I can find back quinoa.... And thanks for the info on the anthocyanins in black quinoa. I've been thinking a lot about inflammation (and ways to reduce it) lately and so this post has come up at the exact right time for me! Time to start hunting down black, purple and deep red fruits and vegetables!

I just love your blog on healthy eating. The recipe is just another example of excellence. I have two sugar pumpkins that need tending to and look forward to making this salad.

Thanks, Ali. Now I know what I'm doing with the other half of a butternut squash I used yesterday. You've packed so much good stuff into one beautiful dish.

Such a great recipe!

Great recipe but I can not buy black quinoa in Hungary. Can I make it from white one too?

I love the pumpkin quinoa combo! This reminds me of my favorite quinoa dish in the Whole Foods Market prepared section I get without fail every time! Thanks for the recipe can;t wait to try it :)

Related Posts

Dec 30, 2017

Tigernut Flour Apple Crisp (grain-free, nut-free, paleo, vegan)

I'm excited to be sharing this amazing apple crisp recipe with you today. It's made with prebiotic-rich tigernut flour, which is a healthy, grain-free, nut-free, gluten-free flour. Going on an elimination diet can be challenging sometimes, especially during the holidays and family gatherings where food plays such an integral role in the celebration. Having alternatives that are just as tasty as your old favorites can make it much easier to stick to your new diet.
Read More
Nov 20, 2014

Apple Cider & Herb Brined Turkey for Thanksgiving

To brine or not to brine...that is the question. I have found that brining a turkey produces very flavorful, juicy, and tender meat. In this post, I'm going to show you how to brine a whole turkey. Brining is the process of soaking the bird in a salt solution.

Read More
Nov 14, 2014

Harvest Vegetable Soup

It's autumn. The harvest is in. The fires are lit. The chill in the air invites simmering soups and stews in the kitchen. This nourishing, harvest vegetable soup recipe uses some common fall vegetables and some that you might not use that often like celeriac and rutabagas.

Read More
Cranberry Orange Upside Down Cake (grain-free)
Nov 21, 2012

Cranberry Orange Upside Down Cake (grain-free)

I adore cranberries as you probably already know if you've been reading my blog. This healthy cranberry orange upside down cake recipe isn't very rich or sweet. In fact I sweeten it with just a few tablespoons of maple syrup. It's plenty sweet for my family though.

Read More