Roasted asparagus and radishes are the star of this fresh and flavorful springtime quinoa salad. Perfect as a make-ahead lunch option or a potluck side dish. Vegan and gluten-free.
My latest salad obsession is here! It’s a quinoa salad loaded with all things spring — garlic, scallions, asparagus, parsley and the prettiest of radishes.
I know you’re going to love this salad! I’ve made it twice already and Isaac and I are hooked on it’s robust flavor. I seriously won’t be shocked if I end up making it again this week. We DO have asparagus in the fridge right now…
Why I Love Quinoa
So let’s talk about the base for the salad — quinoa!
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I adore quinoa and use it ALL.THE.TIME. It’s quick to cook, gluten-free, a complete source of protein, full of fiber, high in magnesium and a good source of manganese, iron, copper, folate, zinc, phosphorus, riboflavin and other B vitamins.
When it comes to cooking quinoa to use for salad, it’s basically the same process as normal, but I like to make my quinoa a day in advance, let it cool and chill it in the fridge overnight and then use it for the salad the next day.
Prepping it in advance is just so the quinoa doesn’t heat up the other salad ingredients. Of course it’s fine to cook it the same day and just let it cool a bit before using. I do this all the time when I’m in a rush!
Ingredients in Spring Quinoa Salad
Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious (and super easy) quinoa salad:
quinoa – In terms of quinoa brands, Ancient Harvest has always been my go-to. Feel free to use any type of quinoa you like from white, black, red to tri-color. Any variety will work for this recipe.
asparagus and radishes – adds flavor and a great texture to the salad.
olive oil, lemon, garlic, maple syrup, sea salt, and red pepper flakes – instead of an elaborate dressing, we’re using these six items to add a light and refreshing flavor to the salad.
parsley and scallions – to brighten the flavor.
pistachios – the pistachios add a nice nutty crunch.
Notes and Substitutions
Protein – The quinoa adds a good amount of plant-based protein to this salad but, you could always add more protein by tossing in about 1/2 cup of beans (chickpeas or black beans would be delicious) or adding in some chopped grilled chicken. This apple cider vinegar chicken would be yummy.
Mix-ins – Feel free to switch up your mix-ins for this quinoa salad… I often do! Sometimes I change up the veggies based on what I have on hand and add extra herbs like fresh dill (so good!). Feel free to get creative and make this your own!
What to Serve with Quinoa Salad
Honestly, this salad pairs well with just about anything! It’s the perfect side for cookouts and potlucks. Here are some pairing ideas:
Cook quinoa: Follow the directions on the back of the package. Remove from heat and let cool. This step can be done ahead of time.
Pre-heat: Set oven to 400° F.
Toss: In a medium bowl mix asparagus and radishes with olive oil and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking stone.
Bake: Cook vegetables for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables have reached your desired texture. If your asparagus spears are really thin, they may need to be taken out of the oven a bit earlier than the radishes.
Cool: Once roasted, remove the veggies from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
Whisk dressing: In a large salad bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, maple syrup, sea salt, and red pepper flakes.
Add ingredients: Combing the asparagus, radishes, quinoa, parsley, scallions, to a medium bowl and toss well to combine.
Serve: Top with pistachios before serving.
Protein – The quinoa adds a good amount of plant-based protein to this salad but, you could always add more protein by tossing in about 1/2 cup of beans (chickpeas or black beans would be delicious) or adding in some chopped grilled chicken. This apple cider vinegar chicken would be yummy.Mix-ins – Feel free to switch up your mix-ins for this quinoa salad… I often do! Sometimes I change up the veggies based on what I have on hand and add extra herbs like fresh dill (so good!). Feel free to get creative and make this your own!
Serving: 1/6 of recipeCalories: 263kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 7gFat: 14gFiber: 5gSugar: 5g