Nothing beats this honeycrisp quinoa salad on a Monday.

honeycrisp quinoa salad with kale and pistachios

And it’s no secret that I love a good september salad! 

kale with quinoa and pistachios

Because kale, honeycrisps, and anything else I can grab to celebrate the seasons – the end of summer and start of fall –  are perfect together in one big bowl. 

chopped apples and feta

Years ago I made this harvest honey crisp salad. The cinnamon shallot vinaigrette is the star of the show in this one! And, the double nuts. 

Then, I made a september kale salad, with figs and apples and pancetta and goat cheese. All sounds incredible right? That’s topped off with a maple cider vinaigrette and it deeeelish.

See? I’m just a little into september salads…

honeycrisp quinoa salad with kale and pistachios

For today’s salad, I’m keeping the kale and honeycrisps, but adding in some quinoa for satiety, some feta cubes, pistachios for savory, buttery crunch and dried tart cherries. 

Oh my word. This is heaven. It has EVERYTHING.

And then! It’s all drizzled with an apple cider vinaigrette. If you love a salty+sweet combo, you will adore this. It’s amazing. 

Give me all the apple cider things!

apple cider dressing

The base is tuscan kale, which is my absolute favorite for salads. You can use curly green too, of course. When the kale is massaged (yes, it’s massaged!) with the dressing, it becomes tender and chewy, in a really good way. 

Then we have the crunch from the nuts. The big juicy chunks of apple. The feta cubes which are tangy and cheesy and lovely. Then sweet chewiness from the cherries.

honeycrisp quinoa salad with kale and pistachios

A salad like this is the perfect way to transition from summer to fall. It’s refreshing enough to hit the spot on warm late summer nights, but adds enough flavor to get you excited for autumn produce. 

Let it be dinner tonight!

honeycrisp quinoa salad with kale and pistachios

Honeycrisp Quinoa Salad with Kale and Pistachios

Honeycrisp Quinoa Salad with Kale and Pistachios

This honeycrisp quinoa salad is made with kale, feta, pistachios, dried cherries and an incredible apple cider vinaigrette.
5 from 22 votes
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  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 large bunch lacinato kale, leaves removed from stems (you want 4 to 6 cups)
  • 2 honey crisp apples cubed
  • 6 ounces feta cheese cubed
  • cup dried tart cherries
  • ¼ cup chopped roasted pistachios

apple cider vinaigrette


  • This is a great dish to use up leftover quinoa, but if you don’t have it made, start with that! Make a batch of quinoa first and while it cooks (it will take about 15 minutes), chop your other ingredients.
  • Chop the kale and place it in a bowl. Drizzle it with about 2 tablespoons of the apple cider vinaigrette and massage the kale with your hands for 1 to 2 minutes. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes.
  • If you are using just-cooked quinoa (so it's warm), you can put it over the kale to wilt it a bit. If it's cold or room temp, that is fine too. Once the kale has rested, add in the quinoa, apples, feta, pistachios and cherries. Toss well and drizzle on more of the dressing. Serve!
  • This salad stays surprisingly well overnight - the apples may slightly brown a bit, but if you seal it in a container, the leftovers are great.

apple cider vinaigrette

  • Whisk together the apple cider, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Whisk constantly while streaming in the olive oil. This dressing stays great sealed in the fridge for a few days.

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honeycrisp quinoa salad with kale and pistachios

Bite of perfection, right there!