Quinoa Salad Recipes – 10 Delicious Recipes You Must Try

8 mins read
quinoa salad recipes
Image by Bernadette Wurzinger from pixabay.com / copyright 2016

Quinoa is the infamous replacement for starchy rice grains and is packed with essential nutrients like protein, fibre, and minerals. Its demand is growing exponentially as it is easy to grow and has a high nutritional value. Plus, its cooking process is direct. Quinoa makes an absolutely delicious, gluten-free, and healthy component of salads, burgers, tacos, wraps, and many more scrumptious food items, which are great to take to work or to serve at get-togethers with friends and family.

Quinoa is perfect for those who lead a wellness-oriented lifestyle, and if you plan on switching to a healthier lifestyle, here is a handy guide on making smart food choices! Keep reading to find 10 savory and healthy quinoa salad recipes.

1. How To Cook Quinoa for Salad

Before putting together a salad, you require cooked quinoa; on the plus side, cooking quinoa is a very simple process. Rinsed quinoa, like rice, only needs water to be cooked. However, various methods suggest various ratios of quinoa and water. A great recipe shows you how to make fluffy quinoa within 30 minutes.

Here’s a cooking tip! You may add some seasonings or salt for extra flavor while you cook your quinoa.

2. Quinoa Salad Recipes

It’s time for the much-awaited, irresistible quinoa salad recipes. Quinoa salads are customizable for any flavor profile, perfect for a light lunch or to share with friends and family at a picnic.

The beauty of these delicious recipes is that it is not mandatory to stick to the mentioned quinoa salad ingredients or measurements; the recipes are totally flexible. They can also be stored in the fridge for a few days in a tightly sealed container so that you can enjoy them all week long. Here is a compiled list of the best, healthy quinoa salad recipes that you can choose from.

2.1 Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Recipe

Get ready for a swirl of classic Meditteranean flavors in your mouth once you take a bite of this cold quinoa salad. This makes a simple lunch from pantry staples like basil, tomatoes, onion, and pepper. You can even throw in some grilled chicken or salmon to boost protein.

I. Ingredients

  • cooked and cooled quinoa
  • red pepper
  • red onion
  • diced tomatoes
  • canned garbanzo beans
  • kalamata olives
  • fresh basil
  • marinated artichoke hearts
  • vinaigrette (salad dressing): You can make your own or use store-bought salad dressing. Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette adds extra tanginess and goes great with this salad, and you can try making this at home using typical kitchen ingredients (mustard, lemon juice, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic, oregano, basil, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper)

II. Recipe

  1. Have the salad dressing of your choice ready and refrigerated.
  2. Chop up the vegetables and place them in a large bowl.
  3. Allow the cooked quinoa to cool down and add to the large bowl. Mix the quinoa, vegetables, and a heavy drizzle of the vinaigrette of your choice.
  4. This salad is best eaten cold, so you may refrigerate it before serving. Also, add some extra salad dressing while serving for more flavor.

2.2 Thai Vegan Quinoa Salad Recipe

This is one of the tastiest quinoa salad recipes that will give you the Thai cuisine experience with an extra crunchy texture. It makes a light but filling vegetarian meal and is great for meal prep lunches. This one is surely one of the crowd-pleaser quinoa salad recipes!

I. Ingredients

  • cooked and cooled quinoa
  • carrots
  • cabbage
  • cilantro
  • red pepper
  • edamame or chickpeas
  • peanut sauce – This is the show’s star and adds that Thai finishing touch. It is a simple sauce that can be made at home. You only require peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, and lime juice. For extra spice, you can add red chilli flakes.

II. Recipe

  1. Prepare your peanut sauce by mixing the ingredients together in a small bowl and then store it in the fridge.
  2. Chop up all the vegetables. Make sure that the cabbage is chopped up thin.
  3. Add cooled quinoa and the peanut sauce to the bowl of vegetables and mix well.
  4. Top it off with crushed peanuts for the crunchy texture, and enjoy.

