Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad Being Served

Fall is known for its warm spices and its cozy flavors, and this week’s recipe is the perfect side for crisp autumn nights. Not only is this recipe seasonally appropriate, it’s also healthful and packed with nutrition. This light and filling salad is also easy to make and only requires a few ingredients; with quick recipes like this one, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful fall weather while it lasts.

This week’s recipe: Fall Quinoa Salad with Apples, Pecans, and Cranberries

Why We Like It:

Quinoa is a grain, but unlike most grains, it is also a complete protein. Since most complete proteins are found in animal products, quinoa is a fantastic option for vegetarians and vegans. Besides being a good source of plant-based protein, quinoa is also high in iron and fiber. The apples and the cranberries in this salad are also full of healthful nutrients and add a gorgeous pop of color to the entire dish. Meanwhile, pecans add a delightful crunch to this salad and are packed with heart healthy fats. Lastly, the salad’s unique and light dressing is bursting with fall flavor.

Packed with nutrients and seasonal ingredients alike, this salad is sure to be a hit at any fall meal!


For the Salad:

½ cup uncooked quinoa

¾ cup water

1 tart apple, diced and sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browning

½ cup pecans, chopped

¼ cup dried cranberries (feel free to substitute cherries or any other dried fruit)

For the Dressing:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Dash of cinnamon

Salt and pepper, to taste

Quinoa Salad Ingredients

Thoroughly rinse and drain the quinoa. (Quinoa is coated with a bitter substance that should be rinsed away prior to cooking).

Slicing an Apple

Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan.  Once the water begins to boil, add the quinoa and reduce it to a simmer. Cover and let the quinoa simmer for about 10 minutes. Then, remove the pan from heat and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set the quinoa aside to cool.

Measuring Olive Oil

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. 

Measuring out dressing ingredients

In a separate, large bowl, combine the diced apples, chopped pecans, and cranberries.

Whisking together the dressing

Add the dressing to the apples, pecans, and cranberries. Stir to combine.

Mixing together the fruit and nuts Pouring the dressing over the fruits and nuts

Once the quinoa has cooled, add it to the rest of the salad. Stir to combine.

Mixing in the quinoa Finished quinoa salad

Serve immediately, or chill in the refrigerator and serve cold.


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