Apple Walnut Quinoa Salad

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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. 

Apple Walnut Quinoa Salad with spinach, dried cranberries, goat cheese, and a simple maple mustard dressing is the perfect salad for fall. #salad #glutenfree

I have been baking up all of my favorite fall recipes…pumpkin cinnamon cookies, apple slab piepumpkin 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!

Apple Walnut Quinoa Salad is the perfect side dish for fall and Thanksgiving!

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:

  • spinach
  • quinoa
  • apples
  • walnuts
  • 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.

Apple Walnut Quinoa Salad with maple mustard dressing is an easy side dish for the holidays!

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 with spinach, dried cranberries, goat cheese, and a simple maple mustard dressing is the perfect salad for fall.

Apple Walnut Quinoa Salad

This is the perfect salad for fall! Enjoy it for lunch, dinner, or serve it as a side dish for Thanksgiving.
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time
15 minutes
Total Time
15 minutes

Ingredients

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
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
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Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Drizzle with dressing and toss again. Serve.

Maria Lichty

I’m Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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CommentsLeave a reply


  1. I made this last night for dinner and it was fantastic!! Great fall recipe that isn’t a soup, it’s been super hot and humid this week! The dressing was great too, I added a little more mustard and apple cider vinegar for some extra punch. Great combination of flavors!

    1. Glad you enjoyed your first experience with quinoa! We have a lot of other quinoa recipes on our site too!


  2. Made this salad tonight,it’s so good can’t stop eating .I’ve been  making yours salad and I’m never disappointed.

  3. How long will this keep? I like to make lunch for the week on Sunday and need it to hold up. Any tips/suggestions are welcome. TIA

    1. If you want it to last longer you can always wait to add the dressing until you are ready to serve it.

    1. You can toss the dressing in right before serving. I enjoy the leftovers the next day and the salad is still good, but if you are serving it to guests, I would wait to toss right before.


  4. The best grain salad ever! I’ve subbed farro for quinoa for a bit heartier salad; I’ve also used different greens. The combo of ingredients and the dressing makes this fabulous!

  5. In one word: Phenomenal! The combination of savoury and sweet flavours is superb! This will be my go-to quinoa salad recipe!


    1. Dry quinoa triples, so just divide by three. Two thirds cup dry quinoa, one and one third cups water or broth. (Twice as much liquid as quinoa)

  6. Hi Maria,

    If I wanted to use 3 cups of cooked quinoa should I make a little more dressing? 1 cup dried gives you 3 cups cooked, 1/2 cup yields 11/2 cups cooked so I am in a quandary…LOL

    Thanks!

    Kristen

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