One of my all-time favorite blog recipes is this delicious vegan cranberry quinoa salad.
Those of you have been reading for a long time may recall that this dish first made its debut at our wedding in 2012, and has since made many appearances as a side dish at our holiday gatherings – especially Thanksgiving!
This recipe has always been delicious, but I wanted to refresh the post with new photos, a bit more recipe instructions/details, and so forth – so here you go! Our old favorite classic with a little upgrade, just in time for fall.
Back when we first met with our wedding caterer (Celebrations Catering) many years ago to figure out our reception menu, I mentioned that I’d like to have some sort of vegan quinoa salad on the buffet line, as some of our attendees were vegan and I wanted something for them to eat other than the usual plain pasta.
I told them I was thinking something fall inspired, with nuts and dried cranberries, because our wedding was in October.
They said they would see what they could do, and at our wedding food tasting the spring before our wedding, we got our first taste of what they had come up with for us.
It was delicious, and proved to be an even bigger hit on the big day at our wedding! I had so many guests asking for the recipe that I emailed our caterer and asked if they’d let me share it here on the blog. 🙂 Thankfully, they said yes!
When I made the recipe again the following month for Thanksgiving (and for many more holiday dinners after that), it was just as delicious as we all remembered.
Fall Quinoa Salad Ingredients
I love how refreshing, simple, and tasty this recipe is. It’s an easy side dish for Thanksgiving, or really for any fall meal! Plus, it’s easy to store and transport if you’re going to a family gathering or holiday potluck.
The cranberries give it a little sweet & tangy flavor, while the pecans give it a bit of crunch. And you all know I’m a big fan of quinoa. 🙂 The fresh herbs and chopped green onions are the (metaphorical) icing on the cake!
To make this recipe, you’ll need:
- dry quinoa
- vegetable stock/broth (I recommend low sodium)
- fresh parsley
- fresh chives
- chopped pecans
- dried cranberries
- lemon juice
- olive oil
- garlic powder/granulated garlic
- chopped green onions
Of course, if you already have cooked quinoa to use up, you can totally use that in this recipe!
Have extra cranberries? Check out these tasty dried cranberry recipes!
Feel free to also throw in some arugula, spinach, and/or goat cheese (if you aren’t trying to keep this recipe vegan, obviously).
Vegan Cranberry Quinoa Salad Recipe
Now, let’s get into how to make the recipe! Fortunately, it comes together in less than 30 minutes, because I like to keep things quick and easy!
Start by cooking your dried quinoa. Rinse it in a strainer, then place it in a medium sauce pot with the vegetable stock/broth.
Cover the pot and bring to a full boil. Then, reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. I like to fluff it with a fork at this point.
Next, combine all the other ingredients (except for the optional green onion garnish) in a bowl. Pour on top of your cooked quinoa and mix. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.
Serve immediately, or cover and chill in the fridge. You’ll find the full vegan cranberry quinoa salad recipe at the bottom of this post.
If you have leftover cranberries, try this delicious cranberry orange bread!
How to Store Quinoa Salad
One of the best things about this recipe: you can easily make it ahead of time!
Once the quinoa salad is cool, place in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. When you’re ready to serve, eat the quinoa salad cold, or reheat in the microwave if desired.
Looking for more delicious fall recipes? Check these out:
- Comforting Pumpkin Quinoa
- Savory Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Spiced Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Gluten Free Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Black Bean Vegan Burgers with Pumpkin
- Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes
- Leftover Turkey and Wheat Berry Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
- Healthy Pumpkin Muffins (or Bread)
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 1 & 1/2 cups vegetable stock/broth (low sodium if possible)
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 large lemon’s worth)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 2 Tablespoons chopped green onions (optional garnish)
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
- Place quinoa in medium sauce pot with the vegetable stock/broth.
- Cover the pot, bring to a full boil, then reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Combine all other ingredients except for the optional green onion garnish in a bowl. Pour on top of quinoa and mix together.
- Serve immediately or cover and chill in the fridge. Enjoy!
In the original recipe the pecans were roasted and spiced. Plain pecans work just as well, but spiced pecans are definitely an added bonus if you have some on hand.