Quinoa Salad with Spinach and Pomegranate {Gluten Free + Vegan}

A beautiful quinoa salad inspired by Middle-Eastern and Persian cuisine with pomegranate arils, fresh mint and pistachios. You can eat it either as a main or a side dish. It’s fresh, healthy and filling. 

A beautiful quinoa salad inspired by Middle-Eastern and Persian cuisine with pomegranate arils, fresh mint and pistachios. Vegan and gluten free. Recipe on NotEnoughCinnamon.com

When people tell me they don’t like quinoa, first I roll my eyes and then I say “Are you sure you’ve had quinoa cooked the right way? Come on, I’ll make you something and I’m sure you’ll love it”. And if they still don’t like it, then I’m no longer friends with them. Ok, just kidding. They are allowed not to like quinoa – and by extension, you are too. In fact it took Solal aka my hubby a verrryyy long time to get to like it and it’s still not a victory on every single quinoa dishes I make; but I still love him very much. So see, I’m not that judgemental.

But anyways! One of these dishes I’d make for quinoa-dubious people is this quinoa salad because it’s so dang good. Ok, so if they don’t like pomegranate, or mint, or spinach, or pistachios, then there’s nothing I can do for them but otherwise => yum yum yum! I wish I could have tested my theory on Solal but me and my mom finished the whole thing for lunch while he was away. Too bad, eh! (but also…I don’t regret a thing).

A beautiful quinoa salad inspired by Middle-Eastern and Persian cuisine with pomegranate arils, fresh mint and pistachios. Vegan and gluten free. Recipe on NotEnoughCinnamon.com

This salad has roots into Middle Eastern and Persian cuisine with beautiful bright red pomegranate arils, fresh mint, pistachios and sumac. Have you heard of sumac before? It’s a fruity and somewhat tart spice that’s widely used in these cuisines with meat, fish and sauces. It’s delicious sprinkled over hummus too!

It’s one of these spices you don’t need to cook – which makes it perfect for this salad. Of course, if you don’t have some and don’t want to buy some you can leave it out but it really adds a nice touch and deepens the flavor.

I ate this salad as a main, but it would be lovely as a side with a piece of meat – like lamb for instance, or beef kabobs! ????

A beautiful quinoa salad inspired by Middle-Eastern and Persian cuisine with pomegranate arils, fresh mint and pistachios. Vegan and gluten free. Recipe on NotEnoughCinnamon.com

Quinoa Salad with Spinach and Pomegranate {Gluten Free + Vegan}

A beautiful quinoa salad inspired by Middle-Eastern and Persian cuisine with pomegranate arils, fresh mint and pistachios. You can eat it either as a main or a side dish. It's fresh, healthy and filling. 

Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people (as a main)
Calories 565 kcal

Ingredients

Salad:

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa uncooked
  • 3 cups chopped baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1/2 shallot minced
  • 2 tablespoons sumac optional
  • 2/3 cup toasted pistachios roughly chopped
  • 2/3 cup pomegranate seeds

Dressing:

  • 1/2 shallot minced
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of sea salt salt

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of water and 1 1/2 cups of quinoa to a boil with a generous pinch of salt. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork, then add quinoa to a large mixing bowl to cool slightly.
  2. To make dressing: whisk all ingredients together vigorously until dressing emulsifies. Set aside.

  3. Once quinoa has cooled, stir in spinach, herbs, lemon juice, shallot, sumac, pistachios and pom seeds. Toss very well with dressing, until all salad is coated. Divide evenly among four bowls and serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts
Quinoa Salad with Spinach and Pomegranate {Gluten Free + Vegan}
Amount Per Serving
Calories 565 Calories from Fat 279
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 48%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Sodium 72mg 3%
Potassium 866mg 25%
Total Carbohydrates 59g 20%
Dietary Fiber 9g 36%
Sugars 8g
Protein 15g 30%
Vitamin A 54.4%
Vitamin C 37.9%
Calcium 10.3%
Iron 29.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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posted in
All Seasons Recipes Clean Eating Dairy Free Fall Recipes Gluten free Main Dishes Recipes Salads Vegan Vegetarian Winter Recipes
8 Comments
  1. Such a lovely and healthy salad! We’ve been eating lots of pomegranates lately as they are in season and my girls love them. I may have to make this for lunch next week!

  2. I so agree, quinoa is delicious – but if it’s not cooked right can be off-putting. Your salad looks perfect and for those that don’t like it? …. Well there will be more for the rest of us. Perfect lunch!

  3. I actually love quinoa and am always looking for new and exciting ways to make it! I am absolutely in love with the flavours you have going with the mint, lemon, sumac and pistachios! Definitely will be making this!

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