Quinoa Fruit Salad

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FRUIT QUINOA SALAD! A tri-colored quinoa salad packed with tropical fruits and dressed in a tangy citrus dressing. This salad is vibrant, healthy, and delicious! I Recipe from chelseasmessyapron.com

Fresh and lively Quinoa Fruit Salad starts with tender quinoa and loads on fresh fruits and a tangy citrus vinaigrette.

Try some of our other fruit-filled quinoa salads like this Kale and Quinoa Salad or Citrus Quinoa Salad next!

Overhead image of Quinoa Fruit Salad.

Quinoa Fruit Salad

Ripe fresh fruit, tender quinoa, and a tangy citrus dressing are pure summer bliss in a bowl.

I love a good fruit salad recipe as much as the next person but adding some quinoa to the mix has resulted in a salad that has quickly become a new staple in my home. The quinoa adds tons of protein resulting in a salad that is surprisingly satiating. It also adds texture, a subtle nutty flavor, and vibrancy to the fruit and citrus vinaigrette.

While this salad likely doesn’t stand on its own for a meal, serving it with some grilled chicken or grilled steak makes for one of the best summer meals — fresh, light, nutritious, and flavorful!

Process shots-- images of the dressing being made; the quinoa being added to a bowl; and all the fruit being added on top.

Citrus Vinaigrette

This dressing only takes a few minutes to whip together and is quite easy to make–totally worth the effort. Nothing store-bought compares to this dressing!

  • I recommend zesting the citrus with a microplane. A microplane makes the process quick and easy! See “quick tip” below.
  • Add dressing to your personal preference — We add the whole batch of dressing to this salad, but you may not want to use all of it. store any leftovers in the fridge for up to a week and use on other salads or to top leftover fruit.
  • Don’t forget to season the dressing. A little bit of salt and pepper brings out all the flavors and adds life to the dressing; don’t leave these ingredients out!

QUICK TIP

Zest only the very outside bright orange part of the clementine and the very outside bright yellow part of the lemon. Avoid the white pith below the peel, which is bitter and will make the dressing taste too sharp.

Quinoa Salad Tips

Quinoa

  • There are many different varieties of quinoa; my personal favorite in this salad is tri-colored quinoa which is a blend of white, black, and red quinoa. Any variety of quinoa works well in this salad.
  • Make sure to rinse the quinoa before cooking it. Quinoa has a natural coating called saponin which can make it taste bitter. Pour the uncooked quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold water for 30 seconds to a minute.
  • You can improve the flavor of quinoa by seasoning it generously. A little bit of salt goes a long way so don’t forget to add it in.
  • Let the cooked quinoa cool completely before adding in the fruit. To speed up the process for quinoa cooling, spread the cooked and fluffed quinoa on a sheet pan in one even layer. Place the sheet pan in the fridge (or freezer) for 10-15 minutes or until cooled to room temperature.

Fruit

  • I highly recommend waiting for the fruit to be fully ripe before adding it to this Quinoa Fruit Salad — good, ripe fruit makes all the difference!
  • We love honey mangoes (also known as Ataulfo or yellow mangoes) best, but regular mangoes work great as well. To tell if your mangoes are ripe, gently squeeze the fruit. If it’s ripe, it will give slightly. (Here’s a quick and helpful visual guide on how to cut a mango!)
  • Green or golden kiwi are equally delicious in this quinoa fruit salad. You can tell a kiwi is ripe if it gives to slight pressure.

Up-close overhead image of the Quinoa Fruit Salad.

Variation Ideas

  • Add some meat. This salad is vegetarian by default, but feel free to grill some steak or chicken to serve on the side or to chop up and put on top of the salad. 
  • Add other toppings. If you’d like to add some additional toppings beyond the fruit, add in some chopped dry roasted pistachios, pecans, or pepita (pumpkin seeds). Goat or feta cheese would also be a nice addition. If you’d like to add some creaminess, I’d recommend a diced avocado.
  • Change up the fruit. This salad is very forgiving. As long as the quantities remain fairly consistent, feel free to change up the berries or fruit to personal preference!
  • Sprinkle in fresh herbs. Fresh mint would add a nice contrasting flavor to this salad.

Quinoa Fruit Salad Storage

Once dressed, this salad doesn’t store well. The dressing will begin to break down the fruit and the salad becomes a bit mushy. With good, ripe fruit, this salad doesn’t last longer than a day.

