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Apple Quinoa Salad with Feta

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Here is a delicious Apple Quinoa Salad just in time for those wonderful fall apples. A healthy, crunchy, year round salad that is naturally gluten free. This salad is perfect for a lunch bag, a summer barbecue or a Pot Luck dinner any time of year.

Have you integrated quinoa into your cooking repertoire yet or are you tired of quinoa everything? Well unless you are living under a rock you have heard plenty about how wonderful this super food is. It has been around for over five thousand years and everyone wants to know why we have not been eating quinoa every day. My answer…apparently some of us are slower to change than others.

I have quinoa in my kitchen, that’s the first step. I do not cook it every day or even every week…but I do have it in my kitchen.

The pasta salads and rice salads that used to show up at Pot Luck events have been replaced by quinoa salads. If you have an old favourite recipe then substitute quinoa and create a new favourite. If you see a recipe calling for gluten containing grains like bulgur or couscous make that recipe using quinoa.

Making Apple Quinoa Salad Out of Nothing

Obviously you can’t make a salad out of nothing. On a day when it feels like there is nothing in my kitchen but a few apples on the counter I can make this recipe. I always have feta cheese in my fridge and a selection of nuts in my pantry so this Apple Quinoa Salad is the perfect choice.

Organize For Success – Cold Salads

Plan ahead and make extra quinoa when you are cooking dinner or even put a pot on while you are cleaning up. I put the cooked quinoa in the fridge and am one step closer to having that salad made. If you love quinoa check out this post that has tips for cooking the many varieties available.

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

A close up of a gluten free southwestern quinoa salad.
Southwestern Quinoa Salad -photo credit Jim Little

In the comments below let me know what goes in your favourite quinoa salad.


⅔ cup quinoa
1⅓ cups GF chicken stock
2 crisp apples (I like 1 red and 1 green), chopped
2 cups fresh spinach, arugula or a combination
½ cup red onion, diced
½ cup almonds, lightly toasted
½ cup chopped fresh parsley (or add 2 Tbsp dried to the dressing)
½ cup crumbled feta cheese plus more for garnish if desired
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp grainy mustard or Dijon mustard
2 tsp dried rosemary (or 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1½ Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp maple syrup
½ tsp black pepper
½ cup vegetable or olive oil


Put quinoa and stock in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then put the lid on and turn the heat to simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and leave the lid on for a few minutes. Fluff with a fork then transfer to a large bowl. Refrigerate to cool.
Make dressing by combining all ingredients except oil in a tall container. Using an immersion blender slowly drizzle the oil in with the blender on. Set aside.
Add remaining ingredients to quinoa, pour dressing over everything and toss. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Garnish with additional crumbled feta cheese if desired.


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