Quinoa Gouda and Arugula Salad

The Quinoa Gouda and Arugula Salad is a nutritious and delicious balance of flavor and texture. It is a perfect summer party salad that is easy to make!

I had a plan. I truly did. Quinoa salads are one of my favorite things to make. This Quinoa Gouda and Arugula Salad is one of my absolute favorites! I love green salads, believe me. But sometimes I need something different. So back to my plan…I have several quinoa salads to share with you. My plan was to have a Quinoa Week. I still will. I promise. But, sometimes peer pressure makes you do things outside of the plan.

I am talking about the good kind of peer pressure. The kind of peer pressure that happens when you bring this delicious Quinoa Gouda and Arugula Salad to a gathering of women and several ask about the ingredients and for the recipe. You know, that was the very reason I first started my first food blog. I was (and still am!) happy to share my recipes but isn’t it so much easier when they are written somewhere for all to see and access?

So, I decided to forgo the plan and go ahead and post this one for all of you lovely ladies that are interested in making this in your own kitchens.

The Quinoa Gouda and Arugula Salad is a delicious balance of flavor and texture. But, I want to give you the freedom to change things to fit your likes. You can choose to use the plain white quinoa or use a multicolored version. You could always substitute something else for the Gouda cheese, maybe you like another kind better? Do you prefer pecans over almonds, then use those! Do you find that arugula has too strong of a taste? Use spinach or even romaine lettuce instead! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE it like this. But, I know there are times I run out of something at home or I just want to make a change and I want you to feel like you can do that too!


  • 1 1/2 cups (250 grams) quinoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 medium celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins, finely chopped
  • 1 cup toasted almonds, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Gouda, cut into small cubes
  • 2 medium, crisp Gala apples, thinly sliced & rinsed with diluted lemon juice
  • 3 cups (4 oz.) arugula, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • salt & pepper


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa, salt and 2 1/2 cups water to a boil. Lower heat and cover. Simmer until water has been fully absorbed (I stick the end of a wooden spoon in to move the quinoa over and if I can see the water it is not yet done, but if there is no water on the bottom of the saucepan, I know it is done cooking). Remove from the heat, but leave covered for about 15 minutes. Fluff quinoa and cool.
  2. In a skillet, heat olive oil and add onions. Saute onions until they soften and lightly brown. Add the balsamic vinegar and continue to cook until the vinegar has been completely absorbed. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cooled cooked quinoa, cooled onions, celery, raisins, almonds and Gouda. Stir to combine. Add apple slices and arugula, stir carefully to combine.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Pour the mixture over the salad and again, stir carefully to combine. Salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Refrigerate 30 minutes to an hour before serving. (recommended, not required)


I usually use plain white quinoa, but the multi-colored version is perfect for a party!

I usually toast the almonds before I heat the olive oil to saute the onions. This way I dirty less dishes!

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