2.3 Roasted Sweet Potato Black Bean Quinoa Salad Recipe

This is a slightly more complex recipe, but the end product is totally worth it. In contrast to the previous two recipes, this warm quinoa salad has a slight crunch thanks to the delicious roasted sweet potato chunks. This can be a great side dish or even as main lunch.

I. Ingredients

  • 3 small or medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • onion
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon ground chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • pinch of kosher salt (0.5 teaspoons)
  • cooked quinoa
  • lime juice and lime zest of two limes
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
  • can of reduced sodium black beans
  • bell pepper
  • cilantro

II. Recipe

  1. Spread the sweet potato cubes and chopped-up onions on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and then sprinkle chilli powder, smoked paprika, and salt. Ensure that it is evenly spread over the potatoes and onions.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the potatoes and onions for about 25 minutes and turn them over halfway through the baking time. After baking, remove and set them aside.
  3. Whisk together the remainder of the extra virgin olive oil, lime juice, zest, maple syrup, and fresh garlic in a small bowl to make your salad dressing.
  4. Combine quinoa, black beans, bell pepper, cilantro, sweet potatoes, onions, and salad dressing, and then toss to combine.

roasted sweet potato black bean quinoa salad
Image by Jeff Wessman from pixabay.com / copyright 2020

2.4 Southwest Quinoa Salad Recipe

This salad can be served either chilled, room temperature, or warm, and it is great to serve at potlucks. This salad is a side dish and tastes amazing with a zesty chipotle dressing.

I. Ingredients

  • cooked quinoa
  • canned black beans
  • frozen corn
  • cherry tomatoes
  • diced avocado
  • pumpkin seeds
  • cilantro
  • chipotle dressing: To make this savory dressing, you need Greek yogurt, mayo, olive oil, adobo sauce, honey, and lime juice.

II. Recipe

  1. Prepare your creamy chipotle vinaigrette by combining the ingredients.
  2. Combine the other salad vegetables together after chopping them up and fire roasting corn.
  3. Add dressing and stir it well.

southwest quinoa salad
Image by Sonny Mauricio from unsplash.com / copyright 2021

2.5 Strawberry Quinoa Salad Recipe

The sweetness of fresh fruit with fluffy, moist quinoa is the right combo to take you to food heaven! Try this quick and easy quinoa salad recipe.

I. Ingredients

  • cooked quinoa
  • strawberries
  • fresh cucumber
  • crumbled feta cheese
  • chopped almonds
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • white balsamic vinegar
  • coarse sea salt
  • salad dressing (optional)

II. Recipe

  1. Chop up the strawberries and cucumber and then mix together the olive oil and white balsamic vinegar in a small bowl.
  2. Mix together the vegetables, cooled quinoa, and a salad dressing of your choice, and then sprinkle a pinch of salt.

strawberry quinoa salad
Image by Dovile Ramoskaite from unsplash.com / copyright 2019

2.6 Greek Quinoa Chicken Salad Recipe

This one is different from the other vegetarian recipes and has an extra delicious protein source.

I. Ingredients

  • cooked quinoa
  • shredded chicken
  • red bell pepper
  • cucumber
  • red onion
  • feta cheese
  • fresh parsley
  • Greek vinaigrette dressing: To make this dressing, you’ll need olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, oregano, kosher salt, and pepper.

II. Recipe

  1. Combine the above-mentioned ingredients by whisking them together to make your own Greek vinaigrette dressing.
  2. Mix the chicken, chopped-up bell pepper, cucumber, onion, crumbled feta cheese, and parsley in a large bowl.
  3. Later, add the cooked quinoa and a generous amount of salad dressing to the bowl and mix well.
  4. Coat the salad with a drizzle of Greek dressing, and enjoy!

grilled chicken quinoa salad
Image by Wow Phochiangrak from pixabay.com / copyright 2016

2.7 Roasted Vegetable Lemon Quinoa Salad Recipe

This one is packed with tons of fresh veggies, making a perfectly nutritious meal and one of the healthiest quinoa salad recipes.

