Home » Fall Quinoa Salad

Fall Quinoa Salad

by Dana Bean, RD

Delicious as a main entree or side dish, this Fall Quinoa Salad is an essential for both a weekday lunch and a compliment to a holiday dinner!

Fall Quinoa Salad

Fluffy quinoa, cranberries, chicken, sweet glazed pecans, crunchy apple all on a bed of mixed greens with a tangy vinaigrette dressing
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: dinner, lunch, Side Dish


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1.5 cups cooked chicken See Note 1
  • 4 cups mixed greens prewashed
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 medium apple chopped
  • 1/2 cup glazed pecans


  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp dijon
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste


  • Wash quinoa in mesh colander and cover with 2 cups water. Cook on medium/high heat until all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes
  • While quinoa is cooking, add the mixed greens, cooked chicken, dried cranberries, apple, and glazed pecans to a large bowl.
  • Make dressing by combining olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, dijon, honey, salt, and pepper to a jar or small bowl. Whisk with a fork.
  • After quinoa is cooked, add to the salad, then top with dressing and enjoy.


  1. For the cooked chicken, the easiest option would be to use meat from a rotisserie chicken. You can also bake or sauté chicken ahead of time! 

A Filling and Delicious Salad

There are a million ways to make a salad, which means the satisfaction of a salad can be anywhere from stellar to super sub par. This Fall Quinoa Salad has a mix of carbs, protein, fat, fiber, crunch, and a tangy sauce, creating an amazingly satisfying salad that likely won’t leave you hungry again in an hour.

Fall Quinoa Salad close up

A Look Into the Ingredients

Mixed Greens: You can get the pre-washed tub for ease and variety! This is the base of the salad, though this salad is much more than lettuce

Quinoa: Make sure you cook until it “sprouts” so it nice, soft and fluffy! I used tri-color, but you could also use white quinoa.

Chicken: To keep it easier, we’re not cooking the chicken in this recipe. The idea is that you can use a pre-cooked chicken like rotisserie chicken. You could also prep some chicken breast ahead of time to keep this recipe nice and easy.

Apple: I love a good salad with apple! Honeycrisp is my favorite, but really any apple that has some sweetness would be great (like Gala).

Dried Cranberries: More fruity-ness to the salad, the cranberries add a different texture and a bit more tartness. I get mine in the bulk section!

Glazed Pecans: The pecans add more crunch! You can also use regular (non glazed) pecans.

Dressing: olive oil, lemon juice, honey garlic, Dijon, salt and pepper makes this tangy dressing that pairs so well with the sweet and crunchy salad

Fall Quinoa Salad for Meal Prep

This Fall Quinoa Salad is a great meal prep recipe. Since the only cooking is the quinoa anyway, just prep that ahead and combine the salad ingredients in a container and can be refrigerated. For the chicken, either prep baked or sauteed chicken ahead of time, or my favorite add rotisserie chicken. Then, add the dressing right before eating!

Why is the Recipe First?

I’m glad you asked! I know it can get overwhelming to be excited about a recipe, then have to scroll through a seemingly never-ending life story before finally finding the recipe. I started to notice it becoming a difficulty for some of my nutrition counseling clients. So that’s why I’ve created No Guilt Nutrition Recipes – a place where finding the actual recipe isn’t so difficult or cumbersome. Usually the recipe is hidden in a blog post or you have to pay a subscription to see the recipe quickly, but here you’ll find it first on the page!

Why Are the Recipes Called “Intuitive Eating Recipes”?

No Guilt Nutrition recipes are definitely not the only thing you can eat if you are eating intuitively (really, you can eat anything that you want/feels good to your body!), but I noticed there are way too many diet culture entrenched recipes out there. These recipes give you delicious food without potentially triggering numbers or diet talk. They also provide a gentle nutrition approach by encouraging balance in your meals without having strict requirements for what that may look like.

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