From the Jewish Food Hero Kitchen: Quinoa Cranberry Mandarin Salad

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pale pink oval shaped dish of quinoa mandarin cranberry salad on a bed of rocket

This high protein quinoa salad has it all: crunchy celery, sweet oranges and tangy cranberries. It is a complete meal on its own. Its colorful appearance also makes it a lovely addition to any table as a side dish.

I was inspired to make this recipe after trying dried cranberries in a salad made by my cousin Jenny. I love dried fruit as an ingredient in salads. The intense sweetness and chewiness adds a satisfying contrast to crunchy, fresh vegetables.

The cranberries in this recipe are that perfect combination of extremely sweet and extremely sour. It’s easy to assume that kids dislike strong flavours. But just try offering them this dish and I guarantee they will love it.

This is an ideal dish to serve during Passover because it does not contain Kitniyot. Since quinoa is technically a grass, it is a much needed alternative to our limited range of carbohydrates during Passover. Serving this for dinner during Passover would be a great way to relieve some of the heaviness and bloating we can experience as a result of eating all that Matza. Speaking of which, quinoa is high in fibre. Mixed with so many fresh vegetables this recipe is a Passover treat for our digestion

You can make this dish all year round and switch up ingredients to add variety. Here are some alternatives I like:

  • Switch the cabbage the zucchini and use thin slices of dried apricots in place of the cranberries
  • Mix grated carrot with raisins soaked in orange juice
  • Omit the mandarin slices and fruit juice. Add chickpeas or any legumes you enjoy. Serve drizzled with the tahini dressing from the Jewish Food Hero Carrot and Cashew Salad recipe.

Quinoa cranberry mandarin salad

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From the Jewish Food Hero Kitchen: Quinoa Cranberry Mandarin Salad

  • Author: Jewish Food Hero
  • Yield: 68 portions 1x


  • 6 cups cooked quinoa (2 cups dry)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 X 10.5-ounce cans of mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage (or more if you like it)
  • ½ cup minced red onion
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice (keep extra ¼ cup aside in case you want to add more)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (keep extra 2 tablespoons aside in case you want to add more)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: 4 cups baby arugula or baby spinach (or more)


For the salad:

  • Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer a few times
  • Place in a medium saucepan and cook according to the directions on the package
  • Set aside to cool
  • Place quinoa, red cabbage, celery, red onion, and cranberries in a large mixing bowl
  • Stir to combine
  • Add mandarin oranges and stir into salad very lightly so that they retain their shape and color (no mushing!)

For the dressing:

  • In a small bowl, combine orange juice, lemon juice and add salt and pepper to taste
  • Add more lemon and/or orange juice as desired… or…add to a glass of water and drink it!
  • Adjust seasoning to taste

Serve over a bed of arugula or baby spinach if desired. You can dress the salad before serving, or put both bowls on the table so everyone can help themselves.

If you like this recipe, you’ll love The Jewish Food Hero Cookbook: 50 Simple Plant-based Recipes for Your Holiday Table



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