Virtual Vegan Potluck: Butternut Squash & Quinoa Salad

Welcome to My Plant-Based Family and the Virtual Vegan Potluck. Today over 100 bloggers are joining forces to entice you with delicious vegan recipes. I signed up to bring a salad. I chose to incorporate two seasonal flavors, butternut squash and fresh cranberries.

If you want to start at the very beginning of the potluck go to Vegan Bloggers Unite! There are buttons at the bottom of this recipe you can follow to progress through the potluck.

Butternut Squash & Quinoa Salad with Oil-Free Cranberry Dressing


 Ingredients for Butternut Squash & Quinoa Salad 1 serving (dressing recipe below)

  • 2-3 cups of your favorite salad greens
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup roasted or steamed butternut squash
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp dried cranberries
  • 1/4 of an onion


  1. Cut onions into rings and cook in a hot skillet, stirring regularly until onions are crispy.
  2. In a medium bowl mix cooked quinoa, squash and cranberries together and carefully stir in grated ginger.
  3. Spoon quinoa mixture over fresh greens. Top with cooked onions and oil-free cranberry dressing.
  4. If desired toss everything together.

Tip: My husband prefers this salad without the onion, feel free to leave it out.


Oil-Free Cranberry Salad Dressing

Ingredients (2-4 servings)

  • 1/4 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp xanthum gum


  1. Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor (I used my Magic Bullet) and process until everything is smooth.
  2. Taste and add more maple syrup if it is to tart or add more water or juice if dressing is too thick.

Tip: If you don’t have xanthum gum you can get away without it if you do not add the water. The dressing will be more tart and thinner but works great in a tossed salad. You could also add a little corn starch instead.


In previous potlucks I’ve brought Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins, Gluten-Free Apple Muffins and a Lentil Shepherds Pie. If you are just stopping in today for the potluck feel free to look around, maybe checkout my Recipe Page. It is full of Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes that are oil-free and mostly Gluten-Free.

You can go backward in the potluck to 86 Lemons by clicking the Go Back button below; or journey forward to In Fine Balance by clicking the Go Forward button.


Lentil Shepherd’s Pie for the Virtual Vegan Potluck


Today I’m taking part in the Virtual Vegan Potluck. I’ve participated before, “bringing” Gluten-Free Apple Muffins and Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins (with or without chocolate chips.) Now I’m branching out a bit with a main dish, trust me you will LOVE it!


You can start at the beginning of the potluck at Vegan Bloggers Unite or simply pick the category that most interests you. There are 169 bloggers participating so it may take a while to make your way through. The potluck was designed so you can seamlessly click from one blog to the next.

shepherd pie VVP

This Lentil Shepherd’s Pie has a lot of steps and a lot of ingredients but it is EASY to make. It has gotten rave reviews at several venues, even the Omni’s love it. It is a great holiday meal and perfect for a potluck. My toddler could not get enough.

shepherd's pie

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie (Vegan & Gluten-Free)


Potato Layer

  • 4 large potatoes
  • up to 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • up to 1/2 cup plant milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Lentil Layer

  • 2 cups cooked Lentils
  • 1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste (optional)

Veggie/Sauce Layer

  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1/4 cup onions, diced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup green beans (I used frozen)
  • 1/2 cup green peas (I used frozen)
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Rice Flour (I use brown rice flour for a GF version, you can use wheat flour)
  • 1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 cup Rice Milk
  • Optional onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste


Potato Layer

  1. Scrub, peel, and cut potatoes into large chunks.
  2. Cover with water and bring to a boil, cook potatoes until they are very soft.
  3. Drain potatoes and mash with a potato masher.
  4. Add salt and pepper, nutritional yeast and about half of the milk. Continue to mash or (whip) until everything is mixed, add more plant milk, nutritional yeast and salt as necessary to get the flavor just right. (Depending on the size of your potatoes this might not be enough seasoning)
  5. Set aside.

Lentil Layer

  1. Place cooked lentils in a pie pan, stirring in Liquid Smoke if desired.
  2. Spread lentils and pack them down into a smooth bottom layer.

Veggie/Sauce Layer

  1. Cook carrots, celery, and onions in a skillet, adding small amounts of water when veggies begin to stick.
  2. As the veggies begin to soften add mushrooms, green beans and peas.
  3. Once all veggies are soft, sprinkle in flour and nutritional yeast then give it a quick stir.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of the plant milk and lightly stir. Keep your eye on this and add more plant milk as it thickens, continuing to stir.
  5. Add garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to your preference.
  6. Once the sauce is like a thick gravy pour the veggie/sauce over the lentils.

Spoon potatoes over Veggie/Sauce Layer and smooth out. Put in the oven and broil for 10 minutes. Check often to make sure the top is browning and not burning.

– – –

This dish is great for a potluck, a family holiday dinner or to take to a family who needs a little bit of blessing. It reheats beautifully and could be frozen for a future meal.

I hope you ENJOY!

If you want to make your way through the potluck you can got back to On the Path to Zen or forward to Veghotpot to check out what they brought.

I hope you take some time to make your way through the potluck.

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