Spring Quinoa Salad
Published Mar 01, 2023, Updated Jul 07, 2023
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This spring quinoa salad combines quinoa with roasted asparagus and radishes, fresh parsley and pistachios all tossed in a simple lemon dressing. It’s fresh, flavorful and perfect for meal prep. Vegan + 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 its 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 This Recipe
- It has all the components of a good meal-sized salad… protein, smart carbs, healthy fats, veggies and satisfaction factor!
- It’s light, flavorful and jam-packed with tons of fresh veggies and herbs!
- Quick and easy to whip up – you only need 10 ingredients (plus seasonings) and one bowl!
- It holds up well in the fridge so it’s the perfect meal prep recipe. Prep this over the weekend and have lunch ready to go for the entire week!
- quinoa – the perfect base for this salad! Quinoa is a good source of protein, high in fiber, rich in vitamins and minerals and naturally gluten-free. It’s also a complete protein, which means it has all nine essential amino acids including lysine… a rare find when it comes to plant-based foods. In terms of quinoa brands, Ancient Harvest organic quinoa 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, fresh lemon juice, garlic, maple syrup, sea salt, and red pepper flakes – instead of an elaborate dressing, we’re using these six ingredients to add a light and refreshing flavor to the salad. Avocado oil and honey would work as substitutes.
- parsley and scallions – to add freshness and brighten the flavor.
- pistachios – the pistachios add a nice crunch and some healthy fats!
How to Make
Cook quinoa: Follow the directions on the back of the package to cook the quinoa (you can also follow my full tutorial on how to cook quinoa) until it has softened. Remove from heat, fluff and let cool. I usually like to make the quinoa for this salad a day in advance and store it in the fridge until I’m ready to assemble the salad. 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 before using it. I do this all the time when I’m in a rush!
Roast veggies: In a medium bowl mix asparagus and radishes with olive oil as well as salt and pepper, to taste. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place baking sheet in a 400°F preheated oven and cook vegetables for 20-30 minutes or until they 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.
Combine ingredients: Once roasted, remove the veggies from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes. In a large salad bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, maple syrup, sea salt and red pepper flakes. Add the asparagus, radishes, quinoa, parsley and scallions to the bowl and toss well to combine. Portion into bowls and top with pistachios before serving. Enjoy!
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 adding a can of beans (chickpeas or any white bean would be delicious) or adding in some chopped grilled chicken. This apple cider vinegar chicken or air fryer chicken breast 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 (I love using broccoli and peas) and add extra fresh herbs like fresh dill or mint (so good!). Feel free to get creative and make this salad your own!
Toppings – When serving this salad feel free to add your desired topping. Here are some ideas: avocado, feta cheese, goat cheese, almonds and hemp seeds.
What to Serve with Spring Quinoa Salad
Honestly, this salad pairs well with just about anything! It’s delicious and filling on its own, but it’s also the perfect side for cookouts and potlucks. Here are some pairing ideas:
- Grilled Curry Chicken – looking for a little extra flavor? Try this curry chicken recipe.
- Blackened Salmon – the creamy and refreshing quinoa salad is the perfect way to balance out the spice from the salmon.
- The Best Tempeh Veggie Burger – make these delicious vegan burgers as your main and serve this salad alongside it!
- Baked Falafel – because this quinoa salad reminds me of tabbouleh and has Mediterranean vibes, I think it would be delicious paired with homemade falafel and creamy hummus.
How to Store
This spring quinoa salad stores super well and is great for meal prep! I love meal prepping this salad for lunches throughout the week! It stores so well and even tastes better the next day as the ingredients have time to soak up more of the flavors. To store, place leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
More Quinoa Recipes to Try
- Quinoa Tabbouleh
- Quinoa Fried “Rice” with Shrimp
- Slow Cooker Cheesy Mexican Quinoa Casserole
- Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
- Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole
- Grilled Chicken and Quinoa Meal Prep Bowls
- Jennifer Aniston Salad
- Easy Quinoa Salad
- Roasted Broccoli Quinoa Salad
- Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl
More Salad Recipes to Try
- Fattoush Salad
- Couscous Salad
- Easy Spinach Salad
- Classic Broccoli Salad
- Greek Salad
- Chicken Waldorf Salad
- Massaged Kale Salad
- Healthy Potato Salad
- Bella Hadid Salad
- Vegan Cobb Salad
- Sunflower Crunch Salad
Spring Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 1 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 1 bunch radishes, quartered
- ¼ cup olive oil + 2 teaspoons
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- ⅓ cup chopped Italian parsley
- 5 scallions, chopped (green part only)
- ¼ cup chopped shelled pistachios
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cook quinoa by following the directions on the back of the package. Remove from heat and let cool. (This step can be done ahead of time.)
- In a medium bowl, mix asparagus and radishes with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste and spread in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
- Place in oven and roast for 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables have reached your desired texture. Toss them around the 15 minute mark. Note: If your asparagus spears are really thin, they may need to be taken out of the oven a bit earlier than the radishes.
- Once roasted, remove the veggies from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
- In a large salad bowl, whisk together ¼ cup olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, maple syrup, sea salt and red pepper flakes.
- Add the asparagus, radishes, quinoa, parsley, scallions and pistachios to the bowl with the dressing and toss well to combine. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Enjoy!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.