Pumpkin, Lentils & Quinoa Salad {with roasted garlic & chilli}

Ever since I’ve tried quinoa in my salad, I have been enjoying every single grain of it!  Needless to say whenever I feel like bulking up or adding a nice texture to my salad, it has been my go-to ingredient. The best part about this is I don’t have to feel guilty about it. :)

Pumpkin, Lentils & Quinoa Salad

About 3 servings as a main


  • 1/2 butternut pumpkin, peeled & deseeded
  • 3 -4 garlic cloves, skin on
  • 1/2 fresh chilli, sliced
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 400g / 14 oz canned lentils
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • olive oil
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • salt to taste
  • fresh coriander/cilantro leaves for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees C / 356 degrees F.
  • Peel and deseed 1/2 a pumpkin. Dice into 2.5cm (1 inch) cubes and place them on parchment paper lined baking tray as well as garlic cloves and chilli. Drizzle over some olive oil, cumin powder and salt and toss all the ingredients until well combined. Then bake them in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until the pumpkin feels  tender and fluffy  when pricked with a fork.

  • While the pumpkin is roasting in the oven, pour 1/2 cup of quinoa and 1 cup of hot boiling water in a medium sized pot. Start cooking over medium high flame until it starts to boil. Then let it simmer by reducing to low-medium flame and cover with a lid. In the meantime, rinse and drain the lentils. Set aside.
  • For the quinoa, cook until the water is ALMOST absorbed. When there’s just a little water left at the bottom of the pot (I’ll say about 2 tbsps worth of water left), turn off the flame and leave the lid on. This will allow the quinoa to completely absorb the water without sticking to the pot. Fork through the quinoa so that it’s light and fluffy. Set aside.

Note #1 – I actually cooked this based on the packet instructions so the water to quinoa ratio may vary depending on the type/brand of quinoa you are using.

Note #2 – Use a medium pot or a pot big enough to contain all the ingredients for this salad. This pot will be used to toss all the ingredients together before serving….or you’re not fuss over the dinnerware for serving (like moi), this pot can be your “salad bowl” too. Any chance you get to save on washing right? :P

  • Add lentils to the quinoa and toss gently until well combined. Season lightly with salt.

  • Add roasted pumpkin, garlic (skin-off and thinly chopped) and chilli to the lentil-quinoa mixture. Drizzle some olive oil and lemon juice over the salad and toss to mix.

  •  Just before serving, garnish with  some coriander/cilantro leaves. You can serve this salad warm or cold.

  •  And it certainly makes a nice packed lunch / picnic salad! :)


14 Responses to Pumpkin, Lentils & Quinoa Salad {with roasted garlic & chilli}
  1. magnolia
    September 23, 2011 | 1:47 pm

    This is happy food. This autumn food. This is good choice food.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Emily
      September 23, 2011 | 11:16 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Magnolia! Love that you think it’s happy food…and it surely is! :D

  2. Kelly
    September 25, 2011 | 6:43 pm

    Just made your salad and it’s fantastic. We added some chopped pecans and they work very well.

    • Emily
      September 26, 2011 | 11:10 am

      Hi Kelly, thanks for your feedback! It’s very much appreciated :D I love how your special twist with the pecans for added crunch!

    • Emily
      September 26, 2011 | 11:10 am

      Hi Kelly, thanks for your feedback! Very much appreciated :D I love how your specials twist with the pecans for added crunch!

  3. RotemZ
    September 28, 2011 | 9:56 am

    And I just happen to have half a pumpkin in the fridge !!!
    This sounds delicious :-)

    • Emily
      September 28, 2011 | 1:30 pm

      Well, there you go…you may be able to cook some nice out of it! hehe! Thanks for your comment! :D

  4. Jennifer
    September 28, 2011 | 10:16 pm

    You have a lovely blog! This recipe sounds so good. I looove quinoa and I love pumpkin. I think I will have to try this out. :)

    • Emily
      September 29, 2011 | 3:31 am

      Hi Jennifer, thanks for your comment! I hope you will like th recipe! :D

  5. [...] Tweet(function() { var s = document.createElement('SCRIPT'), s1 = document.getElementsByTagName('SCRIPT')[0]; s.type = 'text/javascript'; s.async = true; s.src = 'http://widgets.digg.com/buttons.js'; s1.parentNode.insertBefore(s, s1); })(); EmailWe can’t get enough of pumpkin these days! So here’s another healthy recipe involving our favorite fall flavor from Fuss Free Cooking. [...]

  6. Clare
    December 3, 2011 | 11:29 pm

    Just stumbled across this recipe on Google – I needed to use up my pumpkin (and sweet potato), and had lentils and quinoa to use too. Made a few variations, but great little dish :) Thanks for the recipe and inspiration!

  7. [...] or as a side with some salt and lemon. Quinoa recipes to try: Lemony Quinoa with Butternut Squash Pumpkin, Lentils & Quinoa Salad Quinoa Salad with Avo Radish and Lemon (above) Meatless Burrito Quinoa Apple Cake Quinoa Granola [...]

  8. amy
    September 23, 2012 | 1:56 pm

    Made this tonight, thank you for the recipe! It was delicious. I swapped the feta for goats cheese and added spinach. It was a real treat and i’ll be making it again soon x

  9. Diane
    September 24, 2012 | 5:14 pm

    Wonderful pics! Can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

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