Apple Almond Quinoa with Maple Sausage. I, uh, well I ate an entire batch
throughout the day by myself last night…then afterwards Ben found quinoa stuck in my hair. Probably because I practically had my head in the bowl licking it clean. You’ve been there.
That is to say, OMG THIS STUFF IS SO GOOD!
Sunday evening I was flipping through my iPhone photos, reliving fun summer moments like our epic trip to Pittsburgh’s own Beer World, soaring above Napa Valley in a hot air balloon, and enjoying our faces off at the Lake of the Ozarks, when I came across a picture I’d snapped of a prepared salad at Whole Foods in June. Because this is what I do.
I had intended on re-creating the salad for a light summer supper, which is why I photographed the ingredient list, but I’m so glad I waited – then upgraded. Whole Foods’ combo of apple, dried cranberries, almonds, quinoa, green onions, with my addition of maple sausage, is SO FALL, that I can hardly even stand it.
Not only are the textures and flavors in what might be my favorite preparation of quinoa to date absolutely mouthwatering, but the recipe can be made in just 30 minutes, and enjoyed warm or cold. Serve as a light supper for
one two, or flavorful side for more. Either way – you have GOT to try this!
Start the Apple Almond Quinoa with Maple Sausage by rinsing 1/2 cup quinoa very well in a fine mesh strainer under cold running water, then cook in 1 cup gluten-free chicken broth until tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer the cooked quinoa to a large bowl and cool slightly.
Don’t you just love the texture of cooked quinoa, by the way? They look like tiny springs – boing! Ahem.
While the quinoa is cooling, brown 3oz gluten-free maple breakfast sausage (I like Johnsonville brand) in 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. The oil keeps the sausage from sticking to the skillet, and helps it to start browning. You could use any type of sausage, but I love the hint of maple-y sweetness this particular sausage adds to the dish.
Tip: to get nice sausage crumbles, break the sausage up before you start cooking (as seen in the above left picture,) then use a hard, spatula type thingy (helpful) to further break the sausage up as it cooks. I got this spatula with my food processor. It’s hard and just short of being sharp (twss,) which means it won’t scratch my skillet, but it’s really good at breaking up ground meat. Moving on…
Add the sausage to the quinoa cooling in a bowl, then add the rest of the salad ingredients:
2 small chopped green onions (or 1 large green onion,) 1 small chopped apple,
1/4 cup chopped almonds, and 2 Tablespoons gluten-free dried cranberries (I like Ocean Spray brand.)
Toss everything to combine…
Then serve. That’s it!
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Apple Almond Quinoa with Maple Sausage
Apple Almond Quinoa with Maple Sausage is packed with sweet and savory autumnal flavors, perfect for a light lunch, supper, or side.
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 cup gluten-free chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3oz gluten-free maple breakfast sausage (I like Johnsonville brand)
- 1 green onions
- 1 small apple, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped almonds
- 2 Tablespoons gluten-free dried cranberries (I like Ocean Spray brand)
- Rinse quinoa very well in a fine mesh strainer under cold, running water. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a small saucepan then add rinsed quinoa. Place a lid on top, then simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add sausage then brown and drain, if necessary. Add cooked sausage, green onions, chopped apple, almonds, and cranberries to the slightly cooled quinoa. Toss to combine then serve.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
Between the nuttiness of the quinoa and almonds, sweetness of the apple and dried cranberries, and fresh bite from the green onion, there’s no need for dressing on this salad – it is incredibly flavorful all on its own. It’s really good cold too, but my favorite is when the quinoa and maple sausage crumbles are still nice and warm. SO YUM!
I’m jazzed to keep this recipe around for the holidays too. Thinking it’d be a great side for Thanksgiving or Christmas, what with all the bright, seasonal flavors and colors. I’m also toying around with the idea of using pomegranate arils instead of dried cranberries…
How bad could that be?! ;)
join the conversation
I’ve made quinoa a few times as stated in recipes, but it has turned out mushy instead of fluffy like it looks in your pictures. Any tips would be much appreciated! Thanks!
