If you aren’t super familiar with quinoa, this is a great place to start. It’s not my favorite [pseudo] grain but I LOVE this salad. It just hits the spot. It’s sweet and savory and has great texture. It’s a great, colorful, nutritious option to bring to a pot luck (naturally gluten free for those who need it), but you can also make it and eat it for days as a part of meal prep.

What You’ll Need

  • Quinoa
  • Apple
  • Celery
  • Green Onion
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Chopped Pecans
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Honey
  • Olive Oil
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper

How to Make a Meal with Apple Quinoa Salad

This salad offers a lot – fiber, micronutrients, some protein. But to finish it out as a meal, I would serve it with some additional protein and vegetable. Serve it over some leafy greens with chicken strips or crispy tofu. Serve it alongside baked fish and roasted brussels sprouts. Whatever you like!


Why Make Apple Quinoa Salad?

Apple quinoa salad is a great salad option for fall because it’s fresh and delicious, and capitalizes on what is in season…apples! A great benefit to this salad is that it’s a great source of fiber. Quinoa is fiber rich and a source of protein, making this salad more satiating. The sweetness of the apple and dried cranberries pairs well with the acidity of the vinaigrette and the bite of the green onion.

Can You Use Other Grains or Nuts?

You can really get creative with this salad. Instead of quinoa, you could use farro, kamut, barley, or pearled cous cous. Instead of pecans you could use any nut that you prefer.

Making Ahead/Storage

This recipe is best when it sits for at least 1 hour in the fridge. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve. Store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Other Recipes You’ll Love

Quinoa Apple Salad

Course: Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Gluten Free
Condition: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Low Sodium
Servings: 4 servings



  • 1 cup quinoa uncooked
  • 1/2 cup celery diced
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced
  • 1 cup apple diced
  • 1/3 cup pecans chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries


  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste (optional)


  • Cook quinoa according to directions on the box. Set aside to let cool.
  • Whisk or shake dressing ingredients until combined.
  • Chop remaining salad ingredients and add to a large bowl with the cooled quinoa.
  • Dress salad and toss to combine. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.


Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 12g | Sodium: 42mg | Potassium: 376mg | Fiber: 6g

An award winning recipe developer, Dietitian Kaitlin’s mission is to empower others to reach their health goals by encouraging them to get back into the kitchen. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Diabetes.