RECIPE: Quinoa Apple Salad with Creamy Mustard Dressing

If you follow me on Instagram, you might remember a post about Willow “cooking” me dinner in her little kitchen. She said she was making me a Quinoa Apple Salad. Where in the world did she come up with this?!?! I knew straight away that I had to create a “real” quinoa apple salad. I envisioned something salty and sweet, loaded with lots of fresh veggies and after some trials, a Quinoa Apple Salad with Creamy Mustard Dressing was born! Thank you to my sweet three-year-old daughter for the inspiration ❤

QUINOA APPLE SALAD with CREAMY MUSTARD DRESSING: {oil-free, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegan}

Serves 6-8 people

What you need:

  • 2 cups quinoa, uncooked (approx 6 cups cooked)
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth or water
  • 1 apple, chopped (I used an organic Braeburn)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 packed cup of chopped spinach
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional toppings: sugar-plum tomatoes, walnuts, currants, hemp seeds, chopped raw broccoli, sliced carrots.
  • Creamy Mustard Dressing (see below)

Creamy Mustard Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup raw tahini*
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 2 TBSP pure maple syrup
  • 1 TBSP spicy brown mustard (or mustard of your choice)
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika

Whisk all of the ingredients together until smooth OR mix in a blender. Add more water for a thinner dressing. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

*If you’re not a fan of tahini, you can easily replace it with raw cashews or vegan mayo. If you use vegan mayo, start with a smaller amount of water and omit the maple syrup. Blend until smooth.

You can also do a simple balsamic vinegar/avocado oil (or olive oil) dressing OR fresh lemon juice to keep it light.

RECIPE: Quinoa Apple Salad with Creamy Mustard Dressing

Assembling the salad:

  1. Cook the quinoa according to the package and allow to cool before assembling. I recommend cooking the quinoa the night before. We use a rice cooker to make ours and it always turns out fluffy and perfect!
  2. Chop the apples, pepper, onion & spinach and add them to the quinoa in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the olives and any additional toppings.
  3. You can serve as is and allow people to add their own dressing or mix in your desired amount of dressing to the entire salad. Top with fresh ground black pepper. ENJOY!
  4. Any salad dressing leftovers should be refrigerated and used within 4-5 days. The quinoa salad itself should be consumed within 3-4 days for maximum freshness and taste.

RECIPE: Quinoa Salad with Creamy Mustard Dressing

This makes a BIG salad and lasts us a few days for lunches that Josh takes to work. You can easily cut the recipe in half for a smaller salad. The longer it sits in the fridge, the more flavorful it becomes. I enjoyed this one day in a gluten-free tortilla with extra spinach and romaine – it made a delicious wrap!

RECIPE: Quinoa Salad with Creamy Mustard Dressing

Ok, I think that’s enough tahini love for a bit…we’ll move on to other obsessions soon!

Thanks for stopping by!

10 thoughts

  1. Mandy, this looks amazing!! I love the sound and look of that dressing too and think it’s one of the best sounding tahini dressings I’ve seen…most I’ve tried out there have been really off and I always believe tahini needs a bit of sweetness to balance out it’s bitterness, so I love that you added that! Looks so good I could probably drink it! Can’t wait to try it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Um, I’m still hooked on your Mexican Tahini one…pretty much perfection and I could easily eat that with a spoon…or sip it with a straw!! I couldn’t agree more! Tahini needs a bit of sweetness to cover up some of the bitterness that comes along with it. I’ve tried a few that definitely needed a little something extra…as much as I’m a tahini addict, I can’t eat the stuff straight! Haha! Thank you so much for the kind words – means a lot to have your support ❤


    1. Wow, thank you, Sophia!!! Dressings and sauces are life…salads, pastas and pretty much everything else wouldn’t be the same without them! I pretty much drool over every new sauce you create ❤ This salad works really well, especially with extra olives and maybe some extra dressing 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, friend! I’m always looking for new salad recipes – ways to change up the basic lettuce, veggies and dressing. Please let me know if you try it. Hope you’re having a great weekend! ❤


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