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.

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Cranberry Quinoa Salad

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
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.


  • 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.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 245kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 9gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 271mgPotassium: 434mgFiber: 7gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 377IUVitamin C: 34mgCalcium: 42mgIron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salads
Cuisine: American
Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

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

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

  2. I have learned that Quinoa is good for those suffering from worst migraine attacks. According to a healthy food-related website, Quinoa has high magnesium contents that is great to relax blood vessels to lessen or prevent migraine attacks. I cannot remember the % values and other scientific data but the fact that it is good for me is good news enough. This is a must try!

  3. What a gorgeous dish! The vibrant colors are amazing. And the flavor/texture combinations sound sooo delicious. I love cranberries with balsamic!

  4. Wow! I’ve never made the red quinoa. This really looks awesome. You can’t beat the subtle flavor and delicate crunchy-squishiness of quinoa. I make a quinoa salad with chickpeas, tomatoes, diced cucumber, and a dressing made of olive oil, cumin and lime juice. I was just getting a load of your pancake recipes. The one with pomegranate really caught my eye… All of your pictures are gorgeous!

  5. This looks yummy! Quinoa is one of my current obsessions, and the addition of the veggies and the cranberries makes this look fantastic. Can’t wait to try!