Quinoa Waldorf Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette


This light Mediterranean-style Quinoa Waldorf Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette calls upon the nutty flavor of walnuts—in both the salad and the vinaigrette. Sweet spices and raisins give this salad a comforting kick, and nourishing quinoa boosts it to one-dish meal territory. With a light walnut vinaigrette, it skips on the creamy, rich dressing you’d typically find in a Waldorf salad. Plus, it’s super easy to make. Just cook up the quinoa, and toss in chopped apples, celery, walnuts, raisins, parsley, seasonings, and the vinaigrette, and you have a satisfying, nutritious, fiber-packed dish in about 15 minutes. I love to take this salad to parties, holiday meals, and potlucks. And it’s great packed up for lunch the next day, as the ingredients stay fresh and crunchy. It keeps in the fridge for several days, too. Serve it with a bowl of lentil soup and slice of rustic whole grain bread for a satisfying, balanced meal.

The recipe is vegan and gluten-free, fitting into lots of different diet patterns. Plus, it’s rich in fiber, plant protein, antioxidant compounds, and healthy fats, compliments of these nutritious ingredients. If you can’t find walnut oil, just substitute olive oil in the recipe. Try different types of apples to switch up the flavor profile. I like Fuji apples in this recipe, but Honeycrisp and Braeburn are really good too. You can even switch the apples for pears for a new twist on a healthy, plant-rich recipe. This recipe was selected as one of the top finalists in a national recipe contest by the California Walnut Commission.


Quinoa Waldorf Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette

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(8 votes, average: 3.75 out of 5)

3.8 from 8 reviews

  • Author: The Plant-Powered Dietitian
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Diet: Vegan

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This is a must-try recipe for a light Mediterranean Quinoa Waldorf Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette, which is 100% plant-based and gluten free!


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 large red-skinned crisp apples (i.e. Fuji, Braeburn), cored, diced, with peel
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil (may substitute with extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt (optional)


  1. Combine cooked quinoa, celery, apples, parsley, walnuts and raisins in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a small dish, whisk together walnut oil (or olive oil), lemon juice, brown sugar, celery salt, white pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, and salt.
  3. Pour vinaigrette over salad ingredients and toss together.
  4. Cover and chill salad until serving time.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 192
  • Sugar: 11 g
  • Sodium: 51 mg
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 27 g
  • Fiber: 4.5 g
  • Protein: 4 g

Keywords: walnuts, walnut, salad, quinoa

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For other plant-based salads, check out some of my favorites recipes:

Spicy Sorghum Avocado Salad
Tofu Kale Power Bowl with Tahini Dressing
Radish Jicama Salad with Lemon Cumin Vinaigrette

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Publisher: Sharon Palmer