Delicious Cranberry and Almond Quinoa Salad Recipe

If you’re looking for a delicious and healthy way to switch up your lunch or dinner routine, look no further! This Cranberry Almond Quinoa (or Couscous) Salad Recipe is the perfect dish to satisfy your taste buds and keep you feeling satisfied for hours.

What I love about this recipe is how versatile it is – you can use quinoa or couscous, depending on your preference or dietary needs. Plus, it’s loaded with nutrient-dense ingredients that will leave you feeling energized and nourished. From the protein-packed quinoa to the antioxidant-rich cranberries, this salad has everything your body needs to thrive.

But don’t just take my word for it – once you try this dish for yourself, you’ll see why it’s become a staple in my household. So, grab your apron and let’s get cooking – I promise you won’t regret it!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Cranberry Almond Quinoa (Or Couscous) Salad
Cranberry Almond Quinoa (Or Couscous) Salad

Are you looking for a healthy and delicious dish to add to your recipe collection? Look no further than my Cranberry Almond Quinoa (Or Couscous) Salad Recipe. This recipe is not only easy to make but it’s also customizable, allowing you to adjust the ingredients to suit your tastes.

One of the reasons why you’ll love this recipe is because it’s packed full of nutritious ingredients. From the protein-rich quinoa to the antioxidant-rich cranberries and the heart-healthy olive oil, this dish is sure to leave you feeling both satisfied and nourished. And if you’re gluten-free or following a low FODMAP or vegan diet, don’t worry – this recipe can easily be adapted to meet your needs.

But what really sets this dish apart is its versatility. Whether you choose to make it with quinoa or couscous, the tangy flavors of the cranberry almond dressing pair perfectly with a variety of vegetables, making it a great way to use up whatever veggies you have on hand. Plus, it’s easy to swap out ingredients or adjust the seasonings to make it your own.

So why wait? Give my Cranberry Almond Quinoa (Or Couscous) Salad Recipe a try and discover just how delicious healthy eating can be.

Ingredient List

 A burst of flavor in every bite!
A burst of flavor in every bite!

Here’s what you’ll need to make Cranberry Almond Quinoa Salad:

Quinoa Salad:
– 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
– 2 cups water
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon pepper
– 3/4 cup dried cranberries
– 1 cup frozen green beans

Cranberry Almond Couscous Salad:
– 1 cup couscous
– 1 cup boiling water
– 3/4 teaspoon salt
– 3/4 teaspoon garlic cloves, minced
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 green onion, finely chopped
– 1/2 cup sliced almonds
– 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Salad Ingredients:
– 4 cups chopped kale or spinach leaves
– 1 diced butternut squash (optional)
– 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
– 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
– 1/4 cup green onions, sliced

Note: You may substitute couscous for the quinoa. To make this salad gluten-free, ensure you use gluten-free couscous or quinoa. Cranberries also try dried cherries as an alternative in this recipe.

The Recipe How-To

 Colorful, nutritious and delicious!
Colorful, nutritious and delicious!

Let’s start with a step-by-step guide to making this delicious Cranberry Almond Quinoa Salad. This recipe yields four servings, so if you are looking to feed a larger group, feel free to adjust the quantities accordingly.


  • 1 cup of quinoa (rinsed)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of frozen green beans (thawed and chopped into small pieces)
  • 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
  • 2 green onions (sliced thinly)
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds


  1. In a saucepan, add the rinsed quinoa, water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for about 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Once done, removed from heat and let it cool for about five minutes.

  2. While the quinoa cooks, in a skillet over medium-high heat, heat up olive oil and add in the chopped green beans. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about two minutes or until the beans are tender crisp. Once done, remove from heat and set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, cooked green beans, sliced green onions, slivered almonds (set aside only half for serving) and dried cranberries.

  4. Dress your salad up with your favorite dressing or you may use the following: combine all ingredients below

    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon honey
  5. Toss all ingredients together until it is completely combined with the dressing.

  6. You may add additional toppings including diced apple or butternut squash.

  7. Finally, serve the salad on its own or as a side dish to your favorite entree! Sprinkle remaining slivered almonds on top for added texture and crunchiness.

