Fresh Berry Quinoa Salad

This vibrant and fresh berry quinoa salad – laden with fresh berries, tender spinach leaves, and basil – highlights some favorite seasonal ingredients. Combined with rich and creamy gorgonzola, nutty quinoa, and crunchy sunflower seeds, this boldly flavored dish will enhance any summer meal.

serving of berry quinoa salad in a ceramic bowl with a spoon

This is a dish for those of us who like a lot of stuff in our salads. We’re talking minimum lettuce and maximum fun: fresh berries, salty sunflower seeds, sweet and peppery basil, gorgonzola cheese, and quinoa. All of the add-ins make for a slightly heartier salad packed with texture, plus the added bonus of antioxidants from all the berries.

And if you have excess berries, try our cobbler recipe too. It’s always a hit, especially in the summer.


This Berry Quinoa Salad Is:

  • carefree
  • cold + perfect for summertime
  • fresh + colorful (quinoa turns a lovely shade of pink from the raspberries)
  • healthy
  • flavorful

berry quinoa salad

Fresh Berry Quinoa Salad Details

  • Texture: With juicy berries, creamy gorgonzola, and crunchy seeds, this recipe is destined for textural greatness. It may seem like a lot is going on, but there’s an element of surprise with every bite and it really works. (By the way, if you love texture in your salads, you’ll enjoy this blood orange avocado quinoa salad and this strawberry bacon salad.)
  • Flavor: The dressing is 4 ingredients, and I bet you have them all handy: olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, honey, and a pinch of salt. There’s nothing to take away from the fresh berry flavors, but everything to complement them. And it’s not weighed down with dressing, either. Just a light and bright coat to bring the components together.
  • Ease: This is a 2-step recipe! Combine the ingredients and then refrigerate for a day or so to marry the flavors. Except for pre-cooking the quinoa, there’s hardly any prep work.
  • Time: Prep will take you 5-10 minutes, plus the chilling time in the refrigerator.

Berry Quinoa Salad is a Perfect Make Ahead Dish

Besides the healthy + delicious + easy trifecta, we also need to discuss the make-ahead factor. 

This fresh berry quinoa salad is even better on days 2 and 3 after the flavors develop and marry. So when you don’t feel like making anything for dinner, this is already magically prepared in the refrigerator. (Because you spent 5 minutes to “make it” the day before. Don’t you love that?)

  • Berry Swap: By the way, you can swap berries for whatever is local and in season, so long as the final combination amounts to 3 cups in total.

One last thing. Let’s break the rules a little bit and eat this salad with a big spoon. A spoon gives you more opportunity for maximum stuff and assures a little bit of everything with each bite.

blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries in a glass bowl

overhead image of quinoa in a glass bowl and spinach, berries, and cheese in a glass bowl

pouring dressing onto salad in a glass bowl

berry quinoa salad in a glass bowl

berry quinoa salad in a glass bowl

Serve this Quinoa Salad With:

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berry quinoa salad in a glass bowl

Fresh Berry Quinoa Salad

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: serves about 4
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Easy, healthy, and fresh berry quinoa salad is full of texture and flavor. Throw it together in minutes for all your summer picnics and entertaining!


Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (a little over 1 cup dry)
  • 1 heaping cup blackberries
  • 1 heaping cup blueberries
  • 1 heaping cup raspberries
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil
  • 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds

Dressing

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon (about 2 Tbsp)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • pinch salt (or to taste)

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients together and toss with salad.
  2. Cover and store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. Salad tastes best on day 2 or 3 after the flavors have married. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. The measurements for the actual salad are general guidelines– feel free to add more/less berries, cheese, quinoa, basil, seeds, etc based on your preferences. Double the recipe for a larger crowd. Have fun with it!

Equally summery + delicious + easy + texture party-ish: southwestern chopped chicken salad!

Mexican chopped chicken salad in a glass bowl

45 Comments

  1. Andrea @ Cooking with a Wallflower says:

    This berry quinoa salad looks so delicious and refreshing. I love berries in my salad, and this looks like the perfect summer meal. I can’t wait to try it!

  2. heather (delicious not gorgeous) says:

    who cares about lettuce?! i’d much rather have a boatload of berries (: besides, berries are superfoods and lettuce isn’t, so it’s much healthier this way anyways (;

  3. Patricia @Sweet and Strong says:

    Oh yum.  I love adding berries to summer salads and with a homemade dressing, so healthy and refreshing!  Lately I’ve been into vinegar based potato salads, but I’m kind of getting sick of them so can’t wait to try this!

  4. averie @ averie cooks says:

    The bowl in your opening shot…LOVE IT! Was it a one-of-a-kind find? I love it and this salad is RIGHT up my alley! The sunflower seeds and cheese along with the berries, perfection!

    1. it’s from pier 1! You have to get it– it photographs so beautifully and they have a ton of different colors too. It’s the small one that’s currently only $5 lol http://www.pier1.com/carmelo-sand-melamine-dinnerware/PS64177.html#ct-cross-sell2

      1. averie @ averie cooks says:

        I am SO ordering some stuff! Thank you!!!!!

  5. Hi Sally,
    Oh boy, this looks totally yummy and totally summer. This is gluten-friendly so I’m making for a work share brunch!

