Quinoa Salad with Dried Apricots & Baby Spinach

Quinoa Salad with Dried Apricots & Baby Spinach

7 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, Summer 2003

This spicy salad with little jewels of dried apricot in the mix would be welcome for lunch or a simple weekday dinner.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • Moroccan-Spiced Lemon Dressing
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1½ teaspoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Salad
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ Moroccan-Spiced Lemon Dressing, divided
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 8 cups baby spinach
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. To prepare dressing: Whisk lemon juice, yogurt, honey, cumin, cinnamon and ginger in a small bowl until blended. Slowly whisk in ¼ cup oil so the dressing becomes smooth and emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. To prepare salad: Toast quinoa in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until it becomes aromatic and begins to crackle, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a fine sieve and rinse thoroughly.
  3. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Add apricots and the quinoa; continue cooking, stirring often, until the quinoa has dried out and turned light golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add water and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 18 minutes.
  4. Transfer the quinoa to a medium bowl and toss with ⅓ cup of the dressing. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Just before serving, add tomatoes and onion to the quinoa; toss to coat. Toss spinach with the remaining ⅓ cup dressing in a large bowl. Divide the spinach among 4 plates. Mound the quinoa salad on the spinach and sprinkle with almonds.
  • Make Ahead Tip: The recipe makes ⅔ cup dressing (Step 1). Prepare through Step 4. Cover and refrigerate the quinoa salad and remaining dressing separately for up to 2 days.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 1 cup
  • Per serving: 446 calories; 23 g fat(3 g sat); 15 g fiber; 50 g carbohydrates; 12 g protein; 151 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 16 g sugars; 2 g added sugars; 6,740 IU vitamin A; 30 mg vitamin C; 132 mg calcium; 5 mg iron; 363 mg sodium; 984 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (135% daily value), Vitamin C (50% dv), Folate (38% dv), Iron (28% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 2½ starch, 2 vegetable, ½ lean protein, 1½ fat

Reviews 7

January 22, 2019
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By: TempestTeapot
Num! Swapped in romaine and cukes. Love the spices and sweet.
May 23, 2013
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By: jupett
Great make ahead dish The combination of flavors is very palate pleasing. Pros: Delicious and nutritious
March 03, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Best Quinoa Salad Ever! This is one of the best salads I have ever eaten. I want to eat primarily vegetarian but have alwasy found the recipes to be bland. This has inspired me to seek out more vegetarian dishes that are as flavorful as this. I agree with other reviewers: The dressing makes it!!! Pros: Fresh, tasty, easy to prepare
December 19, 2011
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By: StaceyS4
Very Yummy & Satisfying! My Mom, husband & I loved this recipe. I used chicken broth instead of water, sauteed the red onion with the garlic & used golden raisens instead of apricots. Did not use quite so much spinach & put a little extra honey in the dressing. Topped with toasted walnuts instead of almonds. This really is a great quinoa recipe! We loved it! Pros: rather easy to put together Cons: none
May 06, 2011
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By: kelcron7
Very Good! I pretty much made the quinoa as written except used chicken broth instead of water to cook it, did not use almonds, and used 3 green onions instead of a small onion. I placed a half cup of quinoa (without dressing) on a half cup of spinach and 10 halved grape tomatoes. I put 2 Tbsp. dressing on each portion (made 6). I calculated each portion was only 175 cals and it is so so good! The dressing makes it. Thanks.
August 11, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I made this recipe for the first time 2 years ago when introduced to it by a friend and fell in love! It's so easy, so tasty, and very good for you. The measurements for the most part seem to work. I do agree about 8 cups being a bit much and I also only use 1/2 a red onion (it can be overpowering with the whole), but after awhile you can just eyeball everything to your liking and it will work out just fine. Sometimes I use mixed greens with spinach for variety, but that's more of a preference thing. I've also added red quinoa to the mix, which also worked out well. I also don't use all of the dressing, but will sometimes use it with leftovers to moisten the quinoa mixture -- again, that's just preference. All in all, it's definitely a favorite in our household and a perfect summertime salad. Enjoy!
April 26, 2010
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By: Karen NYC
This was a terrific dish. I used about half the spinach called for and the same amount of dressing, and that seemed to come out about right - I'd make more dressing if I were going to do a full 8 cups of spinach. I also only used 1/2 of a medium-sized red onion. In the dressing, I left out the yogurt because my dinner companion does not like it. Otherwise I followed the recipe. I'm a little skeptical that the first step of toasting the quinoa made a difference; I plan to try again without that, just to save time. Toasting the sliced almonds definitely did make a difference, though, and they really added to the flavor of the dish. My results might have been improved by the fact that instead of pre-ground cumin from the store, I used my personal stash of cumin, which was cumin seeds that I had toasted and ground a few months ago. It makes the cumin much more flavorful. I also used fresh lemon juice.
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