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Cranberry Quinoa Salad

This cranberry quinoa salad is a healthy, protein packed salad great for making at the beginning of the week and having on hand for lunches & dinners.
Cranberry quinoa salad

Here’s a shocking statement: It’s easier to eat better when you have healthy food on hand.

Genius, huh?

This salad was inspired by a few things.

-A very eager bodyrocker wanting to eat clean.

-An attempt to resist the remaining apple hand pies.

Kate’s recent recipe.

Quinoa salad with cranberries

I love having salads like this on hand to eat a little bit of with different meals. It’s perfect when you’re in a time crunch for dinner and can just scoop some on a plate as a side and it’s great for lunch by itself or with something like a goat cheese quesadilla (note to self: why don’t I eat more of those?!).

This salad, like my marriage, is all about opposites attracting. It’s sweet and tangy at the same time from the fig balsamic vinegar (regular balsamic will work just fine) and the fresh cranberries. And it’s soft from the cooked quinoa & black beans and crunchy from the raw peppers & celery.

Quinoa cranberry salad

I’ll let you guess who’s the sweet and who’s the soft one over here.

Cranberry Quinoa Salad

This cranberry quinoa salad is a healthy, protein packed salad great for making at the beginning of the week and having on hand for lunches & dinners.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 2 cups liquid I used 1 cup water, 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 clove garlic smashed
  • 4 stalks celery diced
  • 1/2 yellow pepper finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh cranberries chopped
  • 3/4 cup black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Rinse quinoa and combine with cooking liquid and smashed garlic clove in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until all liquid is absorbed and fully cooked (about 25 minutes)
  • While quinoa is cooking, combine celery, peppers & black beans in a large bowl.
  • Once quinoa is cooked, add to large bowl and toss to combine.
  • Let cool for about 5 minutes before adding remaining ingredients and tossing to combine.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1SERVING | Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 271mg | Potassium: 434mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 377IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 3mg

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Cuisine American
Course Salads
Keyword cranberry quinoa salad

Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

Recipe Rating

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Saturday 18th of February 2012

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Tuesday 14th of February 2012

[...] 14, 2012I realize I’m a walking (typing?) contradiction right now. Two days ago I talk about quinoa salads, eating healthy and my newly found bodyrock obsession and today I throw a brownie in your face. But [...]

Julia {The Roasted Root}

Monday 13th of February 2012

Beautiful photos! I've never seen red quinoa before... is there a nutritional difference? Great colors!

Running to the Kitchen

Monday 13th of February 2012

I don't think so. I just like the red for it's color :)

Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables

Monday 13th of February 2012

I'm obsessed with quinoa salads like this. I love the addition of cranberries!