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Cranberry and Kefir Quinoa Salad - this recipe will introduce you to the great grain of Quinoa, or show you a new way to use it if you're an old pro!

Cranberry and Kefir Quinoa Salad

This quinoa salad with toasted pistachios and cranberries really comes to life with a kefir-based dressing.
Course Salads, Side Dishes
Cuisine American
Keyword quinoa
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 302kcal


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa uncooked
  • 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios shelled
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup reduced-fat feta cheese crumbled
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil minced (or 1 Tbsp dried basil)
  • 1/2 cup plain kefir
  • 4 tsp honey
  • 4 tsp balsamic vinegar


  • Rinse the quinoa in running water to remove any residue. In a pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Stir in the quinoa, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Put the quinoa in a bowl and allow to cool.
  • Preheat the oven or your toaster to 400°F and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Put the pistachios on the pan and toast until light brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Roughly chop.
  • Once the quinoa has cooled, stir in the pistachios, cranberries, feta cheese and minced basil.
  • To make the dressing, put the honey in a small microwave safe bowl and heat for about 30 seconds. Whisk in the kefir until well combined then whisk in the balsamic vinegar.
  • Pour the dressing over the quinoa salad and toss well.


Mix It Up: Want to make this your main dish? Try adding chicken, tofu or steak!
Make Ahead: Cook the quinoa a day or two in advance and keep in the refrigerator until ready to make the salad. Toast the pistachios in advance.
Simplify It: Skip toasting the pistachios for faster preparation.
Nutrition Nugget: Quinoa is a nutritious, gluten-free whole grain substitute for rice. It is truly a powerhouse food providing us with almost 13 grams of protein in just one serving of this salad. Other protein sources in this dish are the pistachios and the cheese.
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Calories: 302kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 378mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 18g