Quinoa Salad with Pecans and Cranberries (recipe from our wedding!)

One of my main contributions to our Thanksgiving feast this year was a delicious vegan Quinoa Salad with pecans and cranberries.

quinoa salad

This dish first made its debut at our wedding! Back when we first met with our caterer (Celebrations Catering) a year 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 – fall inspired, with nuts and dried cranberries. They said they would see what they could do, and at our wedding food tasting back in March 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. The day before Thanksgiving, they sent it over, plus the photo below of me hitting the buffet line hard. :) (I know I still owe you the rest of my wedding recap posts – they’re coming soon!)


When I made the recipe for Thanksgiving it was just as delicious as we all remembered. So, without further ado and by popular demand – enjoy the recipe! :)


Celebrations Quinoa Salad with Pecans and Cranberries

Serves 4 as a side dish, 2 as an entrée.

This vegan recipe is delicious and really easy to make, too. It was originally created by Celebrations Catering for our wedding reception and it was such a hit they agreed to let me share it with all of you! Enjoy.


  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 & 1/2 cups vegetable stock/broth (low sodium if possible)
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 large lemon’s worth)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. Place quinoa in medium sauce pot with the vegetable stock/broth.
  2. Cover the pot, bring to a full boil, then reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Combine all other ingredients in a bowl. Pour on top of quinoa and mix together.
  5. Serve immediately or cover and chill in the fridge. Enjoy!

*Notes: For simplicity (and based on what we had on hand), I left out a couple of the ingredients that our caterer included in the original recipe. Things I left out are: 2 Tbsp. chopped green onions, 1/4 tsp granulated garlic, 1/4 tsp granulated onion, and a pinch of ground cayenne pepper. Feel free to add these back in – it was just as delicious without them, though! Also, in the original recipe the pecans were roasted and spiced. Plain pecans worked just as well, but spiced pecans were definitely an added bonus if you have some on hand.




  1. 1

    I love that you had this at your wedding! It looks delicious! Happy Monday girl!

  2. 2

    Hey Anne! So I just recently found your blog, and I missed all of your wedding posts. I love the mini-mini-recap here though. Love your dress! And I’m excited to try this recipe. :)

  3. 4

    Everything about this sounds great – would have loved to have a dish like this at my wedding! Yum!

  4. 5

    Lovely! I would love this too. Quinoa is so versatile. Thanks for sharing and your pictures are beautiful!

  5. 6

    I never seem to like sweet elements in my savory dishes. The closest I will go is beets or a caramelized pear in a salad with some goat cheese or Gorgonzola.

  6. 7

    Yum! I’ve been wanting to try out more quinoa recipes! Definitely going to pin this for future reference!

  7. 8

    This recipe seems so simple and looks delicious!! I definitely am going to have to make this very soon (I have dried cranberries with orange flavoring from Trader Joe’s that’d be perfect!)!

  8. 11

    YUM! Pinning!

  9. 13

    Yum! :)

  10. 14

    That looks delicious, and I bet it would go really well with the Salmon I’m having tonight!

  11. 15

    Delicious! Love cranberries and pecans together! Very pretty pics!

  12. 16

    I need this!!

  13. 17

    Anne, I noticed a picture of Jenna Bush’s wedding dress and it looked like yours except it was sleeveless.

  14. 18
    Aurora Gesni says

    YES!!!! I’m so excited you got the recipe!! I think that was my favorite dish at your wedding. I’ll let you know how it turns out. :)
    Thank you!

  15. 20

    I made a recipe similar to this for thanksgiving but added roasted sweet potatoes to it. It was delish and would be totally filling as lunch!

  16. 22

    Hahaha love the pic of you hitting the buffet hard. This sounds like a great Thanksgiving-appropriate dish with the cranberry and pecans!

  17. 23
    T.G.I.F!!! (the goal is fitness) says

    That was one of my favorite dishes at your wedding, too! :-)
    Thx for sharing the recipe.

