Cherry Chopped Salad with Maple-Mustard Dressing

5 from 2 votes
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Celebrate cherry season with this delicious Cherry Salad with Brussels sprouts, quinoa, goat cheese, and Maple-Mustard Dressing. Vegetarian, rich in protein and fiber, and make-ahead friendly.

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Cherry salad with Brussels, quinoa and goat cheese arranged on a wooden serving platter.

Why You’ll Love this Cherry Salad

This easy recipe combines peak-summer fruit with tangy goat cheese and pecans for a hearty, healthy salad.

Quinoa amps up the protein, and cherries add loads of antioxidants. Toss in a bright maple-mustard dressing and it’s the ultimate fruit-studded salad.

When it comes to chopped salads, the key is to cut all of the ingredients into bite-sized pieces so that they can fit into one forkful.

For the Brussels sprouts, I shred them on a mandoline for ease and convenience. However, you can also use a chef’s knife to finely slice them cross-wise into thin shards.

Most often, chopped salads include a cheese for rich, creaminess and a nut for classic crunch. I love the combination of goat cheese and pecans in this recipe because of their inherent sweetness.

Enjoy this simple salad for weekday lunches, weekend cookouts, or as a simple side dish!

The Ingredients

Recipe ingredients in separate bowls with labels on a wooden platter.
  • Cherries: Cherry season typically spans from May to July. Cherries are brimming with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
  • Quinoa: I love using red quinoa to complement the jewel tone of the cherries. Quinoa is a rich source of plant protein and fiber. Alternatively, you can use farro.
  • Brussels: Shredded Brussels sprouts add wonderfully heartiness and texture to the salad. You can either purchase a bag of pre-shredded sprouts, or shred/finely slice them yourself.
  • Pecans: Pecans are packed with antioxidants and a good source of magnesium and vitamin E. Lightly toasting them helps bring out their rich, buttery flavor.
  • Goat Cheese: Rich and creamy with a tangy, slightly sweet flavor. If you’re not a goat cheese, feta also works wonderfully in this flavor.
  • Maple Syrup: A little sweetness helps balance the sharp tang of the mustard. Alternatively, you can use honey or agave.
  • Mustard: Any kind of Dijon or grainy mustard works!
  • Olive Oil: A fantastic source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and polyphenols. I suggest using an olive oil that is bright, grassy, and a little fruity.
  • Vinegar: Sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar works great in the dressing.
  • Tarragon: Fresh tarragon or thyme add lovely herb accents to the salad.

Ingredient Tip

Look for extra-virgin olive oil in a dark glass bottle. This helps protect it from harsh lighting and heat, which can cause the oil to oxidize more quickly.

For a complete list of recipe ingredients and quantities, see the recipe card below.

The Directions

Step 1: Cook Quinoa until light and fluffy. Pour into a bowl with Brussels and toss to combine. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes to slightly cool.

Step 2: Prepare Maple-Mustard Dressing by combining maple syrup, mustard, vinegar, tarragon (or thyme), salt, and pepper in a glass jar or bowl. Gradual stream in olive oil while whisking constantly to combine.

Step 3: Assemble Salad by adding remaining salad components to bowl with quinoa and Brussels. Add dressing and toss to combine. Lastly, garnish with goat cheese and dig in!

Maple-mustard dressing being poured over salad components in a large white mixing bowl.

Recipe FAQs

What Are The Health Benefits of Cherries?

Cherries are supercharged with a wide range of health benefits to help protect against disease and aid in exercise recovery.

They’re especially praised for their anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to high amounts of polyphenols and vitamin C. Additionally, cherries are packed with anthocyanins, which give them their deep red color. These compounds may help protect against heart disease, cancers, and even obesity. The compounds in cherries also offer brain-boosting capabilities.

How to Store:

Refrigerate leftover cherry salad in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Enjoy chilled or closer to room temperature.

Cherry salad arranged on three small salad plates on a white surface.

More Delicious Summer Salad Recipes

If you give this recipe a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review! Lastly, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates.

5 from 2 votes

Cherry Chopped Salad with Maple-Mustard Dressing

Cherry Chopped Salad with Maple-Mustard Dressing is the perfect make-ahead summertime salad. Brussels sprouts, quinoa, fresh cherries, and goat cheese create a vegetarian, protein-rich lunch or side dish.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6

Equipment

  • Medium Saucepan with Lid
  • Mixing bowls

Ingredients  

  • 3/4 cup dry red quinoa
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts trimmed and finely shredded
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 head radicchio, finely chopped (optional, or add 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved or quartered
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecan halves, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh tarragon or thyme
  • 4 oz. crumbled goat cheese (or feta)
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Instructions 

  • Cook quinoa according to package instructions in salted water until the liquid is absorbed and quinoa is light and fluffy.
    Place Brussels in a large bowl. Pour cooked quinoa overtop and toss to combine. (The residual heat will help soften the Brussels.) Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes to slightly cool.
  • To the bowl with quinoa and Brussels, add radicchio (if using, or celery), cherries, and pecans. Season with salt.
  • In a large liquid measuring cup or small bowl, combine maple syrup, mustard, vinegar, tarragon (or thyme), 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper; stir with a whisk. Gradually stream in olive oil, whisking continuously. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Scatter goat cheese overtop and serve.

Notes

  • Store leftover salad in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Enjoy leftovers chilled or closer to room temperature.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.25cups | Calories: 383kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 690mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 12g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!
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5 from 2 votes

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. Cindy says:

    5 stars
    Delicious salad. My hubby doesn’t like Brussel sprouts but he loves this salad. Dressing is so good. Fantastic with the cherries.

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      So happy the recipe was a hit! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!

  2. The Incredible Cook says:

    5 stars
    This salad was delicious! I didn’t have everything I needed to make it so I substituted a couple of things.

    Regular quinoa instead of red
    Broccoli for brussels
    Red cabbage for radicchio
    Thyme seasoning instead of leaves

    Highly recommend! Also, save the dressing recipe for other salads 🙂

  3. Keiler Snow says:

    Another fabulous salad that has become a great summer recipe! Used blue cheese the latest time instead of goats cheese as it was what I had on hand!

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      I’m so glad the salad was a hit! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!