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APPLE QUINOA SALAD + TAHINI MAPLE DRESSING

Apple Quinoa Salad is a delicious combination of apples, grapes, nuts, mint and a hint of cinnamon with a creamy tahini maple dressing for a healthy, fiber filled lunch, dinner or snack! Great for parties & potlucks too!

top down view of healthy vegan apple quinoa salad recipe with grapes, mint and sweet tahini dressing in a serving bowl.

Bring in the autumn with this delicious Apple Quinoa Salad recipe with Tahini Maple Dressing!

A little sweet, a little tart, and then a little more juicy sweetness, this fruit filled quinoa salad is a wonderful mix of light and refreshing flavors!

The salad can be made in one pot and uses common ingredients, so you can whip it up anytime! It’s great for parties and get-togethers, and stores well for weekly meal prep too.

So without further ado, let’s get to it!

top down view of the ingredients used to make apple quinoa salad.

Apple Harvest Quinoa Salad Ingredients

Here’s a quick look at the ingredients, plus a few ideas on how to change it up to suit your needs.

  • Quinoa – Use your favorite colored quinoa. I used a tri-color.
  • Apples – Stick with crisp apples such as granny smith, fuji or honey crisp, using any combo you like, red and/or green.
  • Grapes – All types of grapes will work – green, red or dark purple. I used red for a nice pop of color.
  • Celery – Adds a nice cool and crunchy flavor and texture.
  • Dried Fruit – Raisins (regular or jumbo) or cranberries can be used.
  • Nuts – Slivered almonds, pistachios, walnuts or pecans all work great in this apple quinoa salad, use your favorite. I used a combo of almonds and pistachios and it was delicious!
  • Cinnamon – This warming spice adds a nice fall flavor.
  • Mint – I love the mint in this quinoa salad, it’s a perfect compliment to all the ingredients.
  • Lemon – For a touch of brightness and juiciness.
  • Dressing – The dressing is a mix of tahini, water, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar.
  • Optional add ins – Toss in a handful of baby spinach, kale or arugula for a leafy green freshness. Grated carrots will also add a nice pop of color!

top down view of ingredients added to a bowl and ready to mix.

How To Make Apple Quinoa Salad

  • Start by cooking the quinoa. This takes about 25 minutes from start to finish, so you’ll have plenty of time to get everything ready.
  • Prep the apples and grapes. Slice the grapes in half and cut, core and dice the apples.
  • Make the tahini maple dressing. In a small bowl combine the tahini, water, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar.
  • Assemble the salad. Toss the quinoa, apples, grapes, dried fruit, nuts, cinnamon, mint, salt and pepper, and toss well to mix. Serve as is or pour the creamy dressing overtop and mix.

Once combined all together, this apple quinoa salad is full of flavor, texture and simple deliciousness in every bite. And, it’s 100% good for you!

side angle view of sweet tahini dressing being poured over apple quinoa salad.

Best Tips For Apple Quinoa Salad

  • Without the tahini maple dressing this salad can stand alone, especially with the nice hint of cinnamon, but let me tell you, a good drizzle of this dressing adds a whole new layer of yum factor! I also couldn’t help myself from using it as a dip for sliced apples.
  • Cook the quinoa ahead of time. The quinoa can be cooked a few days before assembling and kept in the refrigerator, in a covered container.
  • Chop the celery and grapes a day or two ahead. But be sure to only cut the apples just prior to assembly as the my brown.
  • Prepare the creamy tahini dressing 1 – 2 days in advance. It will develop in flavor and be even more delicious.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 – 5 days.

More quinoa salad inspiration

top down view of a white bowl with a serving of healthy vegan apple quinoa salad.

