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Quinoa Salad Recipes: 3 Ways

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!

mixed quinoa bowls

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 in a bowl with fruit toppings

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!

quinoa fruit salad with oranges

How to Cook Quinoa

Preparing a large pot of quinoa is fairly simple. It is often ready to eat in 15-20 minutes.

  1. Rinse your quinoa in a fine mesh strainer to remove saponins. Read more about why rinsing here!
  2. Using a 2:1 ratio of water and dry quinoa, combine in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, uncovered.
  3. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until water is absorbed.
  4. Remove from heat, fluff quinoa with a fork, cover, and let steam for a few more minutes.

mediterranean fruit salad

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.

asian quinoa salad

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.

For more quinoa posts, check out these Vegan Quinoa Beet Burgers and this Spinach Salad with Quinoa and Citrus.

three bowls of quinoa salad with an antique spoon

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mediterranean fruit salad

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad


  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 3 people 1x

Description

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Lemon Dressing works well for meal prep! Zippy sun-dried tomatoes add fresh flavor, while chickpeas amp up the protein content. Vegan and gluten-free!


Ingredients

Scale

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (1/2 cup uncooked)
  • 1 yellow, orange, or red bell pepper, diced
  • 3/4 cup fresh parsley or basil, minced
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 cups shredded kale
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, roughly chopped

Mediterranean Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 1 TBS lemon juice
  • 1 TBS apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard,
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp dried oregano or dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Asian Quinoa Salad

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup carrot, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 cup broccoli, diced into small pieces
  • 2 cups kale, minced
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, optional

Asian Peanut Sauce

  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 2 TBS low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 TBS lemon or lime juice
  • 1 TBS sesame oil
  • 3 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp each garlic and ginger powder, optional
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
  • Water to thin

Instructions

Mediterranean Quinoa Instructions

  1. Prepare your quinoa if not already cooked (here is a great tutorial). Slice all salad ingredients as directed and add to a large bowl.
  2. In a Mason jar, add all dressing ingredients and shake to combine.
  3. Pour 1/2 of dressing onto salad, stirring to combine. Taste and add more dressing as desired.
  4. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days!

Asian Quinoa Instructions

  1. Add all quinoa salad ingredients to a large bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Add all dressing ingredients to a blender and combine until smooth. Add water until a pourable sauce is achieved (up to 1/4 cup water).
  3. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Category: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
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asian quinoa salad

Asian Peanut Quinoa Salad


  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 3 people 1x

Description

This Asian-Inspired Quinoa Salad with Peanut Sauce is a perfect packed lunch! Full of plant protein and tangy flavors, it's easily customized to what you have on hand. Vegan and gluten-free!


Ingredients

Scale

Quinoa Salad

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup carrot, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 cup broccoli, diced into small pieces
  • 2 cups kale, minced
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, optional

Peanut Sauce

  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 2 TBS low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 TBS lemon or lime juice
  • 1 TBS sesame oil
  • 3 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp each garlic and ginger powder, optional
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
  • Water to thin

Instructions

  1. Add all quinoa salad ingredients to a large bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Add all dressing ingredients to a blender and combine until smooth. Add water until a pourable sauce is achieved (up to 1/4 cup water).
  3. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Print
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quinoa fruit salad with oranges

Nutty Quinoa Fruit Salad


  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 3 people 1x

Description

Perfect for breakfast or a midday snack, this fun twist on traditional fruit salad is loaded with healthy fats and antioxidants! Quinoa adds additional protein, while a Maple Cinnamon Dressing adds satisfying flavor!


Ingredients

Scale

Quinoa Fruit Salad

  • 1 and 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups frozen wild blueberries, thawed (or other frozen berry) (Thawed berries will help add juice to the salad))
  • 1 large navel orange, peeled
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Cinnamon Maple Dressing

  • 24 TBS maple syrup, depending on sweetness preference
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Add all quinoa salad ingredients to a large bowl. Be sure to reserve the juices from the thawed fruit, as that will help coat the salad with flavor.
  2. Combine the maple syrup and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pour over the top of salad and stir to combine.
  3. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Category: Breakfast, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish, Snack

Pin these Quinoa Salad Recipes

Mix and match your meal prep/lunch routine with these three easy quinoa salad recipes! With 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! #vegan #quinoa #salad #quinoasalad #healthy #recipe #glutenfree #easy #mealprep #lunch #protein #plantprotein #peanutsauce #fruitsalad

 

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About the Author

Hi, I'm Emily! Garlic Head is a plant-based recipe website for all eaters who want to easily, affordably, and sustainably incorporate more vegetables into their diets. My recipes focus on entertaining-style cuisine, perfect for celebrating all of life's little moments! Meet me here.

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Garlic Head is a plant-based community founded by me, Emily. I focus on providing affordable, simple, & healthy recipes for entertaining.

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