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Quinoa salad with roasted Brussels sprouts and apples tastes like fall

Quinoa is a healthy staple in the vegetarian and vegan diets, but it’s also great in many different dishes no matter what your diet. Full of protein and nutrients, it’s no wonder quinoa has become such a popular ingredient in our kitchens.

Quinoa can be used in soups, stews, casseroles and even salads, making it so versatile. In this autumn-inspired salad, I cooked quinoa in vegetable broth (for a little more flavor) and, while still warm, tossed it with fresh spinach, maple-roasted Brussels sprouts and crunchy apples. I also added in pecans for an earthy flavor and feta for a bit of tang.

quinoa panzanella salad
Image: Brandi Bidot/SheKnows

Quinoa panzanella salad with roasted Brussels sprouts and apples recipe

This salad makes an excellent side dish next to grilled meats or as a healthy vegetarian entrée. Served warm, it’s a delicious and healthy way to enjoy a salad in the fall.

Serves 6

Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 45 minutes | Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes


For the roasted Brussels sprouts

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the quinoa salad

  • 1-1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 large Honeycrisp or Fuji apple, diced
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup homemade or store-bought croutons
  • Homemade pomegranate dressing (recipe below)


  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Chop the Brussels sprouts, and add them to a mixing bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and maple syrup, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Toss well, and spread in an even layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes or until the Brussels sprouts begin to caramelize.
  4. Meanwhile, to a large pot, add the quinoa and vegetable broth. Bring to a rapid boil, and then reduce the heat to medium.
  5. Cook the quinoa uncovered, stirring occasionally until all the liquid has cooked away/been absorbed.
  6. To the quinoa, add in the roasted Brussels sprouts, diced apples, pecans and spinach, and toss well.
  7. Transfer to a serving bowl, and garnish with the crumbled feta cheese and croutons.
  8. Serve with the dressing poured on top, or plate the salad, and drizzle each salad individually.

Homemade pomegranate dressing recipe

Yields 3/4 cup

Total time: 5 minutes


  • 1/4 cup pomegranate vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. To a blender, add all the ingredients.
  2. Blend on high until the dressing is smooth, and transfer to a clean jar with a lid.
  3. Keep chilled until ready to use, and shake before serving.

More quinoa recipe ideas

Quinoa and veggie skillet
Southwestern quinoa bake
Quinoa-veggie fried rice

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