Mix and match your meal prep/lunch routine with these three easy quinoa salad recipes! Between a Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Lemon Dressing, an Asian-Inspired Quinoa Salad with Peanut Sauce, and a Nutty Quinoa Fruit Salad, there is something for everyone. Most recipes ready in 15 minutes, all vegan and gluten-free!
It’s that time of year when I start to get majorly bored with my current lunches in rotation. Perhaps it’s because we’re finally done with holiday craziness? I enjoy eating salads year round, but they really need to be fully loaded for me to get excited.
When planning lunches, my body craves variety, but not so much that I need to buy 15 ingredients for one recipe. I love meals that are easily adapted to whatever I have on hand. Enter: quinoa salad!
Quinoa Salad Benefits
Grain salad recipes are beautiful in their versatility. Mixing and matching vegetables, proteins, and dressing is the most fun part! Sometimes I’ll just prepare a large batch of grains at the beginning of the week just so I have some on hand. Today, we’re focusing on three simple recipes that can be made with cooked quinoa
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette
- Asian-Inspired Quinoa Salad with Peanut Sauce
- Nutty Quinoa Fruit Salad with Cinnamon Maple Dressing.
These recipes all work well for packed lunch or a light dinner. The fruit salad has actually become a staple in my breakfast routine!
How to Cook Quinoa
Preparing a large pot of quinoa is fairly simple. It is often ready to eat in 15-20 minutes.
- Rinse your quinoa in a fine mesh strainer to remove saponins. Read more about why rinsing here!
- Using a 2:1 ratio of water and dry quinoa, combine in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, uncovered.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until water is absorbed.
- Remove from heat, fluff quinoa with a fork, cover, and let steam for a few more minutes.
All of the recipes below can be easily doubled to feed more people. I actually find that they taste better the longer they sit, as flavors have more time to meld together.
Ways to Modify Quinoa Salad Recipes
- In the Mediterranean Salad if you don’t have kale on hand, feel free to sub in another dark leafy green, like spinach. Chickpeas are my favorite plant-based protein, but another kind of bean is an easy substitute. Capers or olives would add even more Mediterranean flavor.
- For the Asian-Inspired Salad, edamame is a fun plant-protein addition. Almond butter would work in place of peanut butter for the sauce. Be sure to use tamari instead of soy sauce if you are gluten-free.
- In the Nutty Fruit Salad, any kind of frozen berry will work. It’s important to reserve the juices when thawing, as this becomes part of the dressing.
I hope you love these Quinoa Salad recipes! Please let me know which one you try first in the comments on on Instagram. Leaving a rating/review always helps me develop better content for you all.
For a more in-depth post on how to cook quinoa, click here.
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