Quinoa Apricot & Arugula Salad

quinoa apricot & arugula salad / loveandlemons.com

I’ll never get tired of salads with arugula, avocado and quinoa. I realize these are common ingredients for me, but hear me out – this one is special (although, truthfully, I think they’re all special). I made a sweet combo with dried apricots, peppery arugula, smoky cumin and fruity Arbequina Olive Oil. (I almost named this Arbequina Quinoa – but try to say that one five times fast).

homemade olive oil dressing w/ California Olive Ranch Arbequina quinoa apricot & arugula salad / loveandlemons.com

So what’s Arbequina Olive Oil? It’s a light and fruity extra virgin olive oil that’s perfect for spring and summer salads like this one. Coincidentally, I’ve been buying it long before the folks at California Olive Ranch started sending it to me. Try it, I promise you’ll love it. (I usually buy mine at Whole Foods).

I made this simple moroccan-inspired salad dressing with cumin, garlic, lemon and honey. If you’re vegan (or even if you’re not), a few squeezes of orange would be a nice exchange for the honey.

homemade olive oil dressing w/ California Olive Ranch Arbequina

quinoa apricot & arugula salad
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup chickpeas, drained, rinsed
  • a few big handfuls of arugula
  • 1 small avocado, cubed
  • ¼ cup dried apricots
  • ¼ cup chopped, toasted almonds
  • ¼ cup chopped chives
  1. Whisk the dressing ingredients together.
  2. Toss together the cooked quinoa, chickpeas, arugula, avocado and dried apricots. Drizzle in the dressing and toss again. Top the salad with chopped almonds and chives.Taste and adjust seasonings.

This post is sponsored by California Olive Ranch. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep us cooking!

If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.


  1. I am just back from a 1-month holiday and this salad looks like the perfect way to get back into healthy eating. Lovely.

  2. This salad’s looking great! I can’t wait to try the recipe, it’ll be perfect for a nice, warm summer evening!

  3. Leah from georgiapeachonmymind.com on said:

    I will have to give this combo a try – love the pairing of salty and sweet and peppery arugula. The olive oil sounds like a great addition too – I’ll have to check it out!!

  4. Emma from coconutandberries.com on said:

    I’ve been taste-testing different olive oils lately and there’s a huge variety I didn’t know about before. The “Arbequina” olive oil sounds like it would be lovely here.
    Do you not prefer unsulfured apricots? I think they’re much yummier 🙂

  5. Yes please! You can’t go wrong with quinoa, arugula, avocado, and toasted almonds. I’m interested to see how they complement the apricot. 🙂

  6. Lisa from theveganpact.com on said:

    Oh wow! Ive had alot of dried apricots in my pantry that Ive been wanting to put to good use!

  7. This is a gorgeous looking salad that is completely up my alley! I make a cumin lentil soup with dried apricots, so I know how good the cumin-apricot pairing is. I could eat this kind of quinoa salad every day! Nice one!

  8. Pang from circahappy.com on said:

    Who said you can’t make 100 different kinds of salad with arugula, avocado and quinoa? I do not oppose to that idea at all. I am not a healthy person, so by coming to your blog & see your beautiful salads etc., those photos & recipes encourage me to eat better, and I thank you for that 🙂

    I have not tried California Olive Ranch Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil before, but I might give it a try once I use up mine 🙂

  9. I love arugula based salads. I think this is going to be on the lunch roster very soon! Excellent addition of almonds and apricots 🙂

  10. Jenna Ericson from maybelately.com on said:

    Ohhhh my goodness, this looks delicious. I may have to give this a go.
    Unfortunately, I’m allergic to apricots. It sounds delicious, even without them… but might you have any ideas for a substitute?
    Maybe some dried mango or pineapple or something, I don’t know. Hmmm.

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      absolutely – dried mango would be lovely, I also love to use currants as a little pop of sweetness…

    • Laurel Anderson from laurelsoriginals.com on said:

      Dried mango! what a great idea! I live in Costa Rica where dried apricots are the price of gold and mangoes litter the ground. I love the idea of drying them. I also grow arugula all year round.This salad sounds fantastic, will try asap, it’s always summer here!

  11. I luuuuuurv CA Olive Ranch oils. Such a robust flavor. This salad looks like a perfect way to use it!

  12. This looks wonderful! What a perfect spring salad.

    xx gemma @ gemmachew.com

  13. Mmm, this is making me hungry right now! Love all of the flavors in this, I’ll have to try it once I get my hands on some fresh veggies. 🙂

  14. This is such an amazing salad! Love the summery notes of the olive oil and the quinoa! Delicious!

  15. Kristin from blog.kristinfleming.com on said:

    I am so looking forward to putting this on my families dinner menu! Looks so good.

