Oil-free apple quinoa salad is everything you want in a fresh, filling whole grain meal. It is perfect as a side salad at dinner, or as the star of your packed lunch. Shredded apples & lemon add sweetness and flavor.
Hi friends! I have the perfect transitional (summer to autumn) salad for all of us to make this weekend. ♡
It’s loaded up with high-protein quinoa, pomegranate arils, fresh parsley, lots of lemon (zest and juice), and a small heap of apple for sweetness and late summer–early fall flavor.
It’s a vibrant, feel-good, dinner time joy of a salad that’s easy to whip up in a matter of minutes. Leftovers (try to save some!) will make lunch time at work a very happy repast, too.
Let’s make some salad!
Oil-Free Apple Quinoa Salad Ingredients
Before we get to the recipe, here are the ingredients you will need to make this salad!
- Cooked Quinoa: I used a multi-colored quinoa in the recipe, but any variety or color of quinoa will work. You will need to make the quinoa ahead of time and chill it until cold; you can do this up to several days ahead to make things easy.
- Tart-Sweet Apple: One large (or two small) tart-sweet apples, preferably chilled, but it is ok if they are not. (I will get to what you will do with these next).
- Pomegranate Arils (Seeds): I made this salad the seeds from one large pomegranate. If you cannot find fresh pomegranates, you can sub dried cherries or dried cranberries.
- Fresh parsley: This recipe calls for a generous amount of fresh flat-leaf parsley–it adds lots of bright flavor to the salad.
- Lemon: I used the grated zest and juice of one medium-large lemon.
- Salt & Pepper: Finally, I love this salad with plenty of salt and pepper for seasoning. Add what you like, to taste.
How to Make This Salad
To make this apple quinoa salad, simply…
- Throw everything in a bowl.
- Toss to combine.
- Season with salt & pepper.
- Serve it up right away while the salad is nice and fresh!
Use Shredded Apple in Place of Oil for Dressing
So, I glossed over an important part of the salad: the dressing. Or, more specifically, the absence of dressing.
You know those grain salads of yore that had 1 cup of olive oil added to them? You spoon up some salad and hold it, hovering above the bowl for several minutes, until the dressing drains? And then all of that dressing ends up down the drain once the salad is gone?
Well, forget about that. This refreshing salad has no oil at all. Nada. Fresh + frugal is the name of the game here. And in place of an oil slick of vinaigrette is a mini mountain of freshly shredded, tart-sweet apple!
Lots of lemon juice goes in, too, both for flavor and to prevent the the apples from browning. Easy. Peasy.
Happy eats, everyone!