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Festive Gluten-Free Delight: Cranberry and Pecan Quinoa Salad

cranberry pecan quinoa salad

The holiday season is a time for joy, celebration, and, of course, delicious food. If you or someone in your group has a gluten sensitivity, it can be a challenge to find recipes that cater to everyone's dietary needs. Fear not, because we have the perfect gluten-free recipe to share at your holiday work party or group gathering. Our Cranberry and Pecan Quinoa Salad is not only gluten-free but also bursting with festive flavors that will leave everyone wanting more.


bowl of cranberries and pecans

  • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed

  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth

  • 1 cup dried cranberries

  • 1 cup chopped pecans

  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley

  • 1/2 cup green onions, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook the Quinoa: In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the quinoa and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked and the liquid is absorbed. Allow it to cool completely.

  2. Prepare the Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. This will be the flavorful dressing that ties all the ingredients together.

  3. Combine Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked and cooled quinoa with the dried cranberries, chopped pecans, fresh parsley, and green onions.

  4. Add the Dressing: Pour the dressing over the quinoa mixture and gently toss until all ingredients are well coated.

  5. Chill and Serve: Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours to allow the flavors to meld. This salad can be made a day in advance, making it a convenient option for busy holiday preparations. When ready to serve, give it a final toss and garnish with additional parsley or pecans if desired.

Why This Recipe is Perfect for a Group Setting:

  1. Gluten-Free Goodness: With quinoa as the base, this salad is naturally gluten-free, making it a safe and enjoyable option for those with dietary restrictions.

  2. Festive Flavors: The combination of sweet, dried cranberries, crunchy pecans, and the zesty dressing creates a festive medley of flavors that embody the holiday spirit.

  3. Easy to Scale: This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to accommodate a larger group. It's a stress-free option for potlucks or office gatherings.

  4. Make-Ahead Convenience: The ability to prepare this salad ahead of time allows you to focus on other aspects of your holiday preparations. It's one less thing to worry about on the day of your gathering.

  5. Healthy and Nutritious: Packed with protein from quinoa and the nutritional benefits of cranberries and pecans, this salad is not only delicious but also a healthy addition to your holiday spread.

This Cranberry and Pecan Quinoa Salad is the perfect gluten-free addition to your holiday celebration. With its vibrant colors, delightful textures, and a harmony of flavors, it's sure to be a hit at your work party or group gathering. Share the joy of delicious, gluten-free eating this holiday season!


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