The great thing about this salad is that it can be enjoyed immediately after tossing all ingredients together, chilled in the fridge or served at room temperature. If you decide to refrigerate beforehand, increase the amount of your preferred dressing beforehand as it will absorb quite a bit overnight.

Substitutions and Variations

 Perfect holiday season salad!
Perfect holiday season salad!

One of the great things about this Cranberry Almond Quinoa Salad Recipe is its versatility. You can easily substitute some ingredients or add new ones to create a unique and delicious variation.

If you’re gluten-free, you may substitute couscous for quinoa in this recipe. You can also use other grains like bulgur or even brown rice. The result will be equally delicious and healthy.

In terms of dried fruits, you can try substituting dried cherries with cranberries. Raisins or chopped dates are also tasty options. And if you want to add some texture and crunch to this salad, try adding chopped walnuts, pecans, or pistachios instead of slivered almonds.

Vegetables can also be swapped out. If green beans are not your favorite, consider swapping them out for roasted butternut squash or diced carrots. Chopped greens such as kale, spinach, or arugula would be perfect for a variation on this salad.

For the dressing, you may replace olive oil with avocado oil or any other healthy fat that you prefer. To give it a bit of a Moroccan-inspired twist, try adding cumin, paprika, or turmeric when making the dressing.

The possibilities are endless with this recipe! Don’t hesitate to experiment and make it your own by using your favorite ingredients and flavors.

Serving and Pairing

 A tasty way to get your protein and fiber!
A tasty way to get your protein and fiber!

Cranberry almond quinoa salad is perfect as a side dish or main course. I highly recommend serving this salad at your next dinner party or holiday gathering. The sweet and tangy flavors of the dried cranberries pair perfectly with the nuttiness of the slivered almonds, and the quinoa offers a hearty, satisfying base.

To elevate your presentation, I suggest arranging the salad on a large platter and garnishing it with a handful of fresh herbs, such as mint or parsley. Alternatively, you could serve it in individual bowls for a more intimate dining experience.

When it comes to pairing this dish with other flavors, there are several options that would complement its taste profile. If you’re serving this alongside a meat dish, try pairing it with roasted chicken or turkey breast. For vegetarians or vegans, consider serving it alongside roasted vegetables, such as butternut squash, sweet potatoes or roasted carrots.

For even more flavor exploration, try adding some crumbled feta cheese on top or drizzling some balsamic glaze over the salad right before serving.

In terms of beverages, a crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc pairs nicely with the tangy cranberries and herbaceous quinoa. You could also serve a light red wine like Pinot Noir if you prefer something a little richer.

Overall, cranberry almond quinoa salad is an incredibly versatile dish that can be paired with a variety of different foods and drinks. Its slightly sweet and nutty flavors make it a crowd-pleaser that’s sure to impress your guests!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Can be served hot or cold!
Can be served hot or cold!

Preparing ahead of time can make hosting a gathering a lot less stressful. This Cranberry Almond Quinoa Salad Recipe is perfect for those who want to plan ahead for their events or prepare food for the week.

The recipe can be made 2 to 3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. However, it is important to note that if you are using couscous instead of quinoa, it will only last up to 2 days in the fridge. If you are making a big batch, it is best to store the salad and dressing separately, so that the salad doesn’t get soggy.

If you do store this salad in advance, there might be a need to add extra dressing before serving as quinoa or couscous can dry out over time. Simply toss in some extra olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper before serving.

If you have leftovers or want to prepare the dish even further in advance, the Cranberry Almond Quinoa Salad Recipe can be frozen for up to 3 months. Once defrosted, give it a good mix and adjust seasoning as required.

Reheating this salad is easy. Simply microwave or reheat on a stove top until desired temperature is achieved. Be careful though not to overheat or cook for too long as it may alter the texture of ingredients like kale and other leafy greens which may wilt if exposed to heat for too long.

Overall, this recipe stores well and is adaptable to different situations – whether you’re making it for a party or simply meal prepping for work lunches.

Tips for Perfect Results

 A salad that will wow your guests!
A salad that will wow your guests!

