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

A beautiful vegan quinoa salad inspired by Middle-Eastern and Persian cuisine with pomegranate arils, fresh mint, and pistachios. Eat this healthy and filling salad either as a main or a side dish.

A beautiful Persian vegan quinoa salad with spinach, mint and pomegranate arils in a blue bowl

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.

This Vegan Quinoa Salad with Spinach, Mint, and Pistachios will convert the uninitiated!

But anyways! One of these dishes I’d make for quinoa-dubious people is this vegan 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 I and my mom finished the whole bowl of vegan quinoa salad for lunch while he was away. Too bad, eh! (but also…I don’t regret a thing).

overhead shot of two bowls of vegan quinoa salad with spinach, mint and pomegranate arils

This vegan quinoa salad has its roots in the 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!

Sumac is one of those spices you don’t need to cook – which makes it perfect for this vegan quinoa salad. Of course, if you don’t have any and don’t want to buy some, you can leave it out. However, it really adds a nice touch and deepens the flavor.

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

close-up of a plate of vegan quinoa salad with spinach, mint, pistachios and pomegranate arils

If you tried this vegan quinoa salad, don’t forget to rate the recipe below and let me know how it went in the comments – I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook for more deliciousness and behind-the-scenes!

vegan quinoa salad with spinach, mint, pistachios and pomegranate arils on a blue plate
5 from 3 votes

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
Keyword quinoa, salad, vegan
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people (as a main)
Calories 565 kcal
Author Marie



  • 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


  • 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
  • 1 pinch of sea salt salt


  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, minced shallot, sumac, toasted pistachios, and pomegranate 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*
Fat 31g48%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Sodium 72mg3%
Potassium 866mg25%
Carbohydrates 59g20%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 2720IU54%
Vitamin C 31.3mg38%
Calcium 103mg10%
Iron 5.3mg29%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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All Seasons Recipes Clean Eating Dairy Free Fall Recipes Gluten free Main Dishes Recipes Salads Vegan Vegetarian Winter Recipes
  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!

  4. What a gorgeous salad! Love the Persian theme with those little pomegranate jewels on top and pistachios and sumac are always a great addition to anything! I could easily eat a big bowl if this quinoa salad for lunch!

  5. It was delicious! I didnt get baby spinach so i took the normal spinach and cooked it. So many different aromes, everything fits really good. I am sure i will make this Salad again.
    A big Thank you from Germany 🙂

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