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Zesty Apricot & Almond Quinoa Salad

Updated on February 23, 2016
Quinoa salad
Quinoa salad | Source

A Healthy, Tasty and Versatile Food

This healthy dish is delish! I first tried it at a potluck and then emailed my friend who'd made it to get her recipe.

Quinoa is a great base for all kinds of ingredients. Quinoa salad can be eaten as a side dish for any meal of the day or, with an added ingredient or two, a main dish, especially for brunch or lunch.

Following the recipe below, I've included suggestions for substitutions and additions, but quinoa is a very versatile main ingredient, so feel free to be creative.

How Do You Pronounce Quinoa?

I thought it was pronounced "kin-o-ah," but it's actually pronounced "KEEN-wah" or "KEE-no-uh."

Quinoa | Source

What Exactly IS Quinoa?

Quinoa is a chenopod, which is a grain-like crop that's actually related to beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds. Its leaves are also eaten as a leaf vegetable, but quinoa greens are rarely sold commercially. The quinoa product sold in most grocery stores is the grain or seeds, which are high in protein.

Quinoa is an ancient grain, cultivated by the Incas, which is still grown extensively in the Andean region of South America.

According to Wikipedia, "Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), and like oats, quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source among plant foods. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned spaceflights."

The Quinoa Plant -- Chenopodium quinoa

The Quinoa Plant -- Chenopodium quinoa
The Quinoa Plant -- Chenopodium quinoa | Source

Make Zesty Apricot & Almond Quinoa Salad

Cook Time

Prep Time:

Total Time:

Serves: 4


  • 1 cup of rinsed and drained quinoa
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots diced into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 shallot finely chopped (2 Tbsp.)
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbs. chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
  • 1 Tbs. grated orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 oranges with peels removed and cut into sections
  • 1/4 tsp. salt


  1. Toast the almonds in a dry skillet or toaster oven, or until pale brown and fragrant, stirring often. (About 5 minutes.)
  2. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the quinoa and salt, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender and almost all the water is absorbed.
  3. Drain and transfer to large bowl. Toss with apricots and raisins.
  4. Whisk together the orange juice, shallot, parsley, cilantro, mint, orange zest, cumin, and coriander. Whisk in the oil. Pour this dressing over the quinoa and toss to coat. Garnish with orange slices and toasted almonds.
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 cup
Calories 383
Calories from Fat117
% Daily Value *
Fat 13 g20%
Saturated fat 1 g5%
Carbohydrates 61 g20%
Sugar 22 g
Fiber 7 g28%
Protein 9 g18%
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 161 mg7%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
5 stars from 1 rating of My Recipe for Zesty, Healthy Quinoa Salad
Quinoa salad alternatives
Quinoa salad alternatives | Source

Quinoa Salad Additions and Substitutions

And some ingredients you can leave out if you want

  • Add 1-1/2 cups of chickpeas and cut the oil in half to lower the fat content.
  • Add 1 cup pomegranate arils
  • Omit the shallot and add a little ginger.
  • Replace the raisins with craisins.
  • Leave out the mint.
  • Substitute chopped, dried cherries for the raisins.
  • Substitute mango for orange

A Quinoa Cookbook: A Simple but Very Versatile Food

The Quinoa Cookbook: Over 70 Great Quinoa Recipes
The Quinoa Cookbook: Over 70 Great Quinoa Recipes

This cookbook offers a selection of easy-to-prepare, nutritious, savory and sweet Quinoa recipes. In addition to traditional recipes using the Quinoa grain, there are recipes using Quinoa flour, Quinoa flakes, Quinoa polenta and Quinoa pasta, plus nutritional tips on the nutritional value of Quinoa and the benefits of incorporating this grain into your diet.


Do You Like Quinoa? - A visitor poll

What do you think of quinoa?

See results

Have Quinoa Shipped to Your Door

Save by buying in bulk.

If you find you like to use quinoa as a base, it's more economical to buy in bulk, and it's not like it will go bad. Store it in an airtight plastic or glass container in a dark, cool place.

Bob's Red Mill Organic Grain Quinoa, 26 Ounce Packages (Pack of 4)
Bob's Red Mill Organic Grain Quinoa, 26 Ounce Packages (Pack of 4)

Case of four 26-ounce packages (104 total ounces)

Made from pure organic quinoa

An excellent source of protein, calcium, and iron

Certified organic; a nutritious whole grain substitute for rice

Made from South American-grown quinoa and packaged in Milwaukie, Oregon


Harvesting quinoa

Harvesting quinoa
Harvesting quinoa | Source

The people pictured above are Fairtrade Certified quinoa producers in Ecuador.

© 2011 Deb Kingsbury

Do You Like To Cook With Quinoa?

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    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 5 years ago

      Love quinoa AND your recipe. Shared ( printed out, and will be making it for the family.

    • LadyFlashman profile image

      LadyFlashman 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      I have recently decided that eating sugary breakfast cereal is BAD, so every morning I have quinoa with black forest fruits, pecan nuts and a teaspoon of honey (recipe is in 101 Cookbooks, an awesome blog). It keeps me full until lunch without a major sugar crash. I shall have to try your salad recipe next!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      This recipe really sounds great. I'm making my shopping list and heading to the grocery store pronto. Thanks!

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 5 years ago

      Thank you for adding a link to my quinoa cookies recipes.

    • M Schaut profile image

      Margaret Schaut 5 years ago from Detroit

      I love the old grains and enjoy having them be a big part of my diet. Good recipe!

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 5 years ago from Templeton, CA

      We practically live on quinoa salad variations.

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 5 years ago

      I've never used or eaten Quinoa, but I've read a lot about it and I'm going to give it a try one of these days. Quite possibly very soon now that I've realized how easy it will be to prepare. Very useful and enjoyable lens here. Thanks so much!

    • orange3 lm profile image

      orange3 lm 6 years ago

      I love Quinoa! Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    • JackieBlock profile image

      Jackie Block 6 years ago from SE Michigan

      I like quinoa, and am experimenting with using it in various recipes. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I've been looking for ideas on Quinoa. I know I should have it in my regular diet but get stuck for what to actually do with it. Thanks!

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      I have only used it once or twice. I really have to watch my carbs and I don't enjoy rice or pasta, but I found quinoa quite delicious. I should try your recipe.