  16. Erin from elizabeth-erin.blogspot.com on said:

    I’m making this this week, beautiful!

  17. sandy on said:

    sounds so yummy. is the cumin in the dressing whole or ground?

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      ground cumin

      • sandy on said:

        many thanks for your speedy reply – on the menu now for my lunch!

  18. Nina on said:

    This looks delicious! Any suggestions of what I could substitute for cumin in the dressing? (It’s one spice that I’m lacking in my cupboard at the moment) Maybe turmeric?

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      I think turmeric would be great (maybe with a pinch of cayenne for some heat, if you have some ground corriander, that would also be nice with turmeric). OR Paprika would work too (if it’s smoked paprika, start with less, add more to taste).

      • Nina on said:

        Thanks Jeanine! Can’t wait to try it!

  19. Emily from ginghamandsteel.com on said:

    I love all your recipes, especially your salads, but I’ve got a rather silly question – how do you keep the quinoa in each bite of your salad? I find when I make salads with quinoa, I can’t get any to stay with the leaves and other goodies, and so it’s more like a bowl of quinoa at the end of a nice salad. (Not that it’s horrible, but still – seems like a bit of a waste!)

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Ha, I’m not sure I’ve noticed that problem :). Try tossing the greens with the quinoa while it’s still a little bit warm (not hot) – it’ll wilt them slightly and help everything stay together.

  20. Jaimie from lizzyinthekitchen.typepad.com on said:

    Awesome! I’ve been throwing some dried papaya in my chopped salads lately and it is seriously the most delightful surprise when you get a bite. 🙂

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      I love a little pop of sweetness in salads!

  21. Beth on said:

    I made this tonight, and I’m so glad I did! It was light, refreshing, delicious, and unexpected with the cumin in the dressing. Thank you! 🙂

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      thanks for sharing – glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  22. Andrea on said:

    We had this delicious salad this evening. Thanks!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      so glad you liked it!

  23. Niina G on said:

    This was fantastic. I used fresh apricots instead of dried, and added some fresh green onions as I had them handy. Great salad. Thank you!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      so glad you liked it!

  24. Annie on said:

    How many servings does this make??

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      about 2 as a meal, 3-4 as a side

      • Annie on said:

        Thank you so much for your quick reply! Can’t wait to make it!

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  27. salads forever on said:

    This salad was delicious! I made it with fresh apricots rather than dry since they’re in season. I gota say though-this dressing had way too much garlic for me! one glove or less would do the trick next time.

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      thanks, I’ll note that about the garlic in the recipe (I guess I like a lot of garlic!)

  28. Angela on said:

    Made this last night along with many other salads…. This one stole the show,, soooooooo good….thanks for the recipe!

  29. Analida on said:

    Nice recipe for quinoa arugula and apricot salad, especially for the summer months. Looks so healthy and delicious. Thanks.

  30. Roslyn from artbyroslyn.on.ca on said:

    This salad sounds absolutely wonderful. However I wish you had used apricots without sulphur dioxide added – you know the brownish ones that are so soft and sweet. I realize the colour is not as appealing as the sulphured ones, which is why they do that, but there are many of us who cannot tolerate sulphur. I would prefer the organic apricots anyway which would not contain this drug which can be life-threatening to some!

  31. Brooke on said:

    This is the best salad I have had in a long time! I would have never thought to put cumin in the dressing but it really made it. This will be on repeat 🙂

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      I’m so glad! It’s one of my favorites – I just love the little bit of warm spice the cumin adds.

  32. Lynne from Berwyn on said:

    I’ve made this salad three times so far, but could eat it often. When I’ve been out of one ingredient or another (apricots, chives, arugula avocado), I’ve substituted something else (raisins or cranberries, scallions, mesclun) or gone one without it (avocado) and it’s still been amazingly bright and tasty. The dressing is delicious and can be used on other salads too. My kids, 20’s and 30-something foodies, love this salad! Thanks for posting the recipe!

  33. Valerie on said:

    Made this salad for a picnic – added watermelon radishes for an extra splash of color. I’m vegan so for the dressing I used agave instead of honey. This dressing is fantastic, I’ve also made the dressing on its own with brown rice syrup and also with maple syrup instead of the honey. This dressing has become a staple in my home.

    • Hi Valerie – I’m so glad you enjoyed this one (and the other recipes!)

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