Autumn Quinoa Salad with Caramelized Onions, Dried Cranberries & Sage

This gluten-free salad has alllll the Fall feels. Delicious warm or cold, it makes a large quantity, keeps well for several days and pairs with everything.

Gluten-Free Fall Quinoa Salad #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily
Autumn Quinoa Salad with Caramelized Onions, Dried Cranberries & Sage

Just 5 main ingreidents. Easy to prep. Savory with a touch of tartness & Delish!

There was a chill to the air today so this simple salad was calling my name.

Just 5 ingredients plus an olive oil/ lemon juice dressing, this salad is easy to prep but still packed with different flavors & textures and DELISH!

It’s simply cooked quinoa, caramelized onions, dried cranberries, sliced almonds and fresh sage all tossed with a little EVOO and lemon juice.  The caramelized onions contrast perfectly with the tart cranberries and the almonds provide just a little crunch.

Gluten-Free Fall Quinoa Salad #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily

Delicious warm or cold, this Autumn Quinoa Salad is a versatile side dish working equally well along side roasted vegetables or a grilled protein.

And this recipe makes a large quantity and is perfect for a crowd or meal prep.

All you need to make it is: quinoa, 2 onions, sliced almonds, dried cranberries, fresh sage, lemons for lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and a little salt.Gluten-Free Fall Quinoa Salad #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily

The key to this salad and lots of its flavor comes from the caramelized onions.

There are lots of ways to caramelize onions but the key is to not rush the cooking, let them cook up slowly.  These take about 20 minutes to caramelize which is the amount of time to cook quinoa so it the entire salad comes together quickly.

Back to caramelizing onions…. Onions are naturally high in sugars and when they cook, they soften and get tender, releasing sugars which give them that yummy caramelized flavor as they continue to cook up and brown when you cook them slowly over a medium low heat for about 15-20 minutes.

Gluten-Free Fall Quinoa Salad #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily

You can see that there will be brown pieces stuck to the bottom of the pan which have lots of yummy flavor. So if you are feeling adventurous, you can add a little water to the pan over medium low heat and using a spoon give it a stir, which will loosen the crispy brown parts and you can add them directly to the salad and mix it up.

Either way, you stir the sage in with the caramelized onions, then mix it with the quinoa, cranberries, almonds and a very simple olive oil/ lemon juice dressing.

That’s it! It’s super easy and it’s an easy salad in that it tastes great and pairs with everything.

Recipe from a friend, it’s been a favorite for several years.

Hope you love it as much we do!

Gluten-Free Fall Quinoa Salad #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily


Scroll down to see the recipe and leave comment if you try.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Autumn Quinoa Salad with Caramelized Onions, Dried Cranberries & Sage
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Delicious warm or cold, this salad has all the Fall feels. Just 5 main ingredients plus a simple EVOO/ lemon juice dressing, it's easy to prep, packed with different flavors and textures and delicious. This is a versatile side working equally well alongside roasted vegetables and grilled protein. Great for an every day or holiday table.
Recipe type: Salads, Sides, Fall
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Serves: 6 servings
  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • ½ cup dried cranberries or more to taste (could also use dried cherries)
  • 2-3 tablespoons EVOO, divided
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced into rings (approximately 2 cups)
  • approximately ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
  • ½ cup sliced almonds (more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
Make Quinoa
  1. Rinse quinoa
  2. In a medium saucepan, add quinoa and 2 cups of water.
  3. Bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. You can assemble the salad immediately or later.
Caramelize Onions
  1. Meanwhile, heat 1-2 tablespoon oil to cover the base of a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add onions, sprinkle with salt and cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until soft and golden brown, approx 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in sage.
  4. Tip: To get the brown crispy parts from the base of the skillet, add a tablespoon or two of water to the pan stir over medium low heat for a minute. The brown parts will "lift" from the pan and you can add them to the quinoa salad at the end for extra flavor if you want.
Make Dressing
  1. Mix together remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and lemon juice.
  1. Add cranberries to the dressing and let sit for a minute or two.
  2. Add dressing along with cranberries to cooked quinoa and toss to combine.
  3. Add onions and sage to the quinoa mixture and toss to combine
  4. Add almonds and toss to combine
  5. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the extra brown bits from the caramelized onions skillet as desired. Add more lemon juice as desired. Stir well and enjoy!
  6. Serve warm or cold.
  7. Stays well in the refrigerator for several days in a sealed container.
Gluten-Free Fall Quinoa Salad #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily

2 thoughts on “Autumn Quinoa Salad with Caramelized Onions, Dried Cranberries & Sage

  1. This is DELICIOUS! The flavors capture the essence of Fall. I plan to bring this to a family wedding for my daughter (Celiac) and myself (gluten sensitive) in a couple weeks. Tested it in our kitchen this afternoon. It is fantastic. Thanks so much for the recipe, Karen! Appreciate your help and advice! 😃

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