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.
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 berry cobbler recipe too. It’s always a hit, especially in the summer. Cobbler and this salad would pair well together for Memorial Day Weekend events. If you need more inspiration, here are some favorite Memorial Day recipes.
This Berry Quinoa Salad Is:
- cold + perfect for summertime
- fresh + colorful (quinoa turns a lovely shade of pink from the raspberries)
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.
Serve this Quinoa Salad With:
- Grilled Chicken + Asparagus (how I usually serve it)
- Jalapeno Turkey Burgers
- Black Bean Burgers
- Cilantro Lime Chicken
- Honey Chipotle Salmon
- Zucchini Ricotta Flatbread or Zucchini Casserole
Fresh Berry Quinoa Salad
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: serves about 4
- Category: Salad
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: American
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!
- 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
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon (about 2 Tbsp)
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- pinch salt (or to taste)
- Combine all of the salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients together and toss with salad.
- 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!
- 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!
Keywords: Fresh Berry Quinoa Salad
Equally summery + delicious + easy + texture party-ish: southwestern chopped chicken salad!
Reader Comments & Reviews
This is such a healthy and tasty salad. The second time I made it, I replaced the gorgonzola with feta. My family has requested goat cheese, so I plan on trying that next time.
Does this recipe use unsalted or roasted/salted sunflower seeds?
Either work! We prefer salted for a little sweet and salty balance.
Such a refreshing salad. Great combination of flavors and textures. Love the dressing.
Anyone try this with frozen berries that have been thawed? Thanks!
We haven’t tested this with frozen berries, but if you do simply pat them dry after they thaw.
Maple syrup was a great substitute for honey. I used feta instead of gorgonzola. So different and refreshing!
Quinoa is such a nice addition to a berry salad, and this seems like such a nice summer salad for a quick bite
What might be some other good cheeses to use? Ricotta?
I wouldn’t suggest ricotta cheese. Blue cheese or feta cheese would be great!
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!
Krista, goat cheese would be wonderful too.
Two thumbs up on this salad ! Made it for two events, big hit. And super easy to make : )
Thanks, keep them coming, Elise
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.
The berry quinoa salad was wonderful. And you are right it got better every day!
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?
I let it cool down a little first!
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!