Apple-Spinach Quinoa Salad

by Chelsey Lindahl on January 21, 2012

Quinoa is a fantastic whole grain that a growing number of people are learning of and loving! It is highly versatile and provides fantastic nutrients such as  phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and fiber.   As a vegetarian, I turn towards Quinoa quite often for its protein rich quality. It contains a full range of amino acids, meaning that it is a complete source of protein. One cup of Quinoa provides about 8 grams of protein.  As an added bonus, it’s also gluten-free.

I am always looking for new ways to prepare Quinoa because I love it so much.  Last fall I threw together this salad, and I loved it’s flavor and ease to make so much that I brought it to two Thanksgiving’s and one Christmas.  It received rave reviews, from both foodies and skeptics!

Apple-Spinach Quinoa Salad

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

(Makes 10-12 Servings)


  • 2 cups Quinoa
  • ½ cup Dried Cranberries, chopped
  • 2 Apples, chopped
  • 3 cups Baby Spinach, fresh
  • ¼ cup Walnuts, chopped
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette to taste

Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or to taste)


Combine two cups dry quinoa with 4 cups water, bring to boil and simmer 20 minutes.  Once cooked, fluff with fork and cool in fridge while you prepare other ingredients.

Chop dried cranberries, apples and walnuts.

Toss chopped apples in juice from 1 lemon.

Combine all ingredients in large bowl, toss lightly in dressing to taste.

Serve chilled.


{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura @ A Healthy Jalapeño January 22, 2012 at 6:33 am

This looks amazing, and so healthy too. I am in happy-aw because this seams lean, healthy, colorful and flavorful, perfect for an all veggie dinner!!!
I am considering going to school to become a dietitian/nutritionist… besides already having a passion for healthy good food, was it all worth it?


Chelsey Lindahl January 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Yes! It was completely worth it! I love that I get paid to talk about nutrition and have the future opportunity to help people heal via proper nutrition. For me it has all been worth it. I think the key is find something your passionate about and going for it. From your blog, you are obviously passionate about nutrition/health as well – it might be something to consider! :)


Jenn January 22, 2012 at 3:56 pm

This looks wonderful! What a creative mixture of flavors! :)


Chelsey Lindahl January 22, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Thank you!


Elli January 22, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Yes, I will be trying this….likely tomorrow. Yum.


Chelsey Lindahl January 22, 2012 at 8:42 pm



Elli January 25, 2012 at 4:51 pm

We had this last night for dinner. Delicious! Thanks.


Chelsey Lindahl January 25, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Yay! So glad you liked it!


Tegar Anova February 26, 2012 at 9:25 pm’s look yummy…in my country, especially in the villages would prefer if cooked like spinach soup :)
happy blogging.. ^^


Shelbie April 13, 2013 at 10:28 am

This looks great. Does it keep well? Would you suggest adding the dressing only when ready to eat, or do you think it would keep well with the dressing on too?


Chelsey Lindahl April 15, 2013 at 10:19 am

Thanks for stopping by Shelbie! This salad actually keeps amazingly well! It is a big go to of mine when I need to bring a side dish and I use it often for community cooking demos as well. I’d actually recommend making it at least a few hours before you plan on serving, because the flavors really meld after it’s had a chance to sit for a few minutes. One prepared it will keep for about 3-4 days if it lasts that long! :)


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