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Herby Quinoa Salad with Go-To Tahini Dressing

Say no to boring grain bowls! This Herby Quinoa Salad with Go-To Tahini Dressing is what all plant-based meal prepping aspires to be. It’s full of unique textures, fresh flavors, and high in vegan protein.

overhead shot of herby quinoa salad with tahini dressing

This is kind of a summery recipe, but I do feel it can work any time of year with a few tweaks! Quinoa salads often taste very “one note” to me, so when creating this version I wanted to pack in as many flavors and textures as possible.

Ingredients in this Herby Quinoa Salad

In this recipe we have:

A creamy tahini dressing that is is super versatile!

Quinoa forms a protein-rich base.

Chickpeas are one of my favorite legumes to add a satisfying texture.

Baby kale does not require chopping, but spinach, arugula, regular kale work too.

Chopped parsley, basil and/or mint lend tons of flavor.

Green onions provide some bite – both the white and green parts are edible, so we use it all!

Vegan feta or olives add a dash of umami.

Chopped almonds, or any other nut/seed, maybe hemp or sunflower, add texture.

Blueberries (fresh or dried) add a nice pop of color and refreshing zing.

bowl with sections of chickpeas, lettuce, and herbs

What Is a Go-To Tahini Dressing?

This dressing is made with simple ingredients, is ready in just 2 minutes, and can be easily used in salads, grain bowls, and even as a dip!

It’s very important that you used a high quality tahini here – I recommend Pepperwood Organics or Soom. Lower quality sesame pastes can have bitter notes that will require more maple syrup to cover up. Additionally, you’ll want a tahini that has a very runny texture – this will help it integrate into your dressing more easily. If your tahini is hard, feel free to whip it in a blender with a bit of sesame oil to soften.

Quinoa Preparation Tips

  1. Always rinse quinoa before cooking. Quinoa is covered in saponins, a naturally occurring plant compound that will taste very bitter.
  2. Use a ratio of 2:1, meaning 2 parts of liquid for every one part of quinoa.
  3. Add the quinoa and the liquid to the pot at the same time, bring it to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low to cook over a simmer for 13-15 minutes. The water will absorb as it cooks.
  4. Finally, once you remove quinoa from the heat (when all water is gone), fluff it work a fork before covering once more to steam. This will help each seed open up and give you the best texture.
side view of herby quinoa salad with tahini dressing

Other Quinoa Dinner Recipes to Try

Strawberry Avocado Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad 3 Ways (Peanut, Fruit, and Mediterranean)

Roasted Cauliflower Quinoa Bowls with Green Tahini

Quinoa Stuffed Honeynut Squash

Quinoa Beet Burgers

Print
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overhead shot of herby quinoa salad with tahini dressing

Herby Quinoa Salad with Go-To Tahini Dressing


  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Herby Quinoa Salad with a Classic Tahini Dressing is what all plant-based meal prepping aspires to be. It’s full of unique textures, fresh flavors, and is high in vegan protein. 


Ingredients

Units Scale

For Go-To Tahini Dressing:

  • 4 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 large lemon
  • 2 1/2 TBS tahini paste (runny)
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

For Herby Salad:

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (15 oz, or about 1 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 23 cups baby kale
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil or mint
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegan feta (or olives)
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds (or other nut/seed, maybe hemp or sunflower)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or dried)

Instructions

  1. To make tahini dressing: Combine olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, salt, pepper, and maple syrup in a small jar. Stir to fully combine, adding more olive oil if the mixture is too thick. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt to highlight other flavors and more maple syrup for sweetness (if your tahini is a bit bitter).
  2. To prepare the quinoa: rinse under a fine strainer as needed, to remove any bitter notes. Add to a small pot with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Let cook for 12-15 minutes, until water is absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and cover for a few minutes more to steam.
  3. While quinoa is cooking, add chickpeas, kale, parsley, basil/mint, green onions, feta if using, and almonds to a large bowl. Pour quinoa on top and drizzle dressing over everything. Stir to combine, working to coat as much as possible with the tahini sauce.
  4. Top with blueberries and serve at room temperature. This will taste even better as it sits in the fridge, as flavors will have time to marinate.

Notes

To store, cover in a container and refrigerate for 4-5 days. The herbs may begin to wilt a bit but should taste fine. 

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: One sixth of recipe
  • Calories: 326.9 calories
  • Sugar: 5.6 grams
  • Sodium: 156.2 milligrams
  • Fat: 18.7 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 3.3 grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 15.4 grams
  • Trans Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 32.9 grams
  • Fiber: 6.4 grams
  • Protein: 9.3 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams

Keywords: dinner, quinoa

Portrait of Emily, founder of Garlic Head

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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