Cherry Quinoa and Chickpea Salad with arugula, pistachios and feta cheese makes a light and refreshing summer salad.
Topped with balsamic vinaigrette, it has quickly become my go to salad this cherry season!
Come summer and I am all for light and fresh salads.
Since fruits are in abundance during the summer months, I like to include them in my salads too.
Berries, mangoes, apples, they are great in salads. But have you tried a salad with cherries in it?
I made this Cherry Quinoa and Chickpea Salad one day because I had a lot of cherries on hand. Surprisingly, it turned out so well that I had to make it again and share the recipe with you guys.
This Cherry Quinoa Salad
✓ makes a light summer salad
✓ great for summer picnics and potlucks
✓ also a great way to use fresh cherries in season
✓ can me made vegan by swapping the honey with maple and skipping the feta
A good salad is all about different textures and flavors.
This refreshing salad has sweetness from cherries and honey, the freshness from arugula and parsley and the right crunch from pistachios and pumpkin seeds.
There’s also a slight tang from the feta cheese and balsamic vinegar.
All these flavors and textures, makes this an absolute winner!
Cherries are in season right now and this salad is one of my favorite ways to use them. I got a big box of cherries from Costco and have been making this salad pretty much everyday.
The dressing for this salad is pretty simple- there’s extra-virgin olive oil, honey, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. And that’s about it.
Remember to use a good brand of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It does affect the final taste of the salad.
I also add a little bit of water just to mix it all well together and make the dressing slightly thinner in consistency. You can skip it if you want.
Can you make this cherry quinoa salad vegan?
Yes, you can. For that you would need to use a vegan sweetener like maple syrup in place of honey and skip the feta cheese or use a vegan cheese alternative.
However, if you are not vegan, I would recommend sticking to the recipe.
The feta cheese is really good in here.
It’s funny how our tastes bud evolve. When I first tasted feta cheese several years ago, I didn’t like it.
It had to do with the fact that I wasn’t exposed to various types of cheese growing up.
So, it took me a while to like it. But now, I really love feta cheese. Used in the right amount, it really makes the flavors pop.
Can you make this salad in advance?
Yes! In fact this salad tastes even better once it’s chilled and allowed to sit for some time. So, you can make this in advance.
I hope you guys will enjoy this salad as much as I did. The flavors come really well together and I am excited for you guys to try it this summer.
To a large bowl, add all the ingredients for the salad- cooked quinoa, chickpeas, pitted cherries, arugula, pistachios, pumpkin seeds and chopped parsley. Set aside.
Now, to a small jar add all the ingredients for the dressing- extra-virgin olive oil, honey, balsamic vinegar, pepper, salt and water.
Close the jar with a lid and shake vigorously to combine.
Once combined, pour the dressing over the salad.
Toss to combine it all together.
Top the salad with crumbled feta cheese and serve.
If you would like, chill the salad before serving. Enjoy this refreshing Cherry Quinoa Salad!
Cherry Quinoa and Chickpea Salad
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa or add more to taste
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 20 pitted cherries cut in half
- 2 cups arugula
- 2 tablespoons pistachios I used roasted and salted
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to taste
- salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon water
2-3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- To a large bowl, add all the ingredients for the salad- cooked quinoa, chickpeas, pitted cherries, arugula, pistachios, pumpkin seeds and chopped parsley. Set aside.
- Now, to a small jar add all the ingredients for the dressing- extra-virgin olive oil, honey, balsamic vinegar, pepper, salt and water. Close the jar with a lid and shake vigorously to combine.
- Once combined, pour the dressing over the salad.Toss to combine it all together.
- Top the salad with crumbled feta cheese and serve. This salad tastes even better when chilled!
- You can use more of quinoa and less of arugula in this salad. I did not use a lot of quinoa because I just like my salad this way but feel free to change.
- This recipe doesn't make a lot, it only serves 3 as a side of small salad. But you should be able to double the recipe easily.