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Cure the Holiday Blues with Blueberry Quinoa Salad

Holiday pressures got you feeling blue? If you don’t celebrate Christmas, or if you’re just plain sick of red and green overload, you might need a simple change of color. This blueberry quinoa salad is so colorful it might change your meal plan and your mood.

Blueberry Quinoa Salad

Blueberry Quinoa Salad – easy, delicious, and vegan!

Bonus: It’s got such a nice “pop” of unexpected color, your kids might be more willing to eat this than a traditional green salad. (Isn’t there something just so much fun about a food that’s green and purple and blue?)

blueberry quinoa salad

Blueberry Quinoa Salad

Blueberry Quinoa Salad

A delicious salad of blueberries and quinoa that can serve as a hearty side or main dish.

Course Main Dish/Side Dish, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword blueberry, quinoa, salad, side dish
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar (May substitute 1 tbsp agave syrup)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup purple cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cashew pieces
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa with 2 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the quinoa from the heat, stir it to fluff it up, and set it aside to cool.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, brown sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Set aside.

  3. When the quinoa has cooled, place it in a large bowl and mix it with the green onions, purple cabbage, cashew pieces, and blueberries. Add the dressing, stir to combine, and add additional salt to taste. Serve immediately, or chill until ready to serve.

A few thoughts: One, make sure the quinoa is cool before you add the fresh ingredients. (You don’t want them to cook.)

Two, if you’re going to make this ahead of time, add the cashews at the end. (Otherwise they lose their crunch.)

Three, fresh, unfrozen blueberries are best. But if you don’t have access to fresh blueberries, try it with dried blueberries (or cranberries).

Here’s a funny postscript. Our original plan was to serve this as a side dish with grilled chicken. But certain husbands (ahem) loved it so much that they ate it all for lunch. No worries; we’ll make more. It’s testament to the fact that this salad is as good standing alone as it is as a side dish.

P.S. Love a hearty side dish – especially if it’s vegetarian or vegan? Check our our Plant-Based Thanksgiving Dishes roundup for many more great ideas.

P.P.S. Looking for something else non-traditional to do with blueberries? You have to try these Blueberry Banana Gingersnap S’mores.

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11 Responses to Cure the Holiday Blues with Blueberry Quinoa Salad

  1. Dorothy at ShockinglyDelicious December 13, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    What a pretty salad! I want that!

    • Jeanne December 13, 2012 at 10:24 am #

      Thanks, Dorothy! Dave agrees with you – after having eaten it all! ; )

  2. Jenn@slim-shoppin December 13, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    I love quinoa and totally love this recipe! It looks amazing!

    • Jeanne December 13, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

      Thanks, Jenn!

  3. Malin December 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    this looks sooo good! And so pretty! Fresh and fruity – love it!

    • Jeanne December 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by, Malin!

  4. K&B December 13, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

    I’ve always thought of quinoa as a savory dish, but looking at your dish changes my perspective. Quinoa is delicious either way !


  5. Meshel December 14, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

    Do you add the blueberries at the end? How much? They appear to be missing from the recipe *smile*. It sounds marvelous!

    • Jeanne December 14, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

      Yes – 1 cup of fresh blueberries. Thanks for the catch – It’s all fixed now!

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