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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. It’s quick and easy and a healthy take-along to parties & potlucks!

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 gatherings of all kinds 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.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here’s a quick look at the ingredients, including 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 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 prepare everything.
  • 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, 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.

Top Tips

  • The salad is great, with or without the dressing. 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. It can be cooked a few days before assembly and kept in the refrigerator in a covered container.
  • Chop the celery and grapes a day or two ahead. But be sure to cut the apples only just prior to assembly, as they may brown.
  • Prepare the creamy tahini dressing 1 – 2 days in advance. It will develop in flavor and be even more delicious.

More quinoa salad inspiration!

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

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



5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 5 reviews

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
  • Method: simmer, mix
  • Cuisine: Vegan


  • 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)


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.

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

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

Serves 4 – 6

Store: Leftovers can be stored for 5 – 6 days in the refrigerator.


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.

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  1. This sounds so tasty and just like something my kiddos would eat!

  2. 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!!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thank you, Sandey! Love your additions and so glad everyone enjoyed it! :)

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

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      It’s so good!! Enjoy often :)

  4. 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!

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

  6. Julia Barrantes says:

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

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

  8. 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. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      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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