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3 Wintertime quinoa salads to add some superfood to your holiday spread

Brandi is natural born food lover of anything from gourmet cheeses and wine down to plain baked breads. When not in the kitchen cooking, she loves to be outdoors, especially near the ocean. She puts her focus mainly on healthy organic ea...

Quinoa and fresh winter fruit make these holiday salads hearty, healthy and delish

Salads aren’t just for warm weather. Use fresh, local and in-season ingredients to make one of these healthy and flavorful quinoa salads that are a welcome break from all the holiday decadence.

Sure, when you think of salads, you think of them being a summery dish. But with the right ingredients and some creativity, you can enjoy a delicious salad in the colder months too. These winter-inspired quinoa salads are not only healthy but also great for the holidays, and each makes an excellent side dish to your festive meals.

Pears, cranberries and citrus fruits are in season right now, and all are perfect for these recipes. The cheeses and other ingredients in the salads complement those flavors, like the grapefruit and cranberries, which can be tart. Feel free to play around with the ingredients and make the recipes your own.

Cooking tip: Make your quinoa ahead of time to save time in the kitchen. For every 1 cup of dry quinoa, use 2 cups of liquid (water or broth). Cook uncovered over medium heat for 15 minutes or until the liquid has cooked away.

Quinoa and fresh winter fruit make these holiday salads hearty, healthy and delish
Image: Brandi Bidot/SheKnows

Pear, arugula, walnut and quinoa salad recipe

Simple yet elegant, fresh pears and salty Gorgonzola make this the perfect sweet-and-savory salad.

Serves 6

Total time: 15 minutes


  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 4 strips cooked bacon, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup balsamic salad dressing
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 2 red pears, diced
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese


  1. In a bowl, combine the quinoa, bacon and balsamic dressing, and mix well.
  2. Place the arugula in a serving bowl, and top with the quinoa mixture.
  3. Finish the salad by adding the pears, walnuts and Gorgonzola on top.
  4. Serve at room temperature, tossing well before serving.

Next: Orange-cranberry quinoa salad recipe

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