Quinoa, Apple & Almond Salad with Honey Lemon Mint Vinaigrette

Could I have possibly eaten more junk food over the holidays?  I don’t think so. I’m guessing I’m not alone here, right? What can I say, the holidays are a time for splurging. We always visit Jeff’s family in Tucson, Arizona where the Mexican food in plentiful and my sister-in-law’s dinners are not to be missed.

This is mildly embarrassing since less than a month ago I was all “I’m on Weight Watchers, blah blah blah.” But you know what? Who cares, it’s fine. I had some fun and now it’s time to get back on track in the New Year. So here’s one of my absolute favorite quinoa recipes: Quinoa, Apple and Almond Salad with Honey Lemon Mint Vinaigrette. The granny smith apples are tart, the almonds add an earthy crunch, the honey provides just the right amount of sweet and the mint is, well, awesome. I know you’ll love this salad just as much as I do.

Quinoa, Apple and Almond Salad with Honey Lemon Mint Vinaigrette
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 3-4 Servings
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • ¼ cup scallions, sliced thin
  • 1 granny smith apple, diced
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup almonds, toasted, rough chopped
Honey Lemon Mint Vinaigrette
  • 3 tablespoons honey, preferably mild such as wildflower
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, black pepper to taste
  1. In a small mixing bowl or blender, whisk together the honey, lemon juice, olive oil, mint, and warm water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Combine cooked quinoa with apples, toasted almonds, scallions and dried cranberries.
  3. About 30 minutes before serving drizzle with ½ cup prepared vinaigrette and toss to combine. Serve cold or at room temperature.

More Quinoa Recipes:

Peanut Butter and Peppers – Black Bean and Butternut Squash Quinoa Tacos
Damn Delicious – Quinoa Veggie “Fried Rice”
Two Peas & Their Pod – Quinoa Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing
Kalyn’s Kitchen – Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Red Bell Pepper, and Cilantro
Aggie’s Kitchen – Toasted Garlicky Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Hearts of Palm and Goat Cheese

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  1. That is just….I am speechless! YUMMMMM!

  2. Christina says:

    I HAVE to make this tomorrow! This looks so delicious and the flavor combo sounds amazing.

  3. Wow Jen, this salad is beautiful! Looks delicious and healthy too. Nice job for the new year.

  4. This is the perfect detox. I eat quinoa salads so often, I love the apple and almond twist.

  5. I need all the help I can get with getting back on track, this looks like a great place to start!

  6. I love quinoa salads, and the crunch of the apple sounds perfect!

  7. This looks incredible – I am always looking for new ideas for quinoa. YUM!

  8. Don’t be so hard on yourself…the holidays are tough for eating “light”. What counts is that you’re back on track and this beautiful quinoa salad looks like a fabulous way to kick things off.

  9. Bev @ Bev Cooks says:

    Um yeshhhh. I’ll take 15 bowls.

  10. claire @ the realistic nutritionist says:

    Love the flavors here!

  11. Wonderful recipe! I have been so much into quinoa! I love it! I’m with about the holidays! I don’t hink I could have consumed more chocolate in one month then I did in December and cookies, man I ate a ton of those to! That’s why I like January, new month, time to be better, well kind of! ;)

  12. Every day I keep telling myself – no junk food today! It’s not working…but I love quinoa and this salad looks amazing. Will have to try it for lunch. Do you think adding some baby spinach would ruin the flavour? Thanks!

  13. Isn’t quinoa wonderful? Not only does it taste delicious, but it’s so good for your body! Thank you for sharing this recipe. I needed some culinary inspiration! I hope you are having a wonderful start to 2013.

  14. I think the majority of us are right there with you. The great news that is exactly why January was invented :) A fresh start with this fresh, perfectly balanced salad. Yummmm.

  15. Love the combination of nuts and apples in your salad. Beautiful shots, as always!

  16. Quinoa is the king of all grains. I love them, they can stand on it’s own or make it with salad or use it as a binder or even sushi :-)

  17. I’m right there with you getting back on track. This salad is incredible! Definitely making this soon.

  18. I totally agree! Holidays are all about enjoying and celebrating! Much easier to be healthy if you allow yourself to induldge once in a while! This salad looks like it combines the best of both worlds: tasty and healthy! Can’t wait to try!
    Have a Happy New Year!

