This festive quinoa salad is a holiday must! Loaded with so much flavor and crunch. Everything from leafy arugula, bright pomegranate, crunchy apples, and salty feta. Comes together effortlessly and can be made the night before.
I sure hope you guys are not tired of all these holiday sides yet because I got a good one for you today. I know Thanksgiving is all about the turkey but I think sides are all as important. Personally I love sides, especially when there’s a variety of them. This quinoa salad is so different from anything I have ever shared. The assortment of ingredients combined into one salad makes this into such a festive and delicious side.
It all starts with quinoa. You want to cook the quinoa as indicated on the package and then make sure to chill the quinoa. I have found that when you add warm quinoa with any type of dressing it tends to soak in all of the moisture. Then add the rest of the ingredients: chopped fresh apples, pomegranate, walnuts, feta, and dried cranberries. I used Gala apple for its sweet and mild flavor.
Then make the dressing and it’s literally three ingredients: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard. It’s basically my take on balsamic dressing but a really easy simple version.
Toss the salad with the dressing, cover, and chill for good 45 minutes. Chilling is very important. It marinates all the flavors together. You can make the salad the night before. I personally think it tastes even better the next day. Just give it a quick toss before serving/platting.
What I LOVE LOVE about this salad is the crunch, especially from the pomegranate. They kind of sneak up on you at the end. So so good. I promise 🙂
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- 1 cup raw quinoa
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- 2 cups roughly chopped baby arugula
- 1 Gala apple, cored + chopped
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ¾ cup feta, crumbled
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook quinoa according to package directions. Cool completely.
- Prepare the dressing by adding all the ingredients into a mason jar. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Shake vigorously until combined.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooled quinoa, pomegranate, arugula, apples, walnuts, feta, and cranberries. Drizzle with dressing and toss to combine.
- Cover and chill the salad for 45 minutes up to overnight. Give it a quick toss right before serving.