Autumn Quinoa Salad with Caramelized Onions, Dried Cranberries & Sage

This simple gluten-free salad has alllll the Fall feels. It's savory, with a touch of tartness and delish! Tasty warm or cold, it makes a large quantity, keeps well for several days and pairs with everything.

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

Simple, Savory, Versatile and Delish!

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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 simple and easy to prep but still packed with different flavors & textures and DELISH!

It’s simply warm quinoa tossed with caramelized onions, dried cranberries, sliced almonds and fresh sage… all tossed with a little EVOO and lemon juice.

The ingredients themselves scream Fall!

And they work beautifully together.. the caramelized onions contrast perfectly with the tart cranberries and the almonds provide just a little crunch.

Gluten-Free Fall Quinoa Salad #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes


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


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

And the entire salad comes together quickly.

The only “cooking” is making the quinoa and caramelizing the onions.  They both take about 20 minutes and can be done at the same time.

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.

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.


After the onions caramelize, you stir the sage in with the caramelized onions…

Gluten-Free Fall Quinoa Salad #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.comMeanwhile mix the warm quinoa with the cranberries and olive oil/ lemon juice dressing.

Gluten-Free Fall Quinoa Salad #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.comThen add in the onions, and then stir in the almonds. 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


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


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5 from 3 votes

Autumn Quinoa Salad with Caramelized Onions, Dried Cranberries & Sage

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.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Salads, Sides, Fall
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Healthy Gluten-free Family


  • 1 cup quinoa uncooked
  • 1/2 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 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh sage chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste


Make Quinoa

  • Rinse quinoa
  • In a medium saucepan, add quinoa and 2 cups of water.
  • Bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • You can assemble the salad immediately or later.

Caramelize Onions

  • Meanwhile, heat 1-2 tablespoon oil to cover the base of a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add onions, sprinkle with salt and cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until soft and golden brown, approx 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in sage.
  • 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

  • Mix together remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and lemon juice.


  • Add cranberries to the dressing and let sit for a minute or two.
  • Add dressing along with cranberries to cooked quinoa and toss to combine.
  • Add onions and sage to the quinoa mixture and toss to combine
  • Add almonds and toss to combine
  • 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!
  • Serve warm or cold.
  • Stays well in the refrigerator for several days in a sealed container.
Tried this recipe?Mention @healthyGFfamily or tag #healthyGFfamily!

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

  1. 5 stars
    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! ?

  2. If i want to make ahead for thanksgiving….how far would you go with assembly, , maybe dont add almonds until serving? If prefer warm, can you microwave to re heat? Thanks so much!

  3. Is there an alternative to almonds you would suggest? We are cooking dinner for folks with several allergies, and one is almonds

5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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