Hearty Fall Harvest Quinoa Salad 🍂 Salads for Lunch

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Why I love this recipe

This delightful fall salad is loaded with all sorts of fall goodies such as protein rich quinoa, butternut squash, spinach, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, an apple and then it’s dressed in my favorite fall apple cider vinaigrette.

This salad brings a pop of color to your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. While many of the traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas foods are beige (turkey, and mashed potatoes I’m looking at you)

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RELATED: Corn and Black Bean Quinoa Salad Recipe

What you’ll need to make this Fall Quinoa Salad

This Autumn Quinoa Salad is loaded with all sorts of everything delicious and healthy. There’s quinoa in here (obviously) but it doesn’t play the leading role. Do you know how some quinoa salads are just too quinoa-y? Not this one. This is the right balance so that the quinoa blends in rather than takes over.

Ingredients for the harvest salad:

  • Cooked quinoa
  • Sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Red apple, cored and diced (I prefer honey crisp apples)
  • Green onion, sliced
  • Baby spinach
  • Dried cranberries
  • Sunflower seeds

Ingredients for apple cider vinaigrette:

  • Olive oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Honey
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

For the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions, please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

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How to make quinoa fall salad

If you are looking for a meatless meal, make this easy Fall Quinoa Salad and eat it for lunch throughout the week. It’s also delicious alongside grilled chicken, or salmon. This easy to make and healthy side dish recipe is perfect for fall and comes together in thee 6 easy steps:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 2: Place the sweet potatoes onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Toss to distribute the oil and seasonings.

Step 3: Bake in the oven for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of the cubes, flipping once. Cook until tender and caramelized.

Step 4: In a large bowl, toss together the cooked quinoa, sweet potatoes, apple, green onion, and spinach. If the salad is served immediately, add the dried cranberries and seeds.

Step 5: In a small jar, shake together the ingredients for the dressing.

Step 6: Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.

Make this NAME OF RECIPE, then check out my Montreal Steak Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Honey Mustard Dressing, Roasted Asparagus Caesar Salad, and Classic Waldorf Salad and more of my healthy salad dressing recipes.  

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Read on for tips and substitution ideas on how to make this recipe, and how to avoid making it a disaster.

  • Adding a touch of maple syrup to the sweet potato prior to roasting gives it a subtle sweetness and autumn coziness.
  • If you want to save time, you can purchase the sweet potato precut into cubes, though I find that a Y-shaped vegetable peeler like this one makes the job fairly quick and easy.
  • A handful of feta or goat cheese is ultra yummy if you have some on hand or want to add a dimension of creaminess.

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How to store this salad

If preparing this salad ahead, wait until just before serving to add the cranberries and seeds.

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Other Quinoa Salad recipes to try

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