Skip to Content

Christmas Quinoa Salad

This healthy Christmas Quinoa Salad is packed with a plethora of flavors, textures, and colors! And you can have this vegan side dish ready in about 15-20 minutes.

15 minute vegan Christmas quinoa salad

At this point in my life, quinoa seems to have worked its way into every meal from breakfast to dinner. So, it’s only natural that it is a part of my holiday table too.

And, I am hoping that this recipe will convince you to make it part of yours as well.

This Christmas Quinoa Salad is heavy on flavor from sautéed onions, ginger, garlic, coriander powder, and smoked paprika. If like me, you like some heat to your quinoa salad, you can add in some cayenne in addition to the jalapeño as well.

After reading that last line, I hope you are not thinking that I am serving this Christmas Quinoa Salad up to those people I like to torture.

But, I come from a family of chili pepper and cayenne lovers. Besides, the jalapeño and cayenne (if you choose to add the latter in) are harmoniously balanced off by sweet, dried cranberries.

If you love a side dish with texture, then this will not disappoint you.

You have the crunch from lightly sautéed celery and pecans. Dried cranberries add in a nice chew. Sautéed bell pepper and broccoli add yet more texture ~ and color. And cooked quinoa is soft and great at uniting all the ingredients that go into this healthy holiday side dish.

Ingredients to make Christmas Quinoa Saute

What are the ingredients in this Christmas Quinoa Salad?

You will need the following 13 ingredients to make this Christmas Quinoa Salad:
Do note that of the 13 ingredients, 3 of them (the cayenne, coriander, and smoked paprika), are totally optional.

  1. Garlic
    Fresh garlic works best in this recipe. If you want to save time, you can purchase and use pre-peeled and crushed garlic from the store. This is usually in the produce section. One clove of garlic equals about a 1/2 teaspoon of crushed garlic (approximately).
  2. Ginger
    As with garlic, fresh ginger works best in this recipe. And, this too can be purchased peeled and chopped/crushed.
  3. Onion
    I used a medium-sized yellow onion, but, you can use any you may have one hand. And, it does not have to be a medium. Feel free to use a large red or a small Vidalia one either.
  4. Celery
    Fresh celery adds such a hint of flavor and a nice crunch to this. A little off topic, if you have celery stalk scarps, do not throw them away, instead, try this method to regrow them.
  5. Jalapeños 
    When it comes to jalapeño, you can scrape out as much of the seeds inside as you like. That way, you can tailor the heat level of this Christmas Quinoa to fit your preference, while enjoying the flavor of fresh jalapeño.
  6. Red bell pepper 
    I chose red bell pepper just for the color. You can use any bell pepper you prefer.
  7. Broccoli
    Another ingredient that adds some color and texture to this side dish.
  8. Coriander
    I used ground coriander powder for yet another level of flavor. But, it is optional. If you do not have it on hand, then this Christmas Quinoa Salad has tons of flavor from the other ingredients in it.
  9. Smoked paprika 
    Another ingredient that is optional. I used it for a hint of smokey flavor.
  10. Cayenne
    Cayenne powder added some heat to this dish, but if you prefer a milder quinoa side dish, feel free to use it sparingly or leave it out altogether.
  11. Pecans
    Pecan pieces add a nice crunch. But, they can be substituted for walnuts or almonds or pistachios, or your nut of choice.
  12. Cranberries
    Sweet and ever so slightly tart, cranberries are a must for this simple and easy holiday salad.
  13. Quinoa 
    I had some leftover cooked plain/white quinoa that I used for this. Tri-color quinoa works well too!
Sautéing veggies to make a holiday quinoa salad

Is this quinoa salad supposed to be served hot or cold?

This Christmas Quinoa Salad is delicious served hot. However, this is a versatile dish. And, you can serve this cold, tossed with a couple of cups of torn kale or lettuce, or this Holiday Salad.

Easy 15-minute vegan holiday quinoa salad

How long can this quinoa salad last?

You can store this quinoa salad in an airtight container, in a refrigerator, for up to 5 days, after making it. So, you could prepare this healthy side dish about 1-2 days ahead of any holiday dinner you have planned. You could serve this Christmas Quinoa Salad cold or at room temperature, tossed with some greens. Or, heat it up and serve it warm.

Which leads to…

What’s the best way to warm this salad up?

I prefer to warm this Christmas Quinoa Salad up by placing the contents in a large frying pan and sauteing it over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes. Stirring it often is necessary so it doesn’t burn. You can also heat this salad up by placing it in a microwave dish and microwaving it on high for about 2 minutes. Stir it well before serving.

Easy Christmas quinoa salad

Thanks so much for stopping by. If you make this dish and ENJOY It, please let me know in the comments below. If you DO NOT enjoy it, then bugger off ~ I kid, I kid! All jokes aside, please do subscribe and follow me on Instagram and Pinterest for more easy fusion recipe ideas!

Easy Christmas quinoa salad

Christmas Quinoa Salad Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Shashi
This healthy Christmas Quinoa Salad is packed with a plethora of flavors, textures, and colors! And you can have this vegan side dish ready in about 15-20 minutes.


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 jalapeño’s
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups Broccoli florets
  • [OPTIONAL] 2 tsp coriander powder
  • [OPTIONAL] 1 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • [OPTIONAL] 1 tsp ground cayenne
  • 1/2 cup Pecan pieces
  • 1/4 cup dried Cranberries
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa or 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • [OPTIONAL] red chili flakes for garnish


  • If you do not have any cooked quinoa on hand, add 1/2 cup of quinoa to a pan along with 1 cup of water. Bring it to a boil. Then, cover and let simmer for about 12-15 minutes.
  • Peel the onion, garlic, and ginger.
  • Chop up the onion, garlic, and ginger.
  • Add the olive oil to a large frying pan over medium heat/flame and add in the chopped onion, ginger, and garlic. Let saute for about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, rinse and chop up the celery stalks, red bell pepper, and jalapeno. If you do not want this salad to be too spicy, scrape out some of the jalapeno seeds.
  • Break up the broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces.
  • Add the celery, red bell pepper, jalapeno, and broccoli florets.
  • If using the spices, also add in the coriander, smoked paprika, and cayenne.
  • Stir all ingredients well and let saute for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add in the cooked quinoa, pecans, and cranberries, and stir well.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • If desired, garnish with chili flakes and serve warm or serve cold, tossed with some greens.


This is a versatile quinoa salad with many optional elements and suggested substitutions. As with a lot of the recipes I share, this recipe is about you having fun experimenting in the kitchen. So add beans or any other veggies you like, and make up a creation you will enjoy!


Serving: 1g | Calories: 230kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Sodium: 80mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Tag @SavorySpin or tag #savoryspin so we can share your ceation.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. […] my daughter, I love quinoa. It is one of my all-time favorite grains (that’s one of the reasons you will find numerous […]

  2. meer zada says:

    wow i will try it once thanks ,also check it out

  3. Ben | Havocinthekitchen says:

    That’s such a wonderful salad – colourful, happy, tasty, and offering some great textures and flavours. Perfect for the holiday season or any other time of the year!

  4. David @ Spiced says:

    I do really enjoy quinoa as a side dish, and smoked paprika is one of my favorite savory spices! Recipes like this are great since they can be served hot with dinner and then the leftovers can be served cold for lunch the next day. Thanks for sharing this tasty one, Shashi! Happy holidays!