This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.
Packed with flavor and texture, this Kale & Cranberry Quinoa Salad will knock your socks off! Quinoa is elevated to the next level when it's mixed with cranberries, walnuts, kale and - drumroll please - apple sage dressing made with real apple cider.
Cranberry Quinoa Salad with Kale & Walnuts
I'm going to be up front and tell you I have never been a huge fan of quinoa. I've tried a few recipes I found online, but I was never really impressed. Also tried a seasoned boxed quinoa from the store - eh.
TBH, they were just boring. I love lots of texture and different depths of flavor in my dishes. Keeps me interested in eating healthy when I actually want to eat it. I'm a firm believer that food should always be enjoyable, healthy or not!
I decided to give quinoa another chance when an idea for a cranberry quinoa salad recipe popped into my head. Of course, I couldn't just stop with cranberry & quinoa - I had to add some crunch (which is where the walnuts come in) and a little more depth with some greens (hey, kale!)
And then, this is my FAVORITE part, the salad is dressed with an apple sage dressing...that is made using just 3 ingredients - apple cider, apple cider vinegar, and sage!
HELLO FALL. Perfect holiday side dish, right?! Or just an anytime healthy lunch, which is how I'm enjoying it right now as I'm typing this up.
This cranberry quinoa salad is:
- packed with flavor
- chock full of texture
- slightly sweet
There are a couple of components to making this salad, but the recipe still remains simple.
First, you'll need to cook the quinoa. As it's cooking, chop the kale up or hand tear into bite-sized pieces (my preference!) and sauté it in a little veggie stock and salt.
This cranberry quinoa salad can be eaten either warm or cold. I've tried it both ways and each way is yummy. For a warm salad, you can go ahead and mix everything right away. To make a cold salad, place the cooked quinoa & kale into the fridge until cool, then mix with the remaining ingredients.
Kale and Cranberry Quinoa Salad with Walnuts and Apple Sage Salad Dressing
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 2 cups kale - chopped or torn into bite size pieces
- 2 teaspoons vegetable stock
- pinch of salt
- ⅔ cup dried cranberries
- ⅔ cup walnuts
- ½ cup Apple Sage Dressing - or to preference
- Prepare the quinoa according to the package instructions.
- To make the kale, add it into a pan with the vegetable stock and sprinkle with salt. On medium heat, sauté the kale for about 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cooked quinoa, sautéed kale, dried cranberries, and walnuts.
- Stir in desired amount of dressing.