Apple Walnut Quinoa Salad with spinach, dried cranberries, goat cheese, and a simple maple mustard dressing is the perfect salad for fall. It goes great with any meal.
I have been baking up all of my favorite fall recipes…pumpkin cinnamon cookies, apple slab pie, pumpkin cream cheese muffins, and salted caramel apple crumb bars. Our kitchen has been smelling so good and I have been enjoying every bite, but my jeans have been feeling a little tight…ha! I decided it was time to take a break from fall baking and make a healthy fall salad. I am all about balance:) I made this easy Apple Walnut Quinoa Salad and it is fall perfection!
I eat apples every single day, no matter what time of year it is, but I usually eat more than one apple a day during the fall because they are SO good. I HAD to put them in this salad because I can’t get enough. I love apple season.
This easy salad recipe has all of my favorite ingredients:
- dried cranberries
- goat cheese
The quinoa salad is finished with a maple mustard dressing that pulls all of the fall flavors together. Don’t skip the dressing, I promise it is easy to make. You can whisk it up in just a few minutes.
This loaded salad is filling enough to be a meal, I love eating it for lunch, or it can be served as a side dish to any meal. You will love all of the textures and flavors… protein-packed quinoa, leafy green spinach, crisp apples, sweet dried cranberries, crunchy walnuts, creamy goat cheese, and that amazing maple mustard dressing.
This easy Apple Walnut Quinoa Salad would make a great side dish to your Thanksgiving meal too. I know it will be making an appearance at our holiday meal, but I can’t wait that long to enjoy it again so it will be lunch today! I love this salad and I hope you do too!
Apple Walnut Quinoa Salad
For the maple mustard dressing:
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
For the quinoa salad:
- 3 cups fresh spinach leaves
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups chopped apples (Honeycrisp, Gala, or Fuji are my favorite)
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese (can use feta cheese)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- First, make the maple mustard dressing. In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the spinach, cooked quinoa, apples, dried cranberries, goat cheese, and walnuts. Toss until salad is combined. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
- Drizzle with dressing and toss again. Serve and enjoy!
Have you tried this recipe?
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I made this for lunch and it’s incredible! I’m trying to eat healthier and this is the perfect delicious and filling salad for the fall.
One of my favorite fall lunches! Glad you loved it too!
Could I swap romaine for spinach? Will it still be as good?
Yes! You can use any lettuce or greens!
This is a regular in our household. So good any time of year!
I made this yesterday and I believe it is my new favorite!! It is absolutely delicious, just yummy!
Do you usually toast the walnuts before adding to salad or just leave as is? Thanks..
You can do either, whatever you prefer. I think toasting them brings out a nice flavor.
What’s a good substitute for quinoa? My stomach does not like it.
Farro, couscous, or orzo!
Love this salad!!
I made this recipe using blue cheese crumbles because that seems to be what my husband comes home with whenever I have feta on the shopping list. I also substituted blueberries for the cranberries because that’s what I had on hand. All very good. Basically any combination of sweet autumnal fruits will work well in this recipe. It’s the lovely maple dressing that carries the day.
This is THE BEST salad. I used mixed greens because that’s what I had on hand. Sooooo yummy!
Used feta because our grocery was out of goat cheese, but it was still so good! My 7 year old asked to try it and ate a whole bowl – her first time eating raw spinach!
This is wonderful!
Absolutely delicious! Even left over!
I just tried this even the dressing tried to modified it to a lower fat and sugar content but still turned out really good and very healthy too. Thank you for this recipe. I just want to suggest to please include the nutrition facts of your recipe
With everyone’s modifications, it’s probably better for people to enter their own food for nutritional information.
A great recipe to try if you like quinoa bowls. I loved it!
I wish I could rate this 10 stars!! SO. GOOD!! I had some kale to use up and no spinach, so kale it was! This truly a new favorite. Thank you.
I really love this salad, its tastes amazing and is a meal on its own ❤
LOVED! Super easy, great to make ahead of time and delicious, bright flavors with lots of color and pizazz.
This salad is delicious! I used mixed greens instead of spinach. I brought it to a picnic at the beach and everyone loved it; I even got asked for the recipe. This salad is so easy to make, with ingredients I always have on hand. I will be making it again and again.
Yay! We make it all of the time too!
This salad is wonderful. So much good flavor. I take it to parties and everyone loves it. I use feta
cheese because most people love that.
Thanks for a great recipe.
I did not wait til fall to make it.
You are welcome.
I made this tonight and it was amazing!
The dressing is fabulous! Added dried apricots and blue cheese crumbles bc it’s all I had on hand. Definitely a keeper.
Love, love, love this recipe. It comes together very quickly and the dressing is sooo good. I have also added rotisserie chicken to it.
Nice! Glad you love it.
Can this be made ahead of time?
Yes! You can make the dressing and quinoa ahead of time and keep them in the fridge for 4 days. Assemble the salad when you are ready!
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