My niece Leah brought a wonderful salad to add to our Thanksgiving dinner, one that I’ll be sure to ask her to bring again next time she and her husband, Tom, are able to join us. Leah told me that she’d seen this Cranberry Walnut Quinoa Salad recipe floating around on several different websites. The recipe she gave me seems to most closely resemble one found on Epicurious.

This cold salad was a perfect, non-traditional side dish for our traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner. With festive dried cranberries, the salad fit right in with the other foods on the table.


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup frozen green beans or peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions (optional)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic (to taste), minced
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Rinse quinoa in several changes of water.
  2. Bring the 2 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a boil. Add quinoa.
  3. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and continue to cook until all water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool uncovered for 15 minutes.
  4. Combine the cooled, cooked quinoa, dried cranberries, green beans or peas, walnuts and green onion until mixed well.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, oil and garlic until well-blended. Pour over the quinoa mixture. Toss well.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill at least 30 minutes before serving.

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