Here is a quinoa salad that is as delicious as it is beautiful. Full of fresh flavor and crunchy and chewy texture, everyone loves this healthy cranberry quinoa salad! Whether you make it for a weeknight dinner or as part of your holiday table, it’s a flavortul, healthy side.
Nutrient-rich quinoa is an awesome weeknight side to fish or other protein. It’s delicious and easy to cook up in some water or broth with just the simple addition of salt and pepper. You can imagine how tasty quinoa becomes when it’s mixed with vegetables, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, chewy cranberries and is coated in a fresh, vibrant lemon dressing!
To make this salad, start by cooking the quinoa. While it’s cooking, chop the vegetables. Aim to chop the vegetables and finely as possible so that you get bits of each vegetable with every forkful. I typically use one whole small onion, but anything from half a small onion to a whole small onion is delicious.
Once the veggies are all chopped, add the cranberries, pepitas and pumpkin seeds. Next, whisk up the dressing. I prefer the dressing with olive oil, but have made it with vegetable oil before and it works. Lemon-olive oil dressing is one of my favorite dressings. This dressing ups the lemon flavor by including fresh lemon zest!
The last step in this easy recipe is to add the cooked quinoa. Make sure to give all the ingredients a good stir so that all the flavors are well combined!
I wish I could say what my favorite part of this healthy cranberry quinoa salad is, but I’m a little obsessed with everything about it. From the fresh dressing to the combination of chewy and crunch bites, it’s a gorgeous looking, super interesting and super tasty salad!
For more delicious, healthy salads, try my:Print
This healthy cranberry quinoa salad recipe makes the best side dish! Full of vegetables, cranberries, seeds and a fresh lemon dressing, it’s easy and tasty. Gluten free and vegan!
FOR THE QUINOA
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
FOR THE VEGETABLES AND SEEDS
- 1/2 to 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped celery leaves
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons pepitas
- 2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
FOR THE DRESSING
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Rinse the quinoa then place it in a saucepan with the water and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cook 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and cover. After five minutes, fluff the quinoa and set aside.
- To a large bowl, add the onion, celery and celery leaves, carrot, red pepper, cranberries, pepitas and sunflower seeds.
- Whisk the ingredients for the dressing together and pour over the vegetables. Stir in the quinoa and mix well until quinoa and vegetables are coated in the dressing. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Keywords: quinoa, salad, side dish, cranberries, healthy, lemon dressing, seeds