Gluten-Free Walnut, White Bean and Quinoa Salad in a Jar {Podcast #284}

This gluten-free, salad-to-go is filled with fiber, flavor, and heart-healthy omega-3 fat, and whether you’re a busy mom or a school-age kid, we’re pretty sure you’ll look forward to eating it for lunch! 

Walnut, White Bean and Quinoa Salad in a Jar via #walnuts #omega3 #glutenfree

Our new recipe and this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast is sponsored by the California Walnut Commission.

Did you know that walnuts are the only nut—and one of the few foods—significantly high in omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid? One ounce (about a handful) has 2.5 grams of ALA, which is more than the recommended daily amount of 1.6 grams for men and 1.1 grams for women.

Walnut, White Bean and Quinoa Salad in a Jar via #walnuts #omega3 #glutenfree

A few months ago, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released. The new recommendations from the USDA encourage all of us to reduce saturated fat intake and shift to foods high in the healthy polyunsaturated fats. Choosing plant-based foods like walnuts is a great way to help you meet that goal.

Walnut, White Bean and Quinoa Salad in a Jar via #walnuts #omega3 #glutenfree

Walnuts are versatile. We love to grab a handful for a snack, add them to breakfast favorites like fruit & yogurt parfaits and overnight oats, and incorporate them into pancakes, cookies and quick breads. They also provide an easy way to add more plant-based protein to things like salads and pasta dinners.

Tune in to this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast by clicking on the PLAY button above for our easy Walnut, White Bean and Quinoa Salad in a Jar as well as two other recipes your family will love: Grab-and-Go Granola Bars and Rosemary and Sea Salt Walnuts.

Walnut, White Bean and Quinoa Salad in a Jar via #walnuts #omega3 #glutenfree

This recipe is super easy. Start with two wide mouth, pint-size Mason jars, and fill each with light Italian salad dressing, quinoa, and white beans (AKA cannellini beans). Mix together and then keep building …

Walnut, White Bean and Quinoa Salad in a Jar via #walnuts #omega3 #glutenfree

… with diced red bell peppers, feta cheese (that’s optional), and quartered kalamata olives …

Walnut, White Bean and Quinoa Salad in a Jar via #walnuts #omega3 #glutenfree

… and then add the final touches with fresh basil and toasted, chopped walnuts. Yes please!

Each serving has over a day’s worth of good-for-you ALA omega-3 fat, 11 grams of filling fiber, and 14 grams of protein.

4.5 from 8 reviews
Walnut, White Bean and Quinoa Salad in a Jar
This gluten-free salad is seriously yummy, and it's super flexible. You can use any bean of your liking or add any veggie you love. Hmmm: Roasted beets sound good right now! And for even more flavor, go ahead and add some lemon zest to the quinoa/bean mixture or just before serving.
Recipe type: Lunch or Dinner
Serves: 2
  • 2 tablespoons light Italian salad dressing
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
  • ½ cup cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper (cut into ½-inch dice)
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese, optional
  • 12 pitted kalamata olives, quartered (about ¼ cup)
  • ¼ to ½ cup loosely packed torn fresh basil leaves
  • 2 ounces lightly toasted walnuts, roughly chopped (about ½ cup)
  1. Divide the salad dressing evenly between two wide mouth, pint-size Mason jars and top each evenly with the quinoa and white beans. Use a fork to stir the ingredients together until the quinoa and beans are well coated with the dressing.
  2. Continue layering each with the bell peppers, feta cheese as desired, olives, basil leaves, and the walnuts.
  3. Secure the lid and refrigerate. To serve, shake until the ingredients are combined, and then pour into individual bowls, or eat directly from the jar with a spoon or fork.
One salad has 25% vitamin A, 80% vitamin C, 20% iron, 10% calcium, and 2.7 grams ALA.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: (1 jar) Calories: 460, Fat: 29g, Saturated fat: 3g, Carbohydrates: 40g, Sodium: 590mg, Fiber: 11g, Protein: 14g


Walnut Giveaway

Thanks to our friends with California Walnuts, look what we’re Giving Away:

– Walnut tote bag, which folds into a walnut shell
– Walnut spatula
– Walnut apron
– Walnut Pear Chardonnay Handmade Soap made with walnut shells
– 1 Mason jar filled with walnuts
– One-ounce walnut sample packs
– Recipe cards

TO ENTER add a comment right here on this blog post and tell us about your favorite way to incorporate walnuts into your family’s diet. Or simply tell us why you’d like to win the giveaway! (U.S. and Canada only please)

We will enter you into the giveaway additional times if you …

> Tweet about the giveaway with a link back to this post.