    1. Enjoy Roseanne!!

  6. Wow, Sally, this looks amazing!! Definitely making it this weekend. Hope the baby is being good to you this week!

  7. Paige Flamm says:

    This salad looks amazing! I would totally eat this for breakfast! I need to try it soon!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  8. Lindsey of This Miss Cooks says:

    I love absolutely everything about this recipe! It doesn’t require me to turn my stove on (I tend to prep a ton of quinoa at the beginning of the week), my fiance would actually eat it even though it’s healthy, and it looks just amazing.

    1. PERFECT! I prep quinoa in the beginning of the week too. A big batch!

  9. Can’t wait to try this! I found another summer salad that I’ve made a few times now – it’s so good! http://carlsbadcravings.com/southwest-orzo-salad-recipe/ (I hope I copied that right!) You’ll have to try that one – love the textures and mixture of flavors. Hope you are feeling good! And I love the Pier1 bowl too – definitely checking into those!!!

    1. I LOVE Carlsbad cravings recipes! Especially her salads. What a great find!

  10. I  love how delicious this salad looks and I like that it has a lot more than just lettuce in the ingredient list!! Thank you for sharing this recipe with us and am excited that it keeps so well in the fridge. Win Win!!

    1. Let me know if you give it a try!

  11. marti @fitwithheart says:

    holy smokes this looks AMAZING! so fresh, light and perfect for a hot day! i’m usually not a quinoa fan..but i can DEFINITELY see myself getting down with this – and beautiful pictures sally!

    1. Maybe you’re a PINK quinoa fan (pink from all the raspberries) Enjoy! 🙂

  12. Blogtastic Food says:

    This looks amazing. Love the idea of berries and quinoa together (:

  13. Shelby @ Go Eat and Repeat says:

    I love how many pictures you got back on your dog post! That was so adorable!

    1. So cute. Makes me so happy!

  14. Jennie @ The Housewife Modern says:

    I NEVER would have thought of putting cooked quinoa in a salad. I also love your comment about the spinach being optional- you’re right- salads without lettuce are the best. 
    I used to think quinoa was crazy, but then made a Mexican quinoa dish my husband found. I haven’t tried it cold, though. I think this might be the perfect opportunity! 

    1. Quinoa in salads is so so good! I’m excited for you to try this one.

  15. Kelly Senyei @ Just a Taste says:

    Fresh berries + quinoa? Genius! This salad looks so refreshing and perfect for hot summer days! 

  16. Made this tonight for a brunch tomorrow… oh my gosh, amazing! Used strawberries instead of blackberries, mixed red & regular quinoa, and added some raspberry balsamic vinegar to the dressing –  my guests are lucky they are getting any, this is amazing! Love the basil & spinach with it all of it. Another great idea from Sally!

    1. I’m so glad you’re loving it! The raspberry balsamic vinegar addition sounds soooo good.

  17. Thanks for sharing – am making it tonight for tomorrow…can’t wait to eat it. 😀 Just curious though, can you add everything together while the quinoa is hot or should one let it cool first?

    1. I let it cool down a little first!

      1. Thank you! 🙂 I happen to be one of those very literal people, so if it isn’t in the instructions….

  18. The berry quinoa salad was wonderful. And you are right it got better every day!

  19. I made your salad last night with mixed baby organic green’s (mostly baby spinach) and organic berrys (strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, out of organic raspberry ) But I left out the Quinoa. My taste buds have not completely recovered from chemo. Quinoa still taste weird. Doctor said, give it a few more weeks. Yea, like my hair growing back. Lol But the salad was very very good. I was truly thankful for my first delightful tasting meal in 7 months. I usually bake your recipes and give to neighbors. I seem to be the only one that doesn’t cook out of a box. Ok, Swans Down cake flour is in a box. Lol. But doesnt count.

    1. Hi Joli! I’m so happy you enjoyed this quinoa salad recipe. So nice to hear!

  20. Two thumbs up on this salad ! Made it for two events, big hit. And super easy to make : )

    Thanks, keep them coming, Elise

    1. Yay! So happy this was a hit, Elise!

  21. What might be some other good cheeses to use? Ricotta?

    1. I wouldn’t suggest ricotta cheese. Blue cheese or feta cheese would be great!

      1. Krista Slye says:

        What about goat cheese? I am currently obsessed with it! I will be making this for Easter brunch and love being able to make everything the night before!

      2. Krista, goat cheese would be wonderful too.

  22. WOW–this was great!! I served it under grilled salmon. I think I will try it with cubed rotisserie chicken next time! I have never done cold quinoa before–I will be eating this all summer long! Thanks! Keep the savory meal recipes coming!

    1. It’s a full meal once you add chicken! So glad you enjoyed it!

  23. Quinoa is such a nice addition to a berry salad, and this seems like such a nice summer salad for a quick bite

  24. Maple syrup was a great substitute for honey. I used feta instead of gorgonzola. So different and refreshing!

  25. Anyone try this with frozen berries that have been thawed? Thanks!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We haven’t tested this with frozen berries, but if you do simply pat them dry after they thaw.

  26. Such a refreshing salad. Great combination of flavors and textures. Love the dressing.

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