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Tri-Color Quinoa with walnuts and cranberries

If you want to combine healthy with festive, then this Tri-Color Quinoa with walnuts and cranberries is the perfect side dish! Great for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Tri-Color Quinoa with walnuts and cranberries

Lately, I’ve been learning more about vegan nutrition. Actually, I’m learning to become a certified vegan nutritionist! And during this studying, quinoa is often mentioned as a great source of carbohydrates (the body’s fuel!), manganese, fiber, folate, among many other nutrients. This is why I’m trying to use quinoa in my cooking more often from now on. 

Lo and behold, the first quinoa recipe on Elephantastic Vegan! Woop woop!

And to make it even more suitable for the festive season, I’ve added walnuts and cranberries to the mix. The walnuts add a lovely crunch and the cranberries give the whole dish a subtle sweetness, I love the combo and I’m sure you will too!

What is Tri-Color Quinoa?

Tri-Color Quinoa (also called Rainbow Quinoa) is a mix of the regular white, black, and red quinoa. The black and red quinoa adds a nutty flavor and crunchy texture. 

How to make Quinoa with walnuts and cranberries

The ingredients

You will need: 

  • quinoa – I’m using Tri-Color Quinoa
  • water
  • salt
  • oil
  • walnuts 
  • dried cranberries

The basic steps

quinoa in instant pot

Step 1: We’re making quinoa in the instant pot. Add quinoa and water in the ratio of 1:1. Use the manual setting with high pressure for 1 min. Let the steam release naturally.

cooked quinoa in instant pot

Step 2: Woho! Fluffy quinoa in the instant pot!

walnuts and cranberries in pan

Step 3: Toast walnuts and cranberries in the pan.

Tri-Color Quinoa with walnuts and cranberries

Step 4: Add the quinoa to the pan. Add salt. Stir. Taste. Adjust if necessary! Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Plate with Seitan Roast, Quinoa and Bread Dumplings

Serve the quinoa with…

Love it? Rate it!

I hope you’ll enjoy this quinoa side dish as much as I do! Let me know if you give this recipe a try! I’d love to hear how it turns out for you.

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Cheers, Bianca

Tri-Color Quinoa with walnuts and cranberries

Tri-Color Quinoa with walnuts and cranberries

Bianca Haun | Elephantastic Vegan
If you want to combine healthy with festive, then this Tri-Color Quinoa with walnuts and cranberries is the perfect side dish!
4.58 from 7 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Instant Pot Pre + Post Time 20 minutes
Total Time 26 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Vegan
Servings 4 people
Calories 308 kcal


Instant Pot Quinoa

  • 1 cup tri-color quinoa
  • 1 cup water


  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1/2 cup walnuts roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • In the instant pot, add the quinoa and water. Use the manual setting, pressure: high, cook time: 1 minute. Use the natural release (not quick release).
  • In a large pan over medium to high heat, add the canola oil, then add the walnuts and cranberries. Give them a stir. Let them cook for 1-2 minutes until toasty. Then add the quinoa and salt. Give it a good stir. Add more salt to taste if necessary.
  • It's ready to serve! Enjoy!


Calories: 308kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 8gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 297mgPotassium: 304mgFiber: 5gSugar: 10gCalcium: 34mgIron: 2mg
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Recipe Rating


Tuesday 17th of December 2019

I like quinoa and this recipe sound delicious but I don't eat sugar these days and I cannot find unsweetened dried cranberries here; do you think I can substitute cranberries with an unsweetened dried fruit, such as rasins, dates, apricots or prunes? Even if the taste won't be the same... All the best ๐Ÿ˜Š


Saturday 17th of October 2020

absolutely! I personally would sub them with raisins or dates - but I bet all combinations are good! :)