Pecan, Watermelon and Arugula Quinoa Salad

by Grace Boyle on August 3, 2011

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This dish has been my go-to Summer potluck item.

First, it’s easy to prepare. Second, it’s always consumed rapidly. Third, it goes great as a side dish. Fourth, it tastes just as good as a leftover.

There are a few varieties to this grain salad, so feel free to liberally change some of the ingredients (e.g. swapping out different nuts, adding mustard greens instead of arugula, etc.) Share in the comments if you do something else.

You Will Need:

  • 2 cups quinoa (I also like using black quinoa)
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1/2 cup parsley, minced
  • 1/2 cup tarragon leaves, minced
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, minced
  • 3 cups pecans (I break them up into smaller pieces)
  • 1 cup watermelon, diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries


Take a fairly large pot of water and bring it to boil (salt the water). Add the quinoa and cook for about 25 minutes.

Drain the grain and set aside, letting it cool. I often put it in the fridge to cool down, as it is served best cooler.

Take the remaining ingredients and toss into a large bowl with the quinoa. Add salt and pepper to taste.

That’s it. It creates a colorful dish and my favorite hints of flavor are the watermelon and mint.

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  • Cooking with Michele

    I don’t really like watermelon (ok, I hate it) but this looks so good I might have to try it!

    • grace

      Michele, fair enough (how can you HATE watermelon!) but I’ve actually made this dish without the watermelon and it’s still delicious. Try it without, especially if you dislike it so much. Substitute for another type of fruit maybe. Let me know how it is!

  • la domestique

    This looks delicious, Grace! I love any excuse to use quinoa (healthy+great texture).

    • Grace Boyle

      Thank you! It really is. Let me know if you make it 🙂

  • Leslie Forman

    Yum! It never would have occurred to me to combine all these ingredients. I’ll try it when these things are in season here in the Southern Hemisphere.

    • Grace Boyle

      Funny, right? You don’t have to use all the ingredients, but it is really a delicious combination.

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