Nothing says summer quite like a fresh, crisp, berry-topped salad! This berry pecan quinoa salad with homemade berry vinaigrette is perfect for lunch, dinner or to take to BBQs!
As summer rolls around I can’t help but buy berries every time I go to the store! I love piling them on top of pancakes or granola, blending them into smoothies, eating them on their own, or using them in salads. This berry salad is one of my favorites!
Berries on Salad??
Confession: I’ve never been one to add berries to my salads until recently. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE fruit salad, but never really understood why people would load up their greens with them. That’s all changed.
Ever since I started making my own berry vinaigrette, I totally get it! I just needed to use the right dressing. Duh.
Trust me, the combination of ingredients in this salad is everything. Healthy greens, fresh berries, toasted pecans, A bit of quinoa, and of course the berry vinaigrette to top it all off. YUM!
Assemble in Minutes!
Making this salad is really quick and straightforward, especially if you have the dressing made and quinoa cooked in advance. It’s just a matter of throwing it together in a bowl!
GREENS. For this salad I like to use a spring mix as the base. It’s something you can find at most grocery stores in a pre-packaged mix.
QUINOA. Then I like to add a bit of cold quinoa to it (for protein). You can use red or white quinoa, whichever you prefer.
PECANS. Make sure to use toasted nuts… it will make a world of difference both texture-wise & taste-wise. P.S. you can do this by tossing raw pecans into a dry skillet set over medium heat. Shake every few minutes or so and when they start to become fragrant you know they’re done 🙂
BERRIES. Then top with lots of fresh blueberries, raspberries and sliced strawberries.
DRESSING. Whip up a batch of my homemade berry vinaigrette and you’re good to go! I added a sprinkle of poppy seeds into my dressing this time around, but that’s totally optional… it’ll taste great either way.
Variations + Storage
- Consider adding in fresh mint or fresh basil to the dressing.
- Chop the pecans after roasting for a smaller bite.
- If you wanted a more filling salad, top with slices of chicken or add a bit of bacon or bleu cheese to it!
Keep leftover berry pecan quinoa salad STORED without dressing in an airtight container for 4-5 days in the fridge. Store your homemade dressing in a sealed container, like a mason jar, for up to a week.
For more salad recipes, try:
- Apple Harvest Salad
- Cobb Salad
- Cranberry Apple Pecan Kale Salad
- Honey Mustard Chicken Salad
- Orzo Arugula Salad
- Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad
Berry Pecan Quinoa Salad Recipe
For the Salad
- 3 cup spring green mix
- 1/3 cup blueberries
- 1/3 cup raspberries
- 1/2 cup strawberries - sliced
- 1/3 cup toasted pecans
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa - cooled
- cooked chicken - chopped
- bacon crumbles
- bleu cheese crumbles
For the Dressing
- 1/2 cup raspberries
- 2 medium strawberries - sliced
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar - OR balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp shallot - minced
- pinch salt
- pinch pepper
- 1/2 tsp poppy seeds - optional
- Add the greens to a large plate or medium size bowl. Top with fruit, pecans and quinoa.
- To make the dressing, in a food processor combine all of the ingredients except for the poppy seeds. Puree until smooth. If you want an extra creamy dressing, pour through a mesh sieve to remove the seeds. Stir in poppy seeds if desired, toss with salad, a little bit at a time (this recipe makes a generous amount of dressing, store the leftover dressing in the refrigerator for up to 3 days).