  18. 24

    Oh I need to make this for Josh! I’m trying to compile all the awesome vegetarian recipes I find online so that when I’m making dinner for the two of us I can make good stuff! Thanks!

  19. 25

    I’m making this for my husband. He loves salads with nuts & fruits, cancer runs in his family and I’m determined to up that daily veggie & fruit count. I wish I could eat this, the curse of severe food allergies, no quinoa, no nuts etc, etc, etc. Thank you for sharing!

  20. 26
    Shirley Godbold says

    This looks great, but what about people who are allergic to NUTS – not peanuts, but nuts? Most people don’t realize that nuts and peanuts are not the same thing and people who are allergic to nuts can still eat peanuts. Peanuts are a legume or a bean and nuts grow on trees.

  21. 28

    This sounds like a perfect fall side dish! Love quinoa and cranberries + pecans sound like great additions.

  22. 29

    wow! looks delicious. I ate quinoa in my country birth (Peru), but in Costa Rica it’s difficult to get. My mother cooked like a stew (“guiso” in spanish). Thanks for sharing this recipe I will try to do it. I’ll be waiting for the “recap” of your wedding. Have a lovely week!!

  23. 30

    Yum! I will def be trying this soon! Thanks for the recipe! :)

  24. 31
    Healthy Eater says

    Good — and tasty, too. Great combination… Thanks for sharing.

  25. 32

    I’ve had a salad very similar to this before and its wonderful! Its such a nice addition to a fall mealtime celebration. Yummy!

  26. 33

    This looks super fresh and delish…I love that you had it at your wedding :)

  27. 34

    Well, I made this! Thought you’d like to know. It was delicious – and I find that quinoa recipes are very hit or miss for me. I have leftovers with me today. I actually used the green onions, the granulated spices you mentioned, and instead of cayenne I had toasted the pecans (to make them ‘spiced’) with a brown sugar bbq dry rub that my husband uses on the smoker. I thought it was really delicious – what main dish do you think would go well with this?

  28. 36

    This dish screams perfection! The only thing I changed was that I toasted the pecans just slightly, and omg! Superb!! Thanks so much for this! I’ll definitely be making it again :D

  29. 37

    I made this for a dinner party Sunday night. Everyone loved it and it was so easy to make. I will definitely do it again. Thanks so much for sharing.

  30. 38

    I made this over the weekend with blood orange infused olive oil. It was delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  31. 40

    Have you made it with fresh cranberries?

  32. 42

    Hello :)
    I would like to make this for Thanksgiving day dinner. Is it best to make it the day of or can you make it the day before?

    Thank you :)

  33. 44

    I just made this to bring along to my SIL’s house tomorrow. There are a couple vegans and vegetarians in the family. It will be a big hit. I hope there’s some left by tomorrow. It is absolutely delicious!!!!! I tripled the recipe, used roasted almonds instead of pecans and also added the optional ingredients. Used garlic powder vs granulated garlic as that is what I had on hand. It is my new favourite quinoa dish, and I’ve tried many. Thank you for sharing!

  34. 46

    What could I substitute for the pecans (nut allergy)? Would cheese be good to add, like goat cheese? Thanks

  35. 48

    Hello Anne ♥ Just thought I’d leave a massage to let you know I’ve loved this amazing recipe and I’ve included it in my 50 Epic Vegan Christmas recipes’ roundup:
    Thank you & happy holidays! =)

  36. 50

    I made this receipe for Thanksgiving this year. I added the optional ingredients and a little extra craisins as well. I think golden raisins would be good too. I served it cold – it was so convenient to make ahead and it was delicious. Now I’m eating the leftovers heated up and I love it warm too. Definitely a keeper, thanks for sharing.

  37. 52

    I’ve made this recipe about 10 times and it is AWESOME. Such a crowd pleaser, so easy to make, and healthy too! Just had to thank you for sharing this recipe.


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