This Strawberry Quinoa Salad is a perfect summer side dish, full of fresh berries, creamy avocado, refreshing mint, and high-protein quinoa. It’s interesting, satisfying, and quick to make!
It is difficult for me to get “excited” for quinoa salad. While there are many flavor variations that can be fun to try, I consider it a generally utilitarian kind of meal, something fairly standard that is not particularly engaging. I am glad to say that this recipe, with bright strawberries, creamy avocado, and crunchy pistachios, goes against this idea! Full of satisfying textures and flavors, this salad is definitely not “one note.” It would be perfectly at home on a cookout picnic table or enjoyed during the week for a simple lunch. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
Ingredients Needed for Strawberry Quinoa Salad
- For the salad dressing, you’ll need:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 TBS lemon juice
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- Salt and pepper.
- For the salad base, you will need:
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (or 2 cups cooked)
- 6-8 strawberries
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
- 1 small avocado
Love strawberries? Be sure to check out this round up of my favorite vegan strawberry recipes!
How to Cook Quinoa for Salad
This recipe can be made with pre-made quinoa or you can make your own! For equipment, you will need a fine mesh strainer, a medium sized pot, and a fork for stirring. First, rinse the quinoa in a mesh strainer. Add quinoa to a medium pot with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook about 15 minutes (until water is absorbed). Remove from heat and stir with a fork to “fluff.”
Why do I have to rinse quinoa before cooking?
Rinsing quinoa before cooking helps remove something known as a “saponin,” a slightly toxic organic compound with a bitter flavor. Rinsing helps remove these “off” flavors.
What is the quinoa to water cooking ratio?
The ideal cooking ratio for quinoa is 1:2. This means that for every one cup of dry quinoa, you will need two cups of water.
How much quinoa will 1/2 cup dry make?
1/2 cup dry quinoa yields 2 cups cooked. When cooked, quinoa will quadruple in size.
How to Make Strawberry Quinoa Salad
- For the dressing, whisk 1/4 cup olive oil, 3 TBS lemon juice, 1 tsp maple syrup, 1/2 tsp salt and a pinch of pepper.
- Cook the quinoa and mix with dressing in a large bowl. Add sliced strawberries, mint leaves, pistachios, and avocado pieces. Stir to combine once more.
Can I freeze quinoa salad or prep it ahead?
Quinoa can be frozen on its own but it is best not freeze the entire salad (as some elements will not hold up well once thawed. If you’d like to try freezing cooker quinoa, feel free to just thaw to room temp before mixing with the other ingredients.
To make this recipe ahead, prepare as usual but add avocados and mint just before serving. This salad will keep for 4-5 days in a sealed container in the fridge.
How to Customize this Recipe
- Swap out the pistachios for slivered almonds or pine nuts
- Use blueberries or raspberries in place of strawberries
- Add feta cheese (vegan if needed, like this Lentil Salad with Vegan Feta)
- Bulk it up with some kale
Love quinoa in the summer? Try these Quinoa Beet Burgers next!Print