Spinach-Quinoa Salad with Cherries and Almonds Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Spinach-Quinoa Salad with Cherries and Almonds

This salad is perfect for picnics because it's filling and won't get soggy. It also works well with couscous or bulgur.



Ingredient Line: 
¼ cup sliced almonds
Ingredient Line: 
1 ½ cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
Ingredient Line: 
2 cups spinach leaves
Ingredient Line: 
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved, or 1 cup dried cherries, chopped
Ingredient Line: 
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into ⅓-inch dice (about 1 ½ cups)
Ingredient Line: 
1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Ingredient Line: 
1 small red onion, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
Ingredient Line: 
¼ cup plain low-fat yogurt
Ingredient Line: 
3 Tbs. olive oil
Ingredient Line: 
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
Ingredient Line: 
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp.)


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread almonds on baking sheet, and toast 7 to 10 minutes, shaking pan occasionally, or until golden brown. Cool.

2. Bring 3 cups salted water to a boil in pot over medium-high heat. Stir in quinoa. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes, or until all liquid has been absorbed.

3. Remove from heat and cool, covered, in pot.

4. Lay 5 or 6 spinach leaves flat on top of one another on cutting board. Roll tightly into cylinder, then slice into slivers. Repeat with remaining spinach.

5. Toss together quinoa, almonds, spinach, cherries, cucumber, chickpeas and red onion in large serving bowl. Whisk together yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic in small bowl. Pour over salad, and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop, then serve.

Nutrition Information: 

11 g
Total Fat: 
12 g
Saturated Fat: 
1 g
52 g
1 mg
492 mg
8 g
10 g
Serves 6

Comments on this Recipe

I love this recipe! I have made it for several parties and picnics--where it's always a hit--and for dinner at home, where my non-veg hubby and I both enjoy it. (As long as we're talking about substitutions and modifications, I once tried replacing quinoa with couscous and cherries with strawberries, and it was a no-go.)

OMG this was amazing!! I added snow pea pods and didn't use chickpeas but wow there is so much flavor I just love it! I blog too and I am going to recommend this to everyone!

This is absolutely delicious - it isn't the season for fresh cherries here in New Zealand now but we have fresh cranberries and I used these. My family - who are non-vegetarians loved it. Will be making this again and again. Many thanks - always love new ideas for Quinoa!!!

This is a wonderful and versatile salad. I made it for a potluck at our church and it was a big hit. I didn't have enough quinoa so I added some spelt berries. I also used greek yogurt for the low fat yogurt. The sweetness of the cherries mixed with the tartness of the lemon juice and yogurt made an explosion of flavor in the mouth. Thanks!

Wow...this is a beautiful and DELICIOUS salad...I had to make a few adjustments: I used a box of 'Near East' brand couscous (pine nut flavor), dried cranberries, canned great northern beans and skipped the cucumber and red onion...my salad turned out wonderfully and was super easy to prepare! This is a 5 star recipe for sure.

delicious and filling salad. used crasins in place of dried cherries since i had them on hand. also subbed greek yogurt for the plain yogurt called for in the recipe. definitely needs more almonds, but other than that, this recipe is a keeper!

I made this and it looks beautiful, but I felt that it was a little bland. Definitely needs a lil salt and pepper. However definitely let it sit a while in the fridge..tastes better next day. Overall, its still a good recipe..it can be tweaked to your own liking.

Delicious recipe that gets rave reviews. I do make these adjustments to the recipe: I double the dressing, use 3/4 cup almonds, and 4 cups spinach. I typically prepare all the ingredients the night before, including the quinoa. I refrigerate all ingredients. In the morning, I mix the salad and refrigerate until serving time. This is a favorite!!!

This is a fabulous recipe! I can't stop eating it or raving about it to my friends! Even my husband likes it! I did add more dressing to keep it moist and substituted craisins for the cherries. A little bit cheaper at the store and I had those on hand. I used low fat sour cream, and forgot to get lemons from the store. But still a tantelizing combination! I will definitely make this again!

I am vegan, so I made this with almond milk and a tablespoon of ground flax seed instead of the yogurt. I also didn't toast the almonds, as I am also a mostly raw foodie. Just chopped them instead of sliced. This dish is delicious! I have also made it with a half-cup of wild rice and 1 cup of quinoa. Awesome!

Delicious recipe that has a little bit of something in it for everyone. I substituted ribbons of baby kale instead of the spinach and it's a winner. Also added some dried cranberries along with the cherries, fantastic!


Tasty, quick, healthy meal. I used frozen cherries; they were soft but textural it worked for me.