Aztec Grain Salad

Aztec Grain Salad USDA Recipe for Child Care Centers

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.
1 cup provides (8 fl oz spoodle) ⅛ cup red/orange vegetable, ⅜ cup fruit, and 1 oz equivalent grains.
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  • Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer until water runs clear, not cloudy.
  • Combine quinoa and water in a covered stockpot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat 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. Refrigerate at 40 °F.
  • Combine apples, squash, and canola oil. Add half of the ginger and half of the cinnamon. Reserve remaining ginger and cinnamon for step 6. Toss well to coat.
  • Transfer apple/squash mixture to a sheet pan (18” x 26” x 1”).
    For 25 servings, use 1 pan.
    For 50 servings, use 2 pans.
  • Roast until squash is soft and slightly brown on the edges. DO NOT OVERCOOK.
    Conventional oven: 400 °F for 15-20 minutes.
    Convection oven: 400 °F for 12-15 minutes.
  • Combine orange juice concentrate, olive oil, honey, mustard, vinegar, salt, black pepper, white pepper, cilantro, and remaining ginger and cinnamon. Whisk dressing until combined.
  • In steam table pan (12” x 20” x 4”) combine quinoa, apple/squash mixture, cranberries, raisins, and dressing. Mix well.
    For 25 servings, use 1 pan.
    For 50 servings, use 2 pans.
    Option: garnish with additional chopped cilantro.Cover and refrigerate at 40 °F to allow flavors to combine.
  • Critical Control Point: Cool to 40 °F or lower within 4 hours.
    Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Portion with 8 fl oz spoodle (1 cup).


Nutrition Facts
Aztec Grain Salad USDA Recipe for Child Care Centers
Amount Per Serving 1 cup (8 fl oz spoodle)
Calories 297.8 Calories from Fat 70
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7.83g12%
Saturated Fat 0.91g6%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 58.43mg3%
Total Carbohydrate 53.56g18%
Dietary Fiber 5.56g23%
Protein 6.41g13%
Vitamin A 3391.52IU68%
Vitamin C 15.22mg18%
Calcium 44.35mg4%
Iron 2.36mg13%
*Marketing Guide
25 Servings:
Granny Smith apples: 2 lb 6 oz
Butternut squash: 2 lb 8 oz
50 Servings:
Granny Smith apples: 4 lb 12 oz
Butternut squash: 5 lb


*See Marketing Guide for purchasing information on foods that will change during preparation or when a variation of the ingredient is available.
Yield / Volume
25 Servings:
About 9 lb 8 oz
About 1 gal 1 qt/1 steam table pan
50 Servings:
About 19 lb
About 2 gal 2 qt/2 steam table pans