Iowa Girl Eats 11.07.2012
Make sure you drain the quinoa really well after rinsing, then try cooking it in 1/3 cup less liquid. Let me know if that does the trick!
Keira L. 11.04.2012
I’m making this for lunch this afternoon with maple apple chicken sausage! I absolutely LOVE your blog. So many great recipes, and everything I’ve made so far has been husband-approved ;-)
Warm Apple Sausage Almond Quinoa | seestephdostuff 11.04.2012
[…] some extra because I wanted to try a recipe from IowaGirlEats. She made a Whole Foods inspired quinoa dish with apples, almonds, maple sausage and dried cranberries. When I read this recipe the first […]
Making this tonight! As per usual I’m always missing just one of your ingredients but feel like raisins will be a fine substitution. I’m still eating Miss Luann’s Kale salad weekly!!!!
This looks so delicious. Thank you for posting such great quinoa recipes. Before I tried your recipes, quinoa was something I really, really wanted to like, but didn’t. Not at all. Now I have my daughter eating it too. Keep the recipes coming!
I just made this for my coworkers. I wanted something less messy, so I tried adapting to make them ‘bites’ by baking in mini-muffin tins (with a little egg, flour, and parmesean cheese for binders). It didn’t quite work as planned, but the staff agreed with the crispy little punches from the muffin tins and warm this would make a great Thanksgiving stuffing dish!!
Quinoa Stuffing with Apple, Sweet Potato & Hazelnuts | Gluten Free Recipe on FamilyFreshCooking.com #Thanksgiving — Family Fresh Cooking 11.02.2012
[…] Apple Almond Quinoa with Maple Sausage Iowa Girl Eats […]
Love this recipe! Will be linking back to this in my upcoming post :)
I am cooking this up tonight. I can’t wait to try it!
I have tried every quinoa recipe of yours and they are all amazing! So no doubt this will be top notch as well.
Mmm I love fall recipes like this – can’t wait to make it! And I was just thinking how I never feel more like a “fat kid” than when I find food where it doesn’t belong, like my hair, neck, bed, etc.
Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe 10.31.2012
Looks like an absolutely fabulous meal. I love the addition of the sausage – sounds like this dish has staying power!
Jaime Napier 10.31.2012
made this this morning! One of my all time favorite recipes!! Simple, fast, healthy and delicious… what more can a girl ask for!
Hello Iowa Girl, Love your site and your inspirational recipes & pictures, especially the ones with quinoa. Thanks for what you do!
Katie @ Blonde Ambition 10.31.2012
I’m ob-sessed with quinoa. I make some kind of quinoa dish every Sunday to bring for lunch 2-3x that week…And I’m always looking for new ways to dress it up. This sounds awesome! (plus, no added oil from a dressing! Score.)
Your “twss” parentheticals crack me up every time! :P
[email protected] 10.31.2012
I made a very similiar salad, but with chicken and an apple cider dressing. Love the addition of sausage and you’re right this would be a great addition to the Thanksgiving menu!
Halloweenie | A Full Plate 10.31.2012
[…] planned for tonight except Iowa Girl Eat’s Apple Almond Quinoa with Maple Sausage (YUM) and hopefully some scary movies on […]
I wonder if this would work as a Turkey stuffing. Any thoughts on how the quinoa would hold up if cooked again?
Iowa Girl Eats 11.03.2012
I think it would be fine! Whenever I make mini quinoa muffins I cook the quinoa on the stove top then bake for 15-20 minutes, and it turns out great!
Rachel Cooks Good Food 10.31.2012
I’m teaching an Economically Organic class tomorrow night at New Bo City Market in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and I just pulled the quinoa salad I was going to make out of the line-up in favor of this. It’s awesome. It’s perfect for fall. Hooray. Good Job! :)
Iowa Girl Eats 11.03.2012
Awesome! I hope it worked out!