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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.
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
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.
Tips to make this quinoa apple salad
- Wash the quinoa under running water before cooking it. If you don’t, it can taste bitter.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
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
If you don’t have quinoa, you can easily make this recipe with other grains such as wild rice, barley or cous cous.
For lunch or dinner, salads like this vegan apple quinoa salad are fantastic to add to your repertoire.
For more quinoa recipes, check out:
- Quinoa Avocado Salad
- Chicken and Quinoa Bowl
- Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad
- Quinoa Burger
- Quinoa Breadsticks
- Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini
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
- 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
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 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.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.
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
I’m so glad you decided to give it a try and that it turned out good!
Thank you so much!
I tried this recipe and it was delicious! Thanks Yumna!
So glad to hear it! Thank you!!
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!
So glad you liked it! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!
I made this today and it turned out great! Your notes on toasting the quinoa really made a difference!
So glad to hear it! Thank you so much for sharing your feedback 🙂
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!
LOL I totally know what you mean! It works out well when you have leftover quinoa to use in the recipe!
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!!
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!
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!
Thanks so much! Hope you like it when you try it! And let me know what dessert you end up making 😉