I. Ingredients

  • some sliced almonds
  • cooked quinoa: Cook the quinoa using vegetable broth instead of water.
  • sweet potato
  • broccoli florets
  • quartered Brussel sprouts
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic herb seasoning
  • dressing: You’ll need fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic herb seasoning, honey or maple syrup, and Italian seasoning to make the suitable dressing for this simple quinoa salad.

II. Recipe

  1. Make the dressing in a bowl and set it aside.
  2. Place the chopped-up vegetables on a sheet tray lined with foil after preheating the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that the vegetables are spread out.
  3. Coat them with olive oil and the seasonings and bake for around 20 minutes.
  4. Add the quinoa cooked in vegetable broth to the bowl of vegetables and almonds. You can add salt and parmesan to taste.
  5. Mix together the dressing and salad thoroughly.

2.8 Apple Walnut Quinoa Salad Recipe

The amount of crunch in this salad provided by freshly cut apple chunks and walnuts is simply next level!

I. Ingredients

  • cooked quinoa
  • fresh baby spinach leaves
  • chopped apples
  • dried cranberries
  • crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese
  • chopped walnuts
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • any dressing of your choice: Maple mustard dressing goes best with this salad. If you’d like to make this particular dressing, you require olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, pure maple syrup, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, and Kosher salt and pepper.

II. Recipe

  1. First, make your dressing. Whisk together the above ingredients for maple mustard dressing and store it aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, toss together the minced baby spinach leaves, apples, dried cranberries, crumbled cheese, walnuts, salt, and pepper.
  3. Add the quinoa and a generous drizzle of the dressing to the bowl and toss again before serving.

2.9 Kale Quinoa Salad Recipe

Most people dread a kale salad and may think that this may be one of the most disliked quinoa salad recipes. Allow this easy quinoa salad to prove it wrong!

I. Ingredients

  • cooked quinoa
  • curly kale
  • pumpkin seeds
  • chopped almonds
  • canned chickpeas
  • olive oil
  • garlic powder
  • sea salt
  • salad dressing of your choice: The maple mustard dressing from the previous recipe also goes great with this salad. It requires olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, pure maple syrup, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, and Kosher salt and pepper.

II. Recipe

  1. Prepare your salad dressing.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Rinse and drain the chickpeas and add them to a bowl. Add garlic powder, olive oil, and salt and toss to mix it well.
  4. Transfer this to a baking sheet and bake for about 40 minutes until the chickpeas are crispy.
  5. Chop up the kale finely and add to a bowl along with chickpeas, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, and sliced almonds.
  6. Add the salad dressing and cooked quinoa to the bowl and toss. Top it off with some salt and pepper, and enjoy!

kale quinoa salad
Image by Taylor Kiser from unsplash.com / copyright 2017

2.10 Cowboy Caviar Quinoa Salad Recipe

This naturally vegan quinoa salad tastes just as unique as it sounds and makes a great meal for dinner! You can try eating this salad with tacos or tortilla chips.

I. Ingredients

  • cooked quinoa
  • cooked black beans
  • cooked black-eyed peas
  • corn
  • cherry tomatoes
  • cubed avocado
  • chopped bell pepper
  • minced garlic cloves
  • Italian dressing: You can find a bottle of Italian at your local grocery store or make it at home using this simple recipe.
  • salt and pepper

II. Recipe

  1. If you cannot get Italian dressing at the store, prepare your dressing and set it aside. You can add some chili powder to the dressing for some extra spice.
  2. Drain the cooked beans and corn, and mix them with the cooked quinoa. Add in the other vegetables as well.
  3. Drizzle the salad dressing and toss. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the salad before consuming it.

These are the 10 must-try quinoa salad recipes. Leftover quinoa salads can be stored in the fridge for 3 to 5 days if the container is sealed properly, which is convenient for busy people.

You can meal prep your salad cuisine for the following busy week over the weekend using the carefully crafted list of the best quinoa salad recipes.

Prepare a huge variety of quinoa salads and store them well, so they are ready to grab and go on hectic working days. It is easy to make and eat and gives you that much-needed nutrient boost throughout the week to keep you active and healthy. Treat yourself to these delicious quinoa salad recipes right away!

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