Apple Walnut Salad

5 from 32 votes

This Apple Quinoa Salad is a flavor and ingredient loaded fall-inspired salad that's vegan, nutrient dense and vibrant - perfect as a meal or side salad!

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In just ten minutes, you can whip up this supremely delicious Apple Quinoa Salad that is packed with flavor, texture, color and nutrition. Whether you are a fan of salads for lunch or dinner, this vegan salad will keep you feeling full and satiated; enjoy on its own as a main dish or side salad.

Walnut apple quinoa salad serve in a large bowl with utensils

Ingredients to make the quinoa salad

  • Apples: Apples add a great crunch texture and their sweetness works so well with the other ingredients – perfect for fall when apples are at their peak.
  • Quinoa: Packed with proteins (even more than some meat sources), quinoa is an excellent base for this salad that acts like a grain but actually makes the salad more filling!
  • Walnuts: These make the salad more appealing with their flavor and crunch, and actually have amazing antioxidant benefits. If you want a sweet addition you have to try making homemade candied walnuts!
  • Spinach: Spinach is an amazing source of iron and vitamins A, C and K.
  • Red onions: Red onions are milder that white or yellow and they work great in salads.
  • Cranberries: Dried cranberries add pops of flavor and they have a tangy sweetness that works so well in salads.
  • Dressing: Made with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, salt and pepper
Ingredients to make to make the salad recipe

How to make apple quinoa salad

  • Toast the quinoa seeds before adding water and cooking until soft.
  • Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing.
  • Place the salad ingredients in a bowl, pour over dressing and toss to combine.
Putting together the ingredients to make the salad

Tips to make this quinoa apple salad

  1. Wash the quinoa under running water before cooking it. If you don’t, it can taste bitter.
  2. Toast the quinoa before cooking it in water. This brings out the nuttiness to bring richness and flavor to the salad. Check out my tips for cooking quinoa.
  3. Cool the quinoa before adding to the salad ingredients. Otherwise, the heat from the quinoa will quickly wilt the spinach, thereby losing the salad’s freshness.
  4. Don’t add the apples if you are planning to make this salad a day or too ahead of time. Apples brown quickly so add them in before serving.

Frequently asked questions

Can you make it ahead of time?

Yes, this salad will keep well, covered in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. If you are making it ahead, add in the apples before serving so that they don’t brown.

What do you serve it with?

This salad is hearty enough to be served as a main and it’s also great for a side dish. Try it with:
Grilled Mahi Mahi
Oven Baked Chicken Breast
Air Fryer Salmon
Homemade Hamburgers

What can you use in place of quinoa?

If you don’t have quinoa, you can easily make this recipe with other grains such as wild rice, barley or cous cous.

Walnut apple quinoa salad in a large bowl with serving utensils

For lunch or dinner, salads like this vegan apple quinoa salad are fantastic to add to your repertoire.

For more quinoa recipes, check out:

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Apple Quinoa Salad recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

Apple Quinoa Salad

This Apple Quinoa Salad is a flavor and ingredient loaded fall-inspired salad that's vegan, nutrient dense and vibrant – perfect as a meal or side salad!
5 from 32 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Salad
Calories 492
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups spinach roughly chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ cups diced apples
  • ¼ cup cranberries
  • ¼ cup red onion finely chopped



  • Place the quinoa in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Toast until the seeds start to pop and become aromatic. Add 2 cups of water to the quinoa and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low. Cover and simmer the quinoa for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep covered for an additional 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and season with salt.
  • To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
  • When the quinoa is cool, place it in a bowl and add all the ingredients for the salad on top. Pour the dressing on top and stir gently to combine. Serve at room temperature or chilled.


Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 2-3 days in the fridge. Don’t add in the apple until serving or it will start to brown.


Calories: 492kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Sodium: 342mg, Potassium: 528mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 1432IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 75mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

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Walnut apple quinoa salad serve in a large bowl with utensils

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  1. it’s amazing, I never tried apples in salads and I was not sure to mix apples and onion, but it turned out amazing
    thank you for the recipe

  2. This salad was sooo good. It was also my first time ever really cooking/trying quinoa and I really enjoyed it here! Loved the sweetness and crunch of the apple alongside the tangy vinaigrette, nuts and fresh spinach. Fall is full of hearty veg and meals, so it’s great to get those flavors and vibes in a light and refreshing salad! Thanks Yumna!

  3. My mom and I made this for lunch today when she visited and it was so delicious! My only complaint was that we didnt want to wait for the quinoa to cool
    Off 😂- so we put it in there warmish! I Will definitely make this quick, easy, healthy salad a regular.. I just might need to make it before I’m too hungry to wait to cook the quinoa! Thanks so much!

    1. LOL I totally know what you mean! It works out well when you have leftover quinoa to use in the recipe!

  4. My mom LOVED it!!! For me, I would put less apple cider vinegar because my tastebuds are not ready yet but it was so good!!

    1. Yay, so glad she loved it! And I agree, you can definitely tone that down a bit or try a milder vinegar like red wine vinegar next time. Thank you!

  5. That’s so easy to make. I’ll have it on my Sunday lunch menu as an appetizer/salad. I’ll have to go through your other recipes to choose a main course and, of course, desert! Thanks for sharing!