More Quinoa Salad Recipes

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Quinoa Fruit Salad

5 from 5 votes
This fresh and lively Quinoa Fruit Salad starts with tender quinoa and loads on fresh fruits and a tangy citrus vinaigrette.
Print Recipe

Quinoa Fruit Salad

5 from 5 votes
This fresh and lively Quinoa Fruit Salad starts with tender quinoa and loads on fresh fruits and a tangy citrus vinaigrette.
Course Salad, Side Dish, Vegetarian
Cuisine American, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword Quinoa Fruit Salad
Prep Time 30 minutes
Quinoa Cooking & Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 as a side
Calories 370kcal
Cost $9.92

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (180g) uncooked quinoa (I use tri-color quinoa)
  • 1 large mango or 2 small honey mangoes (~1-1/3 cup; 215g), peeled and diced
  • 1 container (6 oz.; 170g) raspberries (~1 heaping cup)
  • 2 kiwis, peeled and chopped
  • 4-5 clementine oranges, or Cutie,s peeled and segmented
  • 1 heaping cup (175g) fresh blueberries

Dressing

  • 2 clementine or Cuties oranges (2 tablespoons juice and 1 teaspoon zest)
  • 1 large lemon (1 tablespoon juice and 1/4 teaspoon zest)
  • 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup (48g) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt and pepper (I use about 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper)

Instructions

  • DRESSING: Combine all the dressing ingredients in a Mason jar. Seal and shake vigorously to combine. Store in the fridge until ready to use, giving it another good shake before pouring over the salad.
  • (MAKE AHEAD) QUINOA: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small pot over high heat. Once boiling, add in the quinoa and season to taste with salt. (I add 1/2 teaspoon.) Stir, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to low. Let cook, undisturbed, until liquid is absorbed and quinoa has. "popped," about 13-20 minutes. Remove the quinoa, keeping it covered, and let stand to steam for 5-10 minutes. Transfer to an air-tight container and chill in the fridge until ready to make this salad. If you need it cooler faster, spread the cooked and fluffed quinoa on a sheet pan in one even layer. Place the sheet pan in the fridge or freezer for 10-15 minutes or until cooled.
  • FRUIT PREP: Peel and chop the mango. Wash the raspberries and blueberries; thoroughly dry. Peel the kiwis and slice or chop. Peel and segment the oranges.
  • SALAD: Once quinoa is fully cooled, add to a large bowl. Add all the prepared fruit.
  • ENJOY: Pour the dressing over the salad (add dressing to desired preference; we add it all.) and gently toss the salad to combine, taking care not to damage the fruit. Enjoy immediately. Salad is best enjoyed the same day it is made; leftovers don't store very well.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 370kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 671mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 829IU | Vitamin C: 114mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 3mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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28 Comments

      1. I think it depends on what store. Most often I’ve found it in the healthy food sections or gluten free sections. Occasionally I will buy it in bulk from Sam’s Club because it is cheaper that way. For tri-color quinoa, I recommend Bob’s Red Mill – that’s my favorite!

  1. I love all these salads, Chelsea! This one is especially gorgeous. Hope I get a chance to try it 🙂

  2. You photograph the most beautiful salads, Chelsea! I love the quinoa in this fruity salad and I especially love the dressing! It’s perfect for Spring! Pinned!

    1. You are so sweet! Thank you Justine 🙂 thanks for the pin! Hope you are having a great weekend!

  3. This looks AMAZING!! All of your photographs are so beautiful!! And definitely inspiring to eat healthy! Lovely!!

  4. Another beautiful salad!! I love the variety of fruit you used in this one. Very tropical indeed! I don’t think I’m 100% on board with quinoa, but I bet this salad would totally change my mind! So pretty! 🙂

  5. Chelsea, you are so fabulous at making salads. The presentation is beautiful!! Really. Thanks for the salad inspiration. Pinned for later. Happy Monday!

  6. 5 stars
    I am in love with this salad, Chelsea! Quinoa is one of my favorite grains to cook with. It’s basically a staple in my house!

    1. Thank you so much for pinning and sharing on G+ Julie! Love that quinoa is a staple in your house – same for us! 🙂

  7. I am loving all the tropical fruits and flavors in this salad – it looks beautiful! Love quinoa but I’ve still never tried the tri-colored one – it looks so pretty in here 🙂

  8. Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to your blog before but after going through
    many of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely happy I found it and
    I’ll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!

  9. I adore all of your delicious salads, but this one is the best so far!! 🙂 So much color and goodness in one bowl!

  10. 5 stars
    This salad is amazing! A friend of mine recently turned me on to quinoa and when I saw this recipe I knew I wanted to try it. My baby is due in 3 weeks and I have been trying to plan pre, active and post labor meals and thought this would hit the spot and give me an energy boost to get through it. I just made it to see if its a must have when the time comes and it is! I cant stop eating it haha its so delicious. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. It is my new go to! Yum!

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