Cranberry Apple Quinoa Salad

cranberry apple quinoa salad

This recipe was recreated from our trip to the Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City, Michigan. We immediately fell in love with it and knew I just had to recreate this. This was originally created with a pear vinaigrette not made in house, so I got started on making my own. This was nothing short of amazing!

I was never a big fan of quinoa, but when I had this it made me a believer. The blend of all the flavors together were perfect. With my first try, I cut the apple into slivers. Then on my next batch, i cut the apple into pieces. I much prefer the apple pieces rather than the slivers because you can really get the taste of apples.

The original version also used pecans but I switched out the pecans and used walnuts. If you’re not a fan of walnuts then by all means use slivered almonds..

In addition, I added a few of my Sweet Candied Harvest pumpkin seeds as a garnish, and made my own pear vinaigrette dressing. I also made an Apple Cider dressing to see which one melded together better. Both came out exceptional so you can use either one.

You want to start with uncooked pearl quinoa. Rinse the quinoa for at least 30 seconds using a mesh colander so you do not lose any. In a pot, add 2 cups of water, bring it to a quick boil and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

In the meantime, dice your celery and apple (either in slivers or chunks) and set aside with the dried cranberries and candied pumpkin seeds.

After the quinoa has cooled, place in a large bowl, adding in all other ingredients except the dressing, stirring to combine. Add the pumpkin seeds as a garnish.

Next prepare the pear vinaigrette dressing. Remember dressing should never go into the large bowl with the ingredients because if there are leftovers (there is in this case), you do not want everything to get too soggy. Always pour on individual bowls.

Champagne Pear Dijon Vinaigrette

Scoop the quinoa mixture into salad bowls and garnish with my Sweet Candied Harvest Pumpkin Seeds. Drizzle the dressing over each salad and serve!

cranberry apple quinoa salad

Cranberry Apple Quinoa Salad

Yield: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This recipe was recreated from a trip to the Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City, MI. I fell in love with it and couldn't wait to get home to create this wonderful salad.


  • 1 Cup uncooked Quinoa
  • 2 Cups water
  • 1/2 Cup celery, diced
  • 1/4 Cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 - 3/4 Cup apple, diced in small chunks
  • 1/3 Cup Sweet Candied Harvest Pumpkin Seeds 
  • 1 Cup Champagne Pear Dijon Dressing

Champagne Pear Dijon Dressing

  • 2 ripened Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 6 Tbsp. Champagne Pear Vinegar
  • 1 1/4 Tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 Tsp. sea salt 
  • 1/4 Tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. cold water


  1. Rinse quinoa for 30 seconds under cool water.
  2. Add 2 Cups water to a pot and add quinoa, cooking for 10 minutes.
  3. Drain and set aside to cool
  4. When cooled, place quinoa in a large bowl, adding all other ingredients, except the pumpkin seeds and dressing.
  5. Mix all ingredients well and set aside.
  6. Prepare the pear vinaigrette dressing
  7. Put all ingredients except the Champagne Pear vinegar into a high-speed blender or a food processor with the "S" blade. Process enough to break up the pear.
  8. Add the Champagne Pear vinegar and process on high to emulsify completely - about 1 minute. Should be exceptionally smooth with no chunks.
  9. Serve salad in individual bowls, sprinkling with the candied pumpkin seeds as a garnish. Drizzle the dressing over each bowl individually. Enjoy


You can adjust the amount of the pear vinegar by dipping a leaf into the dressing to taste.  *You can use either a pear vinegar or a champagne pear vinegar which is available on Amazon.  If you cannot find pear vinegar you can substitute apple cider vinegar, but the taste is different.  This stores well in the refrigerator for two weeks.  

If using on a Pasta salad or regular salad,  drizzle on individual servings rather than the whole salad as it can makes the salad soggy if not all consumed.  If using canned pears, the consistency will be slightly different, but the taste is the same  It will be somewhat thinner.

Did you make this recipe? We'd love to hear from you!

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Michele Wallace

Entrepreneur and author of A Plant-Based Michele has also earned her Plant-Based Nutrition Certification from eCornell University. The book is an easy and complete guide for those wanting to get healthy and offers step-by-step instructions, including over 85 delicious and healthy recipes.
A Plant-Based Revolution is dedicated to whole food plant-based nutrition.

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