Go Back
plated lemony almond and dried cherry quinoa
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Lemony Quinoa Salad with Almonds & Dried Cherries

Easy, make-ahead summer salad perfect for picnics and backyard dinners alike. Toasted almonds, dried cherries & lemon zest pair with cumin & cinnamon. So delicious!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: gluten free salad, picnic salad, quinoa salad, summer salad, vegan salad
Servings: 4


  • 2 lemons
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • small yellow onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup dried cherries chopped
  • 3 cups water (or sub. chicken broth but reduce salt)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups quinoa rinsed in a fine mesh strainer
  • 1/4 cup cilantro minced
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds


  • Toast the almonds in a stainless steel frying pan over medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes until golden brown and fragrant.
  • Grate the zest from the two lemons and squeeze the juice from both as well (should be about ¼ cup of juice).
  • Warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the chopped onion until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic, cumin and cinnamon and sauté for another 1-2 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, dried cherries and water and bring to a boil over high heat.  Add the quinoa and reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until quinoa is cooked through. 
  • Pour cooked quinoa into large bowl and fluff with a fork, while gently stirring in the cilantro and toasted almonds. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve warm or refrigerate until 1 hour before you plan to eat.


Recipe inspired by Weeknight by Williams-Sonoma