quinoa salad with apples, walnuts, dried cranberries & gouda

This salad is extremely filling. I’m going to make it next Sunday and plan on eating it for lunch all week long. It would make a great vegetarian main course at a dinner party, or could also be used as a bed for grilled salmon or roasted chicken.


  • 1-1/2 cups quinoa, preferably red
  • Sea salt
  • 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
  • 1 large red onion, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 4 oz. arugula, trimmed and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 4 oz. aged Gouda, finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 medium celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1 large, crisp apple, such as Fuji or Pink Lady, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup finely diced fennel
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 Tbs. sherry vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl, rinse the quinoa with water, rubbing it between your fingers for about 10 seconds. Drain and transfer it to a 3-quart pot. Add 2-1/2 cups water and 1/2 tsp. sea salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, covered, until the quinoa is tender but still delicately crunchy, about 15 minutes.

Drain the quinoa and return it to the pot. Cover and let the quinoa rest for 5 minutes; then fluff it with a fork. Let cool to room temperature.

While the quinoa cooks, heat 2 Tbs. of the olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring frequently, until tender and brown around the edges, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and toss with the onions until the vinegar cooks away, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, mix the quinoa, onions, arugula, cheese, celery, apple, walnuts, fennel, and cranberries.

In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil with the sherry vinegar, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Add the dressing to the salad and gently mix it in. Let rest a moment; then season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more olive oil if the salad seems dry.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories: 330; Fat (g): 19; Protein (g): 9; Carbohydrates (g): 34; Sodium (mg): 350; Cholesterol (mg): 15; Fiber (g): 4

Source: Fine Cooking


6 thoughts on “quinoa salad with apples, walnuts, dried cranberries & gouda

  1. I love this recipe! I ended up leaving out the fennel (I’m just not a fan of it) and using goat cheese instead of gouda due to cravings at the time… and it was great! This is my new go-to recipe for work lunches, thank you!

  2. What a delicious salad! I thought there might be too many ingredients to enjoy specific flavours, but they worked very well together. I didn’t have sherry vinegar so used 1/2 balsamic vinegar + 1/2 red wine. Thanks for sharing!

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