If you try this apple quinoa salad recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

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APPLE QUINOA SALAD + TAHINI MAPLE DRESSING

Apple Quinoa Salad features apples, grapes, celery, raisins and almonds tossed with heart healthy quinoa and a sweet tahini dressing. It’s a flavor sensation to enjoy often!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 - 6 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup quinoa (I used tri-color)
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • 2 large apples, cored and diced (1 green + 1 red, or 2 same color)
  • 1 1/2 cups grapes, sliced in half
  • 1 celery rib, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup raisins (or cranberries)
  • 1/4 cup almonds (slivered or chopped)
  • a few large mint leaves, julienned
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Sweet Tahini Dressing

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 12 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar, or to taste (optional)

Instructions

Quinoa: Rinse your quinoa in a fine mesh sieve. In a medium size pot, add water and quinoa, bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove cover and let set 15 minutes, fluff with a fork.

Dressing: While quinoa is cooking, prepare your dressing by combining ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside to let the flavors relax into each other. Add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to thin as needed. To thicken add more tahini. It should be thin enough to drizzle. Dressing serves four.

Salad: Core and dice apples, top with lemon juice and toss gently (I did this right on the cutting board to not dirty up another bowl). Prepare the remaining ingredients. Add the apples, grapes, celery, raisins, almonds, mint leaves and cinnamon to the quinoa, mix well. Taste for flavor adding more cinnamon if you like.

Spoon into serving dishes and serve with a good drizzle of the sweet tahini dressing.

Serves 4 – 6

Notes

I used 1 granny smith and 1 fuji apple. Feel free to use your favorite apples.

This recipe is just a template, feel free to try these ideas:

  • Sub in unsweetened cranberries for the raisins (I use raisins because they contain no added sugars and I can find organic ones easily).
  • Opt to leave the celery or grapes out using just apples (or use any combo you like).
  • Add in a grated carrot for more color.
  • Add more cinnamon if you like.
  • Use pecans, pistachios or walnuts instead of almonds.
  • Try adding a handful of leafy greens such as baby arugula, spinach or kale.

Have fun playing around with this making it your own.

Store at room temperature if eating within a few hours or store in the refrigerator until ready.

Updated: Apple Quinoa Salad was first published October 2013 and has been updated December 2019 with new photos and helpful tips. The only changes made to the recipe was reducing the amount of tahini and water for the dressing.

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12 Comments

  1. After searching the internet for just the right vegan salad to bring to a Thanksgiving pot luck supper ,I decided upon this lovely recipe…. It was perfect! It was the hit of the supper! I added a fresh persimmon which made the colors pop even more, threw in some raw sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries….I doubled the recipe because it was a large crowd… many guests took home extra helpings in ziploc baggies!! I felt like a rock star! Thanks so much for this great recipe!! I love your recipes!!

  2. JANE MATTHIS says:

    Oh yum! Just made the Tahini sauce… Thank you Julie!!!!! Y U M!

  3. Veronique says:

    I have made this recipe Apple Harvest Quinoa at least 5 times since finding it. I did change it up just a bit by omitting the grapes and using 1 1/2 apples instead of two. I use currants instead of raisins since currants are lower in sugar; however I do realize they are harder to find. Aside from that I make it as noted here. I liked it so much I have added it to my own blog and of course giving credit to The Simple Veganista :) The sweet Tahini sauce???? What can I say; it packs a really big YUM factor. Thank you!

  4. My main food groups lately have been: apples, grapes, tahini, and cinnamon. So this salad just seems like a natural progression. :)

  5. Julia Barrantes says:

    I've just tried this out and it is amazing!!! The cinnamon makes the whole thing perfect.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I tried this and love it~ The tahini dressing really give the salad a "hearty" texture. Very yum!

  7. lysa jordan says:

    mmm…I love tahini dressings..and this one looks perfectly creamy and savory ! Yum!

  8. Bean A Foodie says:

    Mmmm this looks awesome! Perfect for a bring-along lunch for work! Definitely will make this dish over the weekend!!!

  9. Bernadett says:

    Oh, I can see tomorrow's breakfast :) I'll add 1 pear in place of 1 apple and some dried apricots but otherwise keep the recipe, which sounds really great!

    1. A pear sounds wonderful, just what I was thinking to add in there as well. And the addition of apricots sound great too!

  10. I love everything about this recipe! I will have to give it a try and I have everything in stock to make it.

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