Quinoa Apple Waldorf Salad – Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian

This light Mediterranean-style Quinoa Apple Waldorf Salad with a light Waldorf salad dressing calls upon the nutty flavor of walnuts. The Waldorf salad ingredients include sweet spices, apples, celery, parsley, and raisins for a comforting kick, plus nourishing quinoa which boosts it to one-dish meal territory. With a light vinaigrette, it skips on the creamy, rich dressing you’d typically find in a Waldorf salad recipe. Plus, it’s super easy to make! Just cook up the quinoa, and toss in chopped apples, celery, walnuts, raisins, parsley, seasonings, and the vinaigrette, and you have a satisfying, nutritious, fiber-packed dish in about 20 minutes.

Quinoa Apple Waldorf Salad

I love to take this salad to parties, holiday meals, and potlucks. And it’s great packed up for lunch the next day, as the ingredients stay fresh and crunchy. It keeps in the fridge for several days. Serve this Quinoa Apple Waldorf Salad with a bowl of lentil soup and slice of rustic whole grain bread for a satisfying, balanced meal.

Quinoa Apple Waldorf Salad

The Waldorf salad recipe is vegan and gluten-free, fitting into lots of different diet patterns. Plus, this healthy salad is rich in fiber, plant protein, antioxidant compounds, and healthy fats, compliments of these nutritious ingredients. If you can find walnut oil for the vinaigrette, it’s really good; but if can’t just substitute olive oil in the dressing recipe. Try different types of apples to switch up the flavor profile. I like Fuji apples in this recipe, but Honeycrisp and Braeburn are really good too. You can even switch the apples for pears for a new twist on a healthy, plant-rich recipe. This recipe was selected as one of the top finalists in a national recipe contest by the California Walnut Commission.

Here’s what’s in this salad.

Quinoa Apple Waldorf Salad



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This Quinoa Apple Waldorf Salad is a healthy, gluten-free, vegan, Mediterranean twist on typical heavy Waldorf salad recipes you’ll find out there.

Waldorf Salad:

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked (may use beige, red, or multicolor)
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 large red-skinned crisp apples (i.e. Fuji, Braeburn), cored, diced, with peel
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup raisins

Waldorf Salad Dressing:

  1. Add quinoa and water to small pot. Cover and cook over medium heat about 15 minutes, until tender. Drain any remaining water and fluff with a fork. Cool.

  2. While quinoa is cooking, assemble the rest of the ingredients.

  3. Add celery, apples, parsley, walnuts, and raisins to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  4. To make the dressing, whisk together walnut oil (or olive oil), lemon juice, brown sugar, celery salt, white pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, and salt (if using) in a small dish.
  5. Add cooled quinoa to the salad and toss together gently. Pour dressing over salad ingredients and toss together gently to distribute.

  6. Serve immediately or cover and chill salad until serving time.

  7. Makes 10 servings (about 1 cup each).

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 153
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Sodium: 41 mg
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 22 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 3 g

Keywords: waldorf salad, waldorf salad ingredients, waldorf salad dressing

For other plant-based salads, check out some of my favorites recipes:

Mandarin, Quinoa, and Kale Bowl
Arugula Salad with Radishes and Avocado and Truffle Lemon Vinaigrette
Italian Chopped Salad
Nicoise Salad with Tofu
Jewel Winter Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

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