Roast butternut & chickpea salad with quinoa & spinach

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This roast butternut & chickpea salad with quinoa & spinach is hearty but still vibrant with cucumbers and tomatoes. A zingy tomato and basil vinaigrette dressing brightens it up even further. Packed with plant protein from quinoa and chickpeas, this vegan salad can be enjoyed on its own or served alongside any meat or fish.

As we move into Autumn I wanted to make a salad that was a bit more robust but still keeping the summery ness of a Greek salad. You can adapt it how you would like, possibly adding olives or even capers to give it a stronger Mediterranean flavour.

Roast butternut & chickpea salad with quinoa & spinach, cucumber, tomatoes in a basil and tomato vinaigrette dressing
Butternut roasted in an air fryer for roasted butternut and chickpea salad with quinoa & spinach

Roasting vegetables in my Air Fryer is my favourite use for my Instant Vortex Air Fryer. The Clear Cook window means I can see what’s going on inside without opening the drawer.

After watching the Netflix series about the Blue Zones of the World, I am trying to include more beans and legumes into my diet. I find roasting them until they are crispy makes them so much more appealing and they add a lovely textural element to a salad. They kind of work as a healthier crouton.

Chickepeas roasting in an Air fryer for butternut and chickpe salad with quinoa & spinach

A good salad dressing is the most important part and I’m smitten with my tomatoes and basil vinaigrette. It’s bright with lemon and vinegar and sweetened with a hint of honey. You can use fresh oregano instead of basil if you prefer and what I used in my Greek Panzanella salad.

Air fryer roast butternut & chickpea salad with quinoa & spinach, cucumber, tomatoes in a basil and tomato vinaigrette dressing

What to serve with roast butternut & chickpea salad with quinoa & spinach:

This salad will work well at any BBQ or braai especially if vegetarians or vegans are attending (omit the feta or add vegan ‘feta’ to keep it vegan).

Air Fryer Greek chicken kebabs are so delicious and fit in with the Mediterranean flavours of the salad.

Greek lamb souvlaki is another great Mediterranean main that would work well with this salad.

Perfect three cheese and spinach phyllo pie

Chicken kebabs with yoghurt, paprika and lemon

Air fryer roast butternut & chickpea salad with quinoa & spinach, cucumber, tomatoes in a basil and tomato vinaigrette dressing

A few hearty salads you might enjoy:

Roast carrot and barley salad with pickled sultanas

A classic Italian Panzanella salad

Classic Lebanese fattoush salad with pita croutons

Tomato salad with fried halloumi and pita croutons

Prep Time:20 minutes

Cook Time:25 minutes


  • 1 x 400gm tin chickpeas drained, rinsed, and dried
  • 1 small butternut peeled and cut into small cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Seasoning salt of choice such as Greek seasoning salt
  • 1 – 1 ½ cups cooked red or white quinoa
  • ½ red onion finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 70 gms baby spinach roughly chopped (aprox 2 cups)
  • 130 gms Persian of Mediterranean cucumbers chopped
  • 1 heaped cup baby tomatoes sliced or quartered
  • 1 small handful flatleaf parsley chopped
  • 1 – 2 wheels of feta cheese optional

Tomato and basil vinaigrette dressing:

  • 80 ml 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 7 fresh basil leaves or fresh oregano
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 5 baby tomatoes
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Preheat the Air Fryer to 180C/350F and set the timer for 15 minutes. Toss the butternut in a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with Greek seasoned salt or salt and a pinch or oregano. Tip the butternut into the air fryer basket and roast.

  • Repeat with the chickpeas. Toss the drained and dried chickpeas in 1 tablespoon olive oi and season with Greek seasoning or salt and a pinch or oregano. Roast for 10 minutes at 180C/350F.

  • Set the cooked vegetables aside to cool.

  • While the vegetables are cooking, place the red onion into a medium salad bowl and cover with 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar and a generous sprinkle of sea salt flakes. Allow this to soak for about 20 – 30 minutes while you are making everything else.

  • Make the vinaigrette by combining all the ingredients into a small food processor and whiz until its emulsified and smooth.

  • When you want to make the salad, drain the red wine vinegar off the onion.

  • Add the spinach, cooked quinoa, cucumber, tomatoes, chopped parsley, roasted butternut and pour over the dressing. Don’t use all of it as there is a little too much for this recipe, but add as much as you would like, and season to taste.

  • Toss the salad allowing al the flavours to integrate. This can be made in advance and chilled in the fridge.

  • When you are ready to serve, top with salad with the crunchy roasted chickpeas and feta if you are using.

The butternut and chickpeas can be cooked in advance. The chickpeas will only remain crispy for a short while after being cooked in the air fryer. Once they are stored in a container they will start to soften.
The salad dressing can be made in advance and any extra can be stored in a small sealed jar in the fridge. The recipe makes a little more dressing than is required for the recipe but add as much as you would like.


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