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Berry Cherry Quinoa Salad

Berry-Cherry Quinoa Salad with Candied Walnuts and Balsamic-Shallot Vinaigrette

  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 2 entree salads or 4 side salads 1x


This sweet and savory summertime salad is filling and full of healthy ingredients. It is light and refreshing and yet loaded with flavor. This recipe makes two entree salads or four side salad. There will be leftover dressing that can be stored and used on future salads. It is vegan, gluten-free and has a nut-free option.


  • Candied Walnuts*
  • 1 cup raw unsalted walnuts
  • 1/2 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Balsamic-Shallot Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small shallot (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Salad Ingredients
  • 4 cups baby romaine or mixed greens (about 5-6 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 cup fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  • 4 fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (see my post on How to Make Perfectly Cooked Quinoa)
  • 1/2 cup red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds (optional for added protein)


  1. Prepare the candied walnuts: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Place the walnuts, avocado oil, maple syrup and salt in a small mixing bowl and stir to coat evenly. Place on a small baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread the walnuts out so they are not touching. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet.
  2. Prepare the dressing: While the candied walnuts cook, prepare the vinaigrette. Place oil, vinegar, shallot, maple syrup, Dijon mustard and salt in a mini food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Set side.
  3. Plate your salads: If preparing two entree salads, divide the salad ingredients between two large plates or bowls. Start with the lettuce and then layer on the blueberries, cherries, strawberries, quinoa, red onions, avocado and hemp seeds (if using). Divide the cooled, candied walnuts between the two salads. Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of vinaigrette on each salad, toss and enjoy. You will have dressing leftover for future salads. Store dressing in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Shake vigorously before serving.


* for a nut-free version use my Sweet & Salty Roasted Pumpkin Seeds in place of the Candied Walnuts.

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Category: Salad