This Cranberry Apple Quinoa Salad is easy to make and perfect to serve as a side dish or for lunch. Tons of crunchy texture and pops of sweetness from the apple and dried cranberries!
The snow is finally gone for a while, I hope. I didn’t enjoy our week of winter last week at all, it’s too soon. Since we’re back to more normal fall weather, I feel like I can share the recipe for this simple and delicious Cranberry Apple Quinoa Salad. It’s a quick and easy salad that anybody can make as well as one most people will enjoy the flavors of, including kids.
What Do I Need to Make the Salad?
- Green onions
- Dried cranberries
- Apple cider vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Honey or maple syrup
- olive oil and granulated garlic
To make the salad start by cooking the quinoa. This will take approximately 15 minutes, which is the perfect amount of time to prepare the vinaigrette and toast the pecans. Once the quinoa is cooked you’ll need to let it cool.
To quickly cool the quinoa, place it in a shallow dish or on a sheet pan and spread it out into a thin layer.As you’re spreading it, toss it around a few times to release some of the heat. Place the quinoa in the fridge for 10-15 minutes if you’re really tight on time or let it cool on the counter for about 30 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooling, chop the vegetables and apple. Once the quinoa is cool enough, add in the remaining ingredients except for the pecans. Toss everything together with the vinaigrette. I mentioned adding everything to the salad except the pecans unless you plan to serve it right away. If you are making this salad in advance add the pecans right before serving to prevent them from becoming soft.
Time Saving Tips
- Cook the quinoa ahead of time. The quinoa can be cooked several days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator.
- Chop the celery and green onions 1-2 days in advance.
- Prepare the vinaigrette 1-2 days in advance.
- Toast the pecans ahead of time. I like to toast my pecans as soon as I buy them and then store them in the freezer in an airtight container. I store them in the freezer so they’ll stay fresh longer and won’t go rancid.
The only thing I don’t advise chopping in advance is the apple since the flesh will discolor. If you follow these tips the salad will literally take you about 5 minutes to make. This quinoa salad works great for meal prep as long as you leave out the pecans and add them in separately before eating.
What to Serve with the Cranberry Apple Quinoa Salad
- Sautéed Chicken Cutlets with Honey Mustard Pan Sauce
- Apple Cheddar Turkey Burgers
- Veggies Burgers
- Homemade Sloppy Joes
- Everything Bagel Chicken Tenders
More Quinoa Salads
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1 cup diced apple
- 1/3 cup toasted pecans, chopped
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions adding a little salt to the water. Once the quinoa is cooked let it cool to room temperature.
- While the quinoa cools add all of the vinaigrette ingredients to a small bowl or jar with a lid. Whisk or shake until combined.
- Once the quinoa has cooled pour it into a serving bowl along with the remaining salad ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and stir everything together until combined. Taste for seasoning, then serve or refrigerate until ready to serve.
- If you plan to make the salad ahead, omit the pecans until ready to serve so that they stay crunchy.
- Nutritional info based on 6 servings.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 218Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 60mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 4gSugar: 12gProtein: 5g