Quinoa Salad with Cranberries, Basil, & Goat Cheese is a deliciously refreshing spring side dish! Fluffy quinoa is tossed with no sugar added dried cranberries, fresh basil, crumbled goat cheese, spinach, walnuts, and a lemon-honey vinaigrette for a truly unbeatable healthy spring recipe!
This post is sponsored by Graceland Fruit. Thank you so much for supporting the brands I love that help keep this site up and running!
I have the freshest, most spring-y delicious side dish for you today!
I’m partnering with Graceland Fruit to bring you yet another incredible, no-added sugar cranberry recipe! In case you missed it earlier this week, we also brought you this seriously AH-MAZING Broccoli Salad with Citrus Tahini Dressing!
TWO salads in one week (and three in one month if you count this Bagel & Lox Salad with Everything Spice Croutons!), how about that?! Clearly, we are in full-on spring mode over here. I’ve been using all the amazing spring produce and I’m not stopping yet!
Because I want to bring you healthy, seasonal recipes using the best produce, we’ve lately been feasting on…
- Mushroom & Asparagus Farro Risotto
- Zesty Asparagus Orzo Salad (I just typed “sesty” – combination of zesty and sexy? I think yes)
- Spring Pesto Minestrone Soup
- A super fresh Whole Wheat Spring Veggie Pizza with Herbed Ricotta!
And now. Quinoa. With no-sugar added dried cranberries. No sugar!
Graceland Fruit is a company I’ve truly come to love. They’re based right here in the mitten; their products have found their way into local grocery stores and even our Meijer here in the Midwest. And I’m totally hooked! Of course, I’ve stumbled across “no sugar added” dried fruits before, but if you check the label, you’ll find that most of them contain sucralose or aspartame. Ehm… no thanks. But Graceland is different. Their no-sugar added dried cranberries are naturally sweetened with, well, just cranberries! All their fruit is incredibly soft, juicy, and so easy to cook and bake with!
It’s not just cranberries, either! Graceland sells dried blueberries (which are perfect in peanut butter granola!), dried cherries, and even dried fruit blends like Mango Berry and Berry Zest! These delectable dried fruits would make the perfect addition to a homemade muesli mix I’m bringing you next week!
I really don’t cook with quinoa as often as I should. Being such a powerful source of protein and fiber, you’d think I’d use it more. I love it, but it’s not my husband’s favorite grain. He’d rather have farro or brown rice, and would only eat quinoa if it was the last grain in the cupboard.
BUT. All that’s about to change. Because this Quinoa Salad with Cranberries is FAB. And my husband LOVES it. It’s all about the small things in life, right?
Quinoa is so so versatile! It’s perfect for winter grain bowls, spring and summer salads, and fall casseroles. It’s delicious for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! The grain itself is delicate, yet packs so much punch. High in protein and fiber, this ancient grain is really perfect anytime of the year.
This Quinoa Salad with Cranberries is the perfect textural blend of
- Soft and fluffy quinoa
- Chewy, sweet dried cranberries
- Fresh basil and subtle spinach
- Tangy, creamy goat cheese
- Crunchy toasted walnuts
- Zesty, but smooth, homemade honey-lemon vinaigrette
Quinoa Salad with Cranberries is naturally vegetarian and gluten free. To make it vegan, simply leave off the goat cheese or substitute for vegan cheese.
Paired with a source of protein, this Quinoa Salad with Cranberries is the perfect make-ahead lunch. It easily lasts several days in the refrigerator and is best eaten chilled. It also makes for one amazing side dish! For all your spring and summer get-togethers, grill-outs, and potlucks, this simple side dish can’t be beat.
Hey, Memorial Day is coming up, giving you the perfect excuse to make either this Quinoa Salad with Cranberries OR this savory sweet Broccoli Cranberry Salad with Citrus Tahini Dressing!
Thank you not only to Graceland Fruit for sponsoring this recipe, but a HUGE thank you to all YOU who support this blog and brands I love!
Pin this Spring Quinoa Salad with Cranberries for later!
Fluffy quinoa, sweet dried cranberries, fresh basil, crunchy walnuts, creamy goat cheese, and a zesty lemon dressing all come together to form this irresistible spring salad!
- 1 c. dry quinoa, rinsed (3 c. cooked)
- 3 oz. fresh spinach, torn
- 1/2 c. no sugar added dried cranberries (or cherries!)
- 1/2 c. toasted walnuts
- 1/2 c. fresh goat cheese, divided
- 1/4 c. fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tsp honey (or maple syrup)
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Bring 2 c. water to a boil over high heat. Add the quinoa and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer according to package directions, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stand, covered, 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Cool completely.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, torn spinach, dried cherries, toasted walnuts, 1/4 c. goat cheese, and basil.
To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, honey, Dijon, and salt and pepper. Whisk vigorously to combine.
Pour the dressing over the salad; toss. Top with remaining 1/4 c. goat cheese and fresh basil. Serve chilled.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
Nutrition Information per Serving:
Calories: 325 Protein: 8g Carbs: 33g Fat: 19g Fiber: 3g