To create the perfect Cranberry Almond Quinoa (or Couscous) Salad, there are a few tips that can help you along the way. Here are some crucial suggestions that you will want to keep in mind to make your salad tasty and flavorful.

Firstly, when cooking the quinoa, be sure to rinse it thoroughly before boiling it. This step will remove any residual bitterness and keep the grains fluffy instead of mushy. It’s also essential to cook the grains according to directions carefully. Overcooked quinoa can become too soft and lose its chewy texture.

Secondly, when making the dressing, try using extra-virgin olive oil instead of regular oil for an added kick of flavor. If you’re using couscous instead of quinoa, consider adding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar for an extra tangy taste.

Thirdly, don’t skimp on the seasonings! This recipe is all about the flavors, so be sure to add plenty of salt and pepper for balance. The garlic cloves are also an essential component of this dish, so mince them finely or use a garlic press for a smoother paste.

Fourthly, if you’re looking to change things up from time to time, toss in some cherry tomatoes or diced bell peppers to add even more depth to your salad.

Lastly, top your salad with slivered almonds before serving. Toast them slightly for added crunchiness; it’ll take your salad to another level.

Using these tips, you’ll be able to create a perfect Cranberry Almond Quinoa (or Couscous) Salad every time. Enjoy!


As I’ve shared my recipe for a hearty Cranberry Almond Quinoa (or Couscous) Salad, you might have had concerns or questions about some ingredients, the preparation process, or the possible variations of this salad. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and their corresponding answers to provide more insights and help you make the most out of this dish.

Does quinoa go with couscous?

Here’s a creative twist on the classic Mediterranean green-and-grain salad, featuring unexpected spices and the ever-healthy superfood, quinoa. Don’t miss out on this delicious and nutritious dish!

Can I substitute couscous for quinoa in salad?

If you’re looking for a simple and tasty substitution for cold salads, swapping couscous with quinoa is a great option. Keep in mind, the flavor will not be exactly the same as couscous has a milder taste while quinoa has a nuttier flavor. All you need to do is replace one cup of cooked couscous with one cup of cooked quinoa. Give it a try and see how it elevates the flavors of your salad. This swap can be made any time before December 14th, 2022.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this cranberry almond quinoa (or couscous) salad recipe is a fantastic addition to your meal plan. Not only is it easy to make, but it’s also delicious and healthy. With simple ingredients and minimal preparation time, you’ll have a dish that everyone will love.

Whether you’re serving guests at a party, or just looking for a quick and easy lunch option, this salad recipe is both versatile and adaptable. You can use quinoa or couscous as the base, and swap out ingredients to accommodate different dietary restrictions or preferences.

So why not give this recipe a try? With its combination of textures and flavors – from the sweet dried cranberries to the crunchy slivered almonds – you’re sure to impress your guests and satisfy your taste buds. And with its ease of preparation, you’ll love having this recipe in your back pocket for those busy weeknights.

So get slicing, dicing, and mixing – it’s time to enjoy a delicious cranberry almond quinoa (or couscous) salad!

Cranberry Almond Quinoa (Or Couscous) Salad

Cranberry Almond Quinoa (Or Couscous) Salad Recipe

I got the original recipe from the TV show "Weighing In." I modified it to accomodate my pantry and my allergies. I have tried to indicate the different combinations I've tried and enjoyed.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Healthy
Calories 188.2 kcal


  • 1 cup quinoa (may substitute couscous)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (also try dried blueberries, or dried cherries, or a combination)
  • 1 cup frozen green beans, defrosted (may use fresh)
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped (may also use pecans, walnuts, or a combination)
  • 1/4 cup green onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • Combine the quinoa with 2 cups water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and continue cooking until all water is absorbed. (If using couscous, simply prepare according to directions on package.).
  • In a medium bowl, combine cooked quinoa (or couscous), dried berries, green beans, nuts, and green onions until well mixed.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and garlic until well blended. Pour over the quinoa/couscous mixture. Toss until well blended. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 70gCalories: 188.2kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 5.6gFat: 8.1gSaturated Fat: 0.9gSodium: 222.7mgFiber: 3.9gSugar: 1.3g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Easy, Grains, Vegan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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