> Share the giveaway news with your Facebook fans and friends with a link back to the post.

> Follow us on Pinterest.

> Follow The Meal Makeover Moms on Facebook and Twitter (@MealMakeovrMoms).

Giveaway ends at noon on April 7th, so hurry up and enter! – Giveaway is CLOSED.

Ever wonder how walnuts are harvested? Check out this fun video!

63 responses to “Gluten-Free Walnut, White Bean and Quinoa Salad in a Jar {Podcast #284}”

  1. Anna says:

    I love to eat Walnuts with yogurt and with coffee for an afternoon snack instead of sweets! They have that richness that makes it satisfying as a “treat”

  2. Jill. L says:

    I love finely chopped walnuts in oatmeal, pancakes, cookies, cake even smoothies.

  3. Deanna says:

    I put walnuts in salads and oatmeal!

  4. This sounds like such a delicious salad! I did not know that walnuts were that good for me – I clearly need to up my walnut intake! Thanks so much!

  5. So many delicious flavours and textures! Yum!

  6. O wow! What a lovely combo! A perfect meal for sure!

  7. Sounds so good! I think I have all these ingredients, so I can make this for lunch tomorrow 🙂

  8. judith says:

    i love putting walnuts in my oatmeal

  9. judith says:

    i follow on pinterest (jrontal)

  10. Rebecca B says:

    I love adding walnuts to salads and yogurt!

  11. Sonya Morris says:

    I add walnuts in cookies.

  12. Audra Taylor says:

    I love to candy walnuts with karo syrup and cayenne for a crunchy, sweet and spicy addition to my pear, blue cheese and dark greens salad. It wins over everyone at the party. If…you can wait to eat the walnuts with the salad! Love the rosemary walnut recipe, I will be trying this week!

  13. Dana says:

    Oatmeal is the easiest way for us. Looking forward to new ideas.

  14. Dana says:

    I follow on FB, Twitter and Pinterest

  15. I like to add walnuts in my salads or incorporate them with seafood dishes.

  16. Amanda J says:

    Thanks for the chance! I love to add walnuts to my oatmeal or trail mix.

  17. Walnuts are a staple at my house. They are added to morning oatmeal, top of salads, or used for pesto in place of pine nuts. Great post and podcast! I’ve been enjoying listening to them on my commute to work!

    • Liz says:

      So happy you’re enjoying the show on your commute! Any topics of interest? Let us know, because we love featuring topics our listers want to hear about 🙂

  18. anne says:

    I love adding walnuts to my homemade pesto for putting on pasta or grilled veggies! Thanks for the chance to win.

  19. Ruth Wilson says:

    Whenever I feel hungry or just before going to exercise I eat a handful of walnuts for protein energy.

  20. Devon says:

    Love incorporating walnuts in salads or a healthy snack at work. Would love to start getting the kids more into eating them too!

  21. Toni Davis says:

    I use walnuts daily in many different dishes and desserts. They contain such wonderful essential oils which help the body, skin and hair. Not to mention that they taste delicious, too! I would love to win this wonderful prize pack!

  22. What a delicious combo, I definitely need to start making salad in a jar 🙂

  23. Leah says:

    I recently made walnut-lentil burgers that were delicious. I would love to further increase my family’s walnut consumption!

  24. Melissa F says:

    I love most nuts, but walnuts are one of my favorites. I love to add them to oatmeal, yogurt, salads, ice cream and I use them in place of graham crackers for some of our desserts. They are really delicious on their own and as garnishment for stir fry’s and other dinners. They are just so versatile.

  25. Elizabeth says:

    We buy raw walnuts and roast in the oven them constantly. We always have a mason jar full and use them in oatmeal, on salads, and in our cinnamon banana walnut compote over pancakes!

