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Inca Red Quinoa Salad with Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage

Inca Red Quinoa Salad with Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage

  • Prep

  • Ready In

al fresco all natural

Crunchy red quinoa is tossed with baby beets, red bell pepper, orange zest and mint in a honey-mustard pomegranate vinaigrette, and served with sweet apple chicken sausage and orange slices for a delicious lunch or dinner salad.

Ingredients {{adjustedServings}} servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 270 kcal
  • 13%
  • Fat:
  • 10.2 g
  • 16%
  • Carbs:
  • 35.1g
  • 11%
  • Protein:
  • 10.9 g
  • 22%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 30 mg
  • 10%
  • Sodium:
  • 333 mg
  • 13%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet


  1. Using a medium skillet coated with pan spray, brown the sweet apple chicken sausages over medium high heat.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add red quinoa stir in. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until quinoa is tender, 10 – 15 minutes. Quinoa should be crunchy. Strain and chill with cold water, drain well. Transfer to a mixing bowl, and toss in the beets, orange peel, red onion, red pepper and fresh mint.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, pomegranate juice, olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Pour over the salad mixture and mix well.
  4. Slice the browned sweet apple chicken sausage 1/4 inch on the diagonal, and toss with the quinoa salad. Chill or serve immediately
  5. Arrange with the orange slices and garnish with fresh mint.
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Don't be confused, the recipe is not accurate since there is no Dijon mustard listed in the ingredient list, but it's in the description and directions. HOWEVER, this salad is to die for. I normally do not use that phrase, but it truly is a phenomenal creation. All of the ingredients are fresh and natural, including the sausage. This was one of my first experiences cooking with al fresco chicken sausage, but it will not be my last! I could eat something like this every day for lunch, especially in the heat of Spring or Summer. The flavors are bright with some sweetness from the honey, and my family really enjoyed it. Although not as much as I did! I'll be sure to save this in my Family Favorites recipe box so I can make it again. *One tip--red quinoa can be hard to find, I happened to have some on hand. I easily found some tri-color quinoa which consisted of black, red, and regular. I'm not sure this recipe would be as good with plain quinoa due to the softer texture it has when cooked. Red is heartier, which is why it works so well in this salad.


This recipe was like nothing I have ever tried before. I never would have thought to put together those particular ingredients. It was great! I only had to substitute a couple of things because I didn't have some of the ingredients it called for. I couldn't find the Smoke-Apple Chicken Sausage so I used the Sweet Italian and sauteed them with chopped apples. It worked! The apples mixed with the juices and the flavor was great! It called for Dijon mustard which I didn't have but, yellow mustard worked just fine. Also, there were no further instructions on how much Dijon to use so I winged it. I probably added maybe 2 tablespoons. I did add the juice of a half of an orange to the dressing and substituted an Orange Champagne vinegar and that only increased the rainbow of flavors. Those were the only things I would keep changed. Only because it blended so well with an already yummy recipe. I gave it 5 stars because, had I had everything it called for, I still would have thought this fantastic! So flavorful!


I LOVED the viniagrette...I used about 1/3 less than suggested so the salad would not be too liquidy. All the textures and different tastes were wonderful, but I'm giving it 3 stars because the cold sausage really took away from the salad. (Although the sausage when warm is wonderful.)