Holiday season is total madness between gift shopping, hosting, attending and, well, life in general, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice eating well. We’re all about assembled meals that don’t require cooking, like this fall quinoa salad. Once you’ve steamed or pressure-cooked the quinoa, you just have to toss in the remaining ingredients for a quick and healthy meal.

With just quinoa, olive oil, and a few choice fruits, nuts, and veggies, the dish is gluten-free and vegan, so pretty much everyone can serve themselves a big spoonful even on Thanksgiving. Who doesn’t love having a little bit of something healthy and fiber-rich on their Turkey Day plate?

Fall Quinoa Salad

(Serves 4-6)

Recipe Notes: If you can find pomegranate molasses, use it in place of the pomegranate juice. While not sweet or too acidic, it adds a tartness to the dressing that’s unparalleled. Avoid making the salad when the quinoa is piping hot or else the herbs will wilt and brown. Transferring the cooked quinoa to a large bowl will help it cool down faster. Play around with different toppers. Try this with chives instead of green onion, pecans for walnuts, dates rather than cranberries, and chervil or mint in place of or in addition to the parsley.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 Meyer lemon, zest and juice only
  • 1/4-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (in Instant Pot or over stovetop), cooled slightly
  • 1/3 cup walnuts (or any other seed or nut), toasted
  • 1/3 cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup green onion, sliced
  • 1 small pomegranate, arils only
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries or cranberries

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, whisk together pomegranate juice, lemon zest and juice, and olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Add more oil if needed. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, toss together quinoa, walnuts, parsley, green onion, pomegranate arils, and dried cranberries. Drizzle on vinaigrette to taste, and toss until well-coated. We used all of the dressing, but always err on the side of caution and pour slowly! Salt and pepper to taste.

3. Serve immediately. This salad keeps in the fridge for 1-2 days.

For more Thanksgiving recipe inspo, scroll down Brit + Co’s Pinterest page.

(Recipe via Anna Monette Roberts/Brit+Co; Photos via Brittany Griffin/Brit+Co)