This simple and flavorful Moroccan Quinoa Salad is filled with quinoa, almonds, fresh herbs, dried cranberries, and an easy homemade dressing for the perfect meal-prepped lunch or colorful dinner dish!
If you've tried my Sweet and Spiced Quinoa Lentil Salad, this recipe is a similar vibe, but it's prepared differently. The Quinoa Lentil Salad is one of my oldest and most popular recipes on the blog (and in my kitchen!), but I've been making it a new way lately so I thought I'd update the original. This Moroccan Quinoa Salad is fantastic for meal-prepping as a lunch and since it travels well, you can pack it up for a picnic or busy day on the go. I also love it as a side with dinner...or with chickpeas added in for a filling main dish! In this post you'll find:
- Ingredients in Moroccan Quinoa Salad
- Easy Homemade Dressing
- All About Quinoa
- How to Add Vegan Protein to Moroccan Quinoa Salad
Ingredients in Moroccan Quinoa Salad
This is a really, really easy dish to prepare! It's got just a couple simple ingredients that combine to pack a delicious punch...my favorite kind of recipe! You could prep the quinoa and dressing ahead of time so it's ready to quickly toss together when you're hungry.
- Perfectly Cooked Quinoa - Quinoa is the base for this delicious Moroccan salad! One cup of dry quinoa will produce three cooked cups, the perfect amount for this recipe. If you have an Instant Pot, you can make quinoa in minutes with my Instant Pot method.
- Green onions (scallions) - Dice your green onions small! You could also opt for ¼ cup red onion for beautiful color.
- Fresh herbs - I use both parsley and cilantro with the stems removed, diced into fine pieces that will mix into every bite.
- Sliced almonds - A little crunch in a fresh salad is a must! I love the protein and flavor boost sliced almonds add to this dish.
- Dried cranberries - This gives the salad a sweet contrast and adds a chewy texture that's addictive. I always go for unsweetened dried cranberries since their natural flavor is already so good! You could also use apple juice sweetened dried cranberries, diced Medjool dates, dried cherries or finely diced fresh apple.
Easy Homemade Dressing
I absolutely swear by making dressings from scratch in your own kitchen! You can perfectly adjust and fine-tune the flavors so it's exactly how you like it, and you're avoiding so many artificial sweeteners and preservatives. I usually measure dressing ingredients into a Mason jar, put a lid on, and shake it up. Then it can be stored in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it! This dressing contains extra virgin olive oil, a fresh lime, pure maple syrup, and a couple spices for the perfect Moroccan flavor: turmeric, curry, salt, and pepper.
All About Quinoa
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is an incredible base for so many of my meals. I always make Perfectly Cooked Quinoa in the Instant Pot since it takes just a couple minutes and produces fluffy quinoa every time! Quinoa is filling and nutritious; it's loaded with fiber (over five grams in one serving!) and is considered a complete protein with all eight essential amino acids. It actually has more protein than any other grain, which is so important for vegans! Quinoa is also a good source of folate, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, and many phytochemicals in addition to containing calcium, potassium, copper, and zinc.
How to Add Vegan Protein to Moroccan Quinoa Salad
This salad has a good amount of protein thanks to almonds, which are also low in carbohydrates and offer a good source of fiber, healthy fats, vitamin E and magnesium. I love knowing why certain foods are so much better for our bodies...it's one of the reasons I got a Master of Public Health degree and became a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) through the National Commission of Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC). If you're hoping to add even more plant-based protein to your diet, I'd suggest adding canned black lentils or chickpeas into this dish. You could also serve with my Sweet and Spiced Roasted Chickpeas! It's even great served with or overtop a Simple Side Salad.
This easy Moroccan Quinoa Salad offers plant-based protein and a variety of nutrients, it's easy to make, and absolutely delicious! It's vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and contains no refined sugar. I hope you make it, and if you do, please tag me on Instagram so I can see! You can also leave a review on this post, which helps me out SO much as I continue to develop and share recipes.
More Filling Salads
- Jennifer Aniston Viral "Perfect Salad" Recipe (made vegan + gluten-free)
- Quinoa Tabbouleh
- Simple Greek Village Salad (Horiatiki: Tomato Cucumber Salad)
- Easy Greek Orzo Salad
- Vegan Protein Kale Salad
- Apple Arugula Salad with Candied Walnuts, Dates and Feta
- Mediterranean Veggie Pasta Salad
- Mexican Quinoa Salad
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Moroccan Quinoa Salad
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Diet: Vegan
This flavorful Moroccan Quinoa Salad is filled with almonds, herbs, cranberries, and homemade turmeric dressing for the perfect meal-prepped dish!
For the quinoa salad
- 1 batch Perfectly Cooked Quinoa (about 3 cups cooked from 1 cup dry quinoa) [or try my Instant Pot method]
- 2 green onions (scallions), diced or ¼ cup red onion, finely diced
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, large stems removed and finely diced
- 1 cup fresh parsley, large stems removed and finely diced
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- ½ cup unsweetened dried cranberries (or apple juice sweetened dried cranberries, diced Medjol dates or fresh apple, finely diced)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 juicy lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- optional: pinch of cinnamon
- Prepare the quinoa and allow it to cool to room temperature. While it cools prep your veggies and whisk together the dressing.
- In a large mixing bowl add the cooked and cooled quinoa, onions, herbs, almonds and dried cranberries (or apples). Pour the dressing overtop and mix well. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
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If you have a little extra time, toast the sliced almonds before adding to the salad. I do this on the stovetop in a skillet with a little olive oil and salt. Cook over medium heat until golden brown. Be careful not to burn.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 20
- Category: Lunch
- Method: Stovetop or Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Moroccan
Keywords: quinoa salad
FABULOUS. Dressing is so good. New fave lunch salad.
Elaine Gordon says
Thank you so much, Lucy! So happy to hear you loved this one. I need to find more uses for that dressing somehow!
I made this tonight and it was fantastic. Hopefully I will make the chickpeas before I finish off the salad they are supposed to go with! Thank you!
Elaine Gordon says
Thank you so much, Emily! You can also use canned if you need to. Best, Elaine
Lisandra Tabares-Perez says
This was delicious! I added a little more olive oil and maple syrup. Very refreshing salad.
Elaine Gordon says
Hi Lisandra: Thank you so much. Glad you adjusted and made it your own. It can get dry overnight as the quinoa absorbs the dressing a bit so I sometimes add a little more dressing too! Best, Elaine
SOOOO delicious! I’ve made this every week for 3 weeks straight! I add a cup of shredded carrots as well :). We eat this with a salad and chicken kabobs and it’s our new fav meal!
Elaine Gordon says
Thank you so much! All of this sounds fabulous! I especially love the addition of the shredded carrots - I'll have to try! Best, Elaine