Cherry, Arugula and Quinoa Salad

cherry arugula salad with quinoa, goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette
Last week, I was so busy posting peach recipes that I failed to mention the massive bag of cherries I was snacking on in real life. I don’t think we’ll have a full-blown cherry week, but I do have several cherry recipes up my sleeve.

Today, I thought I’d share my new favorite summer salad. Seriously packed with flavor, it’s composed of peppery arugula, warm black quinoa, goat cheese, and gorgeous dark red cherries, tossed with an easy balsamic vinaigrette. If you can hunt down cherries before the end of summer, make this salad—you don’t want to wait another year for it!

healthy quinoa, cherry and arugula salad recipe

Cherry, Arugula and Quinoa Salad
Recipe type: Salad
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • One handful of dark cherries, pitted and sliced in half
  • Goat cheese crumbles
  • Arugula
  • Cooked quinoa (red or black is preferable to white quinoa)
  1. Cook the quinoa: measure out one cup of quinoa, pour into a colander, and rinse the quinoa under water for a minute. Pour the rinsed quinoa into a pot and add two cups water (you’re going for a 1:2 ratio of quinoa and water). Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from heat, let sit for a few minutes, and fluff with a fork.
  2. Assemble your salad: whisk together the dressing ingredients and toss with several handfuls of arugula. Add slightly warm quinoa, a good sprinkle of goat cheese, and cherries.
Inspired by Kiss My Spatula's Wild Arugula-Quinoa Salad with Cherries.
Make just one serving: One cup of uncooked quinoa will yield enough cooked quinoa for about 3 or 4 salads. I like to have leftovers around for breakfast, but feel free to use ½ cup quinoa and one cup water if you don’t want much extra.
Make it dairy free: Just omit the cheese!


  1. says

    Yummm! I’ve never put cherries in a salad but the idea sounds delicious! I’m so impressed with your culinary skills Kate. Those peach mojitos below sound right up my alley!

  2. says

    another great recipe using quinoa, kate! :) its funny that even tho its still winter here, i am beginning to see more and more cherries at my supermarket! i can imagine they go really well with the goats cheese!!
    btw, all your peach recipe photos look so dreamy :)

  3. says

    I made a nearly identical salad at the same time as G’s, but used wild rice instead of quinoa. Any kind of grain salad is a winner in my book! Pictures are lovely.

    • says

      Yum, that sounds great! I’m kind of obsessed with tossing warm grains (I need to try wild rice) into salads. They add such a nice temperature/texture contrast.

  4. Amy says

    Looks great! I am a vegan but I do want to find something with a similar quality to the goat cheese. (I have tried the Vegan Artisan Cheese recipe, but it’s too hot to make rejuvelac that is any good here in NM in July!) I was wondering if you have a simple suggestion of what to put in the salad that would have the same sort of contrast to the other ingredients.

    Thank you!

    • says

      Hmmm. Amy, I wish I had a great suggestion! I’m stumped on this one. Feta is really salty, so in Mexican recipes I recommend adding pickled jalapenos in place of the cheese, and in Greek recipes, I say olives, but I’m not quite sure what would play well here. Sometimes a little bit of mellow white miso can take a recipe over the top, so you could try adding just a tiny bit to the dressing? Maybe?

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