These 25 healthy quinoa salad recipes make for a perfect meal on a spring or summer day. Most of the recipes are gluten-free and vegan, and all of them are healthy, easy to make, and absolutely delicious.
Quinoa salads are one of my go-to meals, especially when the weather gets warm. They're so light, fresh, and healthy tasting, which is exactly what my body craves when it’s hot out. Quinoa is a super versatile ingredient, so you can tailor the flavors in a quinoa salad to fit whatever you’re craving. As a result, I sometimes find myself eating one every day!
There are a lot of different components in a quinoa salad. There’s the quinoa itself, the veggies and proteins you add to it, the dressing, and the garnishes. But if made well, all of those components can work in perfect harmony, and create a simple but magical dish.
In honor of the days getting longer and the sun coming out, it seemed like a good idea to put together 25 of my favorite recipes. Whether quinoa’s one of your favorite foods or you’re just getting started eating it, you’re going to love these easy, healthy, delicious salads.
Benefits of Quinoa Salad
Before we jump into some of my favorite quinoa salad recipes, it’s a good idea to talk about why I love them so much!
Quick. Quinoa salads are always quick and easy to make. Quinoa doesn’t take too long to cook, and you can put together the rest of the recipe in the time that it takes to cook the quinoa. Most quinoa salad recipes are pretty straightforward and easy, so they’re great for making any day of the week.
Healthy. Health is important to me, and quinoa is a big part of how I stay healthy. In fact, it’s one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Quinoa is considered a complete protein, which means it has all nine of the essential amino acids in it. It has loads of nutrients, protein, and fiber in it while being very low in calories. Most quinoa salad recipes add tons of fresh vegetables to quinoa, which is about as healthy of a meal as you can think of.
Gluten-free. Some people think that quinoa is a grain, but it’s actually a seed. As a result, it’s gluten-free! Almost all quinoa salads are gluten-free, too.
Cheap. One thing I love about quinoa is how affordable it is. If you’re trying to eat healthy food at a good price point, you should be buying lots of quinoa. It’s so much cheaper than most health foods. And the ingredients that go in these salads are affordable, too.
Versatile. Quinoa goes well with almost any flavor. This means you can always make a quinoa salad that matches your appetite and your cravings. It also means you can eat quinoa salad all the time and not get sick of it.
How to Store Leftovers
Quinoa salad will last for a long time in the fridge, so I love to make a large batch to last me through the week. Just keep leftovers in an airtight container and they’ll last for 5-7 days, depending on the other ingredients in the salad.
Tips and Tricks
As my website name would suggest, I’ve cooked a lot of quinoa in my life! Here are some of my favorite tricks for making a good salad.
Ratios. There are two ratios that are important with a quinoa salad. First, you need a good ratio of quinoa to other ingredients. And second, you need the proper ratio of water to dried quinoa when cooking it. Check out my guide for the perfect liquid ratio when cooking quinoa.
Let it marinate. Like so many foods, quinoa only gets better when given time to marinate. If you make a quinoa salad and you have spare time, leave it in the fridge for a few hours before eating it. The flavors will really grow.
Use fresh ingredients. Quinoa goes so well with fresh vegetables. One of my favorite ways to decide what type of quinoa salad to make is to go to the farmer's market. I’ll buy whatever vegetables are in season, and use them to make a great dish.
25 Easy Recipes You Need to Try
Let’s dive into some of my favorite quinoa salad recipes. Some of these recipes have simple flavors, while some are pretty complex. But all of them taste incredible, are easy to make and are packed with protