Healthy Quinoa Salad Recipes

I’ve been all about quinoa salad recipes lately. Quinoa is so easy to prepare, incredibly versatile, high in protein and fiber and can be served for just about any meal! Quinoa salads are also great for meal prep because most of them can be made ahead of time!

Naturally, I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to quinoa recipes, many of which are quinoa salad recipes that I think you’ll enjoy so I created a roundup here with over 20 healthy quinoa salad recipes. Hopefully you’ll like them as much as I do and decide to make one (or two) this the summer. First thing first, let’s cover a few quinoa basics!

How to cook quinoa for a salad:

  1. Rinse your quinoa under cold running water in a fine mesh strainer. (See why below.)
  2. Add quinoa into a pot and add double the amount of water. For 1 cup of quinoa you need 2 cups of water.
  3. Place over a medium heat and bring to the boil.
  4. Reduce to a simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender and the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Let quinoa cool and use in salad recipes as directed.

Why do you need to rinse quinoa?

  • Rinsing your quinoa helps remove quinoa’s natural coating, called saponin, which can make it taste bitter. Note: There are a few quinoa brands some come pre-rinsed. If you’re looking to save time or don’t own a mesh strainer, look for one of these brands.

Now that we have the basics covered, let’s hop right in to these awesome quinoa salad recipes. I can’t wait to hear which one you’ll make first.

Quinoa tabbouleh in a white bowl with a place setting on a table.

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Quinoa is a great base for tabbouleh. You just replace the bulgar with tabbouleh. The key ingredients in the recipe are parsley, mint, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions and lemon. It’s easy to prepare and you can whip up a healthy salad in minutes.

Carrot Raisin Quinoa Salad in a yellow bowl next to a wooden spoon.

Carrot Raisin Quinoa Salad

I don’t want to brag, but this might be the best dressing I have ever made. The ingredients are almonds, cilantro, paprika, cumin and little cayenne pepper. The salad itself is super simple. The recipe is a combination of chickpeas, shredded carrots, quinoa and raisins. The dish works as a light snack or for lunch or dinner as a meal.

Corn avocado quinoa salad in a bowl on a table. A spoon rests next to it with a napkin.

Corn Avocado Quinoa Salad

Corn and quinoa make a great combination. I added a little avocado for texture and flavor. The recipe also uses red onion, lime juice and herbs. I love this salad at picnic and potlucks. It’s the perfect wish on a sunny, summer afternoon.

A quinoa fruit salad rests on a stone-tiled countertop in a red bowl. A spoon and napkin sit next to it.

Quinoa Fruit Salad

What’s not to like? I combined the heartiness of quinoa with fresh fruit. The salad is moistened with a creamy avocado dressing. Dried coconut was added for flavor. I only used fresh fruit for the salad. You can use lot of different fruit, but I added pineapple, kiwi and strawberries. The recipe is full of vitamins and minerals.

Southwestern quinoa salad sits in a bowl that rests on a straw mat. Avocado and cilantro garnish the dish.

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Here is a Mexican version of a quinoa salad. I combined bell pepper, black beans, avocado, cilantro and quinoa as the main ingredients. Cumin, chili pepper and cayenne add a little spice. If you enjoy Mexican food, you will love this dish.

Summer Greek quinoa salad fills a white bowl. It rests on a marble countertop and a wooden spoon lays next to the bowl.

Greek Quinoa Salad

A great way to utilize summer vegetables is with this Greek version of a quinoa salad. For the recipe, I used baby spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, feta cheese and almonds. The dressing is a mixture of avocado oil, maple syrup and lemon. It’s a light, healthy way to enjoy the long summer days.

Southwestern quinoa on a plate with a spoon resting on it. The bowl sits on a blue table cloth.

Southwestern Black Bean Quinoa Salad by A Couple Cooks

Sonja and Alex at A Couple of Cooks have made this great take on the Southwestern quinoa salad. Fajita seasoning is combined with ingredients like quinoa, corn, onions, zucchini, tomatoes and black beans. The dressing is vinegar based. The salad tastes great and is super healthy.

Quinoa stone fruit salad sits on a plate with a fork resting on it. Apricots and cherries add colorful accents.

Quinoa, Mint and Stone Fruit Salad by A House in the Hills

Cherries and apricots are the perfect way to add moisture and flavor to quinoa. The recipe calls for tri-colored quinoa, but I’d use any type of quinoa. Mint, shallots, orange juice and vinegar blend together to round out the flavors. It’s amazing.

Mango strawberry quinoa salad is combined in a white bowl.

Strawberry & Mango Chopped Spinach Quinoa Salad by Ambitious Kitchen

Baby spinach, mango, strawberries, avocado, red onion and cilantro are combined to make this quinoa salad. The dressing is apple cider vinegar, ginger, sesame oil, honey and lime. The spinach and fruit make this a super healthy quinoa salad option. You can use it as a side dish or main course.

 

Cherry fennel quinoa salad is in a white bowl with a spoon.

Quinoa, Fennel and Cherry Salad by Naturally Ella

Fennel is a such a unique flavor for a quinoa salad, but it totally works in this recipe. Cherries add a little sweetness, and the overall palate is balanced with parsley, feta and sunflower seeds. Olive oil, lemon and honey are used for the dressings.

Herbed quinoa garden veggie salad covers a white bowl. It sits on a wooden table.

Herbed Quinoa Garden Veggie Salad by Pinch of Yum

The quinoa in this recipe is soaked in a lemon vinaigrette. Romaine lettuce, carrots, cherries and parmesan cheese are combined to add texture and flavor. A handful of chopped herb is an important ingredient an adds spice to the dish. The salad does well in the refrigerator and is perfect as a leftover.

Vegan Mexican quinoa salad sits in a bowl on a white wooden table. Limes and green napkins surround the bowl.

Mexican Quinoa Salad by Minimalist Baker

What’s not to like here? The dressing is a mixture of avocado, lime, orange juice, sugar and Mexican spices like cumin and chili powder. The salad contains mixed greens, black beans, red onions, an orange and cilantro. It’s a perfect south-of-the-border combination and makes a great side dish.

Thai quinoa salad is in a serving dish with a serving spoon. Limes and cilantro rest next to the bowl.

Thai Quinoa Salad by Foodie Crush

This recipe is a combination of late summer vegetables and Thai peanut sauce. Red peppers, carrots, cucumbers, edamame, green onions, red cabbage and quinoa form the salad’s base. The sauce is lime, oil, ginger, red pepper flakes, peanuts and cilantro. It is a sweet and tart salad with a little bit of heat. Yummy!

Strawberries, spinach and goat cheese sit in a white bowl, which rests on a white and blue tablecloth.

Strawberry and Spinach Salad with Quinoa and Goat Cheese by Cookie and Kate

Kate and her dog pal Cookie have created an amazing quinoa salad with goat cheese and baby spinach. It only contains a small amount of quinoa, but it adds great texture to the salad. Strawberries and slivered almonds combine with a lemon and dijon mustard dressing. It a great version of a traditional summer spinach salad.

Tomato, quinoa, basil and mozzarella fill a white bowl. Basil and tomatoes surround the bowl.

Tomato Mozzarella and Basil Quinoa Salad by Averie Cooks

Tomatoes and fresh basil are always a great combination. They are even better when you add a little quinoa, vinegar and oil.

Quinoa and kale salad in a white and yellow bowl.

Quinoa Kale Salad by Hummusapien

I’m a sucker for kale, and this quinoa salad recipe combines my two favorites — kale and quinoa — in a bowl. Raisins, almonds, bell peppers and avocados are also added. A lemon and oil dressing round out the salad nicely. It works as a side dish or main course.

Dandelion green quinoa risotto is piled on a plate. It sits on a brown cloth.

Dandelion Green Quinoa Risotto by Will Frolic for Food

Early spring dandelion greens are mildly bitter and form the flavors for this out-of-the box quinoa recipe. Spinach, shallots, lemon juice and maple syrup are also added to a bowl. It’s a nice grain-free alternative to traditional rice-based risotto.

Grilled lemon chicken quinoa salad is combined in a blue ceramic bowl.

Grilled Mediterranean Chicken and Quinoa Salad by Skinny Taste

Chicken is always a good option when making a quinoa salad. The recipe uses garlic, rosemary, lemon, red onion, lemon, kalamata olives, cucumbers, tomatoes and crumbled feta with the chicken. Salt and Pepper are added for flavor. It’s high in protein and tastes wonderful.

Asian quinoa salad is served a ceramic flower and white bowl. It rests on a wood table.

Asian Quinoa Salad by Two Peas and Their Pod

The recipe combines red cabbage, edamame, carrots, red pepper and cucumbers in a bowl. It perfect for lunch or dinner. The dressing is soy sauce, oil, vinegar, cilantro, sesame seeds, ginger and red pepper flakes. The salad is great Asian take on the quinoa salad.

 Are you a quinoa salad fan? What’s your favorite recipe? Please share. 🙂

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    13 comments
  1. This is timely! I just ordered a massive bag of quinoa because it’s hard to find here in the cornfields. Our produce market has a teeny bag for like $10 or something crazy like that.

  2. I love a cold quinoa salad with roasted sweet potatoes and beets. It may not look pretty, but it’s very satisfying!

  3. Love this round-up – all of these recipes look divine. I basically consider quinoa a food group, so these are right up my alley!

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