  26. Julie says:

    I frequently make your Walnut Crusted Salmon recipe.

  27. Amy says:

    We put walnuts in our oatmeal, yogurt and trail mix. We also LOVE making homemade walnut butter – it is SO GOOD on apples, toast, and even sweet potatoes! #yum

  28. Missy says:

    Umm, by the handful! I love walnuts so I enjoy snacking on them, tossing in a salad or oatmeal and chopping to add to fish dishes.

  29. Mary H says:

    Does adding walnuts to brownies count? 😉 I add them to banana bread also!

  30. Michael Bird says:

    I like to add walnuts to salads and pesto.

  31. Shannon says:

    I like walnuts sprinkled over the top of my salads. Also mixed into my oatmeal! Thank you!!

  32. Astrid says:

    It is my go to snack. A handful of walnuts and we often put them on our yoghurt too.

  33. Louise R. says:

    I love to add walnuts to my morning oatmeal!

  34. Lynn Rogers says:

    I use Walnuts with almost every meal and snack during the day.
    I use Walnuts in my homemade steel oatmeal, yogurt, salads, my sweet potato rounds. I put a portion of Walnuts (170 calories), ( 1/4 cup) in snack bags and keep in my desk, car, and purse so if I need some good energy, they are always near by. That way you are increasing your HDL Good Cholesterol, satisfying your hunger, and keeping you healthy. Walnuts are truly Heart Healthy!
    Lynn Rogers
    RN Health Coach

  35. Steph says:

    I like to use it for pesto

  36. Gail Newton says:

    I use walnuts often. My family really likes the crunch in muffins, breads and cakes. I like putting walnuts in salad. Walnuts just changes the taste of many things. My family wasn’t too sure about adding walnuts to things but they are willing to try. Adding the nuts to cereal, oatmeal and in baking is a fun way to add walnuts into your diet. I enjoy just snacking on walnuts, whether cracking the shell to get your own or buying pre-shelled. It’s all good!
    I follow on Facebook, Pinterest and occasionally on the website.

  37. Jennifer H. says:

    We use walnuts in oatmeal, banana bread and on salads!

  38. karen says:

    I love sprinkling walnuts on pasta for some crunch

  39. Lisa-Marie says:

    Our family enjoys eating walnuts on our salads, with yogurt, and in brownies! Thanks for these new recipe ideas.

  40. Erin says:

    I love to add walnuts in oatmeal and farina for breakfast.

  41. Mary Jennifer Jones says:

    I trade out pecans in my grandmothers banana bread recipe for walnuts.

  42. Leslie EV says:

    I love to use walnuts surprisingly as a topping on a turkey sausage pizza with a basil pesto sauce.

  43. Karen says:

    In cereal, whole grain breads and cookies and salads.

  44. susan hayden says:

    I always put walnuts in my yogurt. Adds great texture too!

  45. Amber says:

    Use them on salads, oatmeal, in cookies. They are so versatile. Love your podcast. I listen while washing dishes to make that chore more fun!

  46. Sharon says:

    I include walnuts in breakfast bars and make pesto with walnuts.

  47. Melissa Campbell says:

    I love to add them to baked oatmeal. Adds a great crunch! Very satisfying 🙂

  48. Amanda says:

    Walnuts on oatmeal and in pesto are the favorites in our house. Love the podcast and easy ideas for healthy meals!

  49. Heather says:

    I often make walnut butter or walnut milk. Topping porridge is another go-to. Cheers!

  50. Heather says:

    Also, following on Twitter, FB, Pinterest.

  51. Susan Christy says:

    Brownies and fudge are no good without walnuts!

  52. Helen says:

    No need for the cheese, use cashew nuts instead to make it vegan and cruelty free 🙂

  53. Megan says:

    I love making maple walnut butter and spreading it on some pie crust chips!! Delicious!!

  54. Olivia H says:

    My mom and I have been looking for a yummy easy salad recipe since forever! It was so fun to show this to her, as we are both walnut nuts (haha). Omg I sound like my mom . We love to put walnuts pressed into goat cheese on a peice of good crunchy bread.

  55. Anonymous says:

    I like putting walnuts in cookies, brownies, granola and on top of apple struesel.

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