  19. Lovely mix of flavors. I love quinoa and I love to experiment with it :)

  20. Love the flavors and textures of this salad! Especially the vinaigrette!

  21. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts says:

    Yum!! Love Quinoa, and always need more ways to use it!

  22. love the flavors in here – so fresh and healthy and delicious!

  23. I love this. I could live on quinoa!

  24. Apples, cranberries and quiona…whoa, does this sound amazing! Time to break out the bag of quinoa again!

  25. Oh, pht! Who cares? You are allowed to indulge – isn’t that what Weight Watchers is proposing? LOL. I know, I know…everything in moderation, right? Anyway, it’s the new year and you’re back on track with healthy eating. To start off the new year with this tasty salad – priceless! I’m coming over with my fork!

  26. The holidays are meant for unbridled indulgence (I’m still going!). :D
    This salad does look refreshing and wonderful!!

  27. I think we’re all in the same boat after the holidays!!! This salad looks like the perfect solution! :)

  28. I’ve never had quinoa before but this seems like a great way to try it. I love that it has apples and cranberries in it. Do you think this could make a nice entree or just a side dish?

    • I do! One note if you’ve never tried it and I’m wondering if I should add this to the recipe itself. Quinoa can have an odd flavor if you don’t thoroughly wash it first. I like to put it in a fine mesh strainer and put that strainer inside a large bowl. Fill it with cold water, let it sit for a minimum of 5 minutes. Rinse well, drain the water and repeat the process 2 more times. It’s a bit of a pain but really worth it.

  29. i pinned this. will be making for breakfast this weekend :)

  30. Absolutely perfect post for me (and probably for everyone else who ate and drank their own body weight over the festive period !). I was just thinking this morning that I need to research some yummy salad recipes and yours has quinoa which I love too ! Thanks ! (and Happy new year !)

  31. I think I gained like 10 lb from the holidays so yes, this is definitely a must-make in my book!

  32. I definitely have to start eating healthier after this Christmas break. All of that delicious fruit cake, turkey and everything else has helped at all. This looks like a wonderful way to face a new healthy eating regime! :)

  33. I LOVE quinoa! love love love. and am always looking for new recipes to use it. So many wonderful flavors and chunks of goodness in these – apples, cranberries, almonds… perfection. I want it for breakfast Jen!

  34. I think this will be the year I get into quinoa. Thinking this is a good recipe to start with. Gorgeous photography!

  35. Just what I was looking for after a dissipated couple of weeks.

  36. I love quinoa salads! And you’re right – who cares if you slipped? You’re gorgeous and you can let it ride. Hope you’re having an awesome New Year! See ya’ Tuesday!

  37. Oh yum! I certainly need to try this!

  38. My favorite part of making quinoa salads is adding lots of different textures to them…the apples and almonds in this salad are perfect for that! Sounds fun :)

  39. I made quinoa this week in attempt to reverse the junk lol. This looks so fresh & delicious! I love quinoa salad creations, thanks for the link love!

  40. So I wasn’t alone in my feeding frenzy? I wish that knowing I shared the experience would help me get back on track! :-) I love quinoa and cook it frequently, although often not with a very interesting recipe. This sounds delicious, and I could actually serve this one to others! My fall-back is generally too plain! :-)

  41. that looks great – i’ve been looking for a vinaigrette for my salads and this one looks like a definite one to try

  42. There needs to be a way to pin this on Pinterest so I can add it to my Must Try board

  43. This looks AWESOME. I am so making it this week for my #SaladJam challenge.

  44. Just finished making this and it is the bomb!! I upped the lemon juice to a third of a cup just because I really like a tarty tang in my vinaigrettes. Just a little salt and pepper to taste really ups all the different flavours in this dish-really delicious. I also added four stalks of diced celery. A virtuous January meal indeed! Thanks!

  45. This is wonderful. I like how you combined all the ingredients with quinoa. I’m looking forward to trying this dish, especially your vinaigrette sounds fabulous!

  46. This is a beautiful salad and I look forward to making it! I especially love your vinaigrette – adding mint sounds so fresh and tasty. Happy 2013 to you!

  47. Quinoa is so versatile… it’s become a regular on my dinner table for both sweet and savoury dishes! loving your addition of apples, nuts and vinaigrette. It’s always exciting to try new combinations and I’ll be experimenting with this one soon. Thanks heaps! x

  48. This looks amazing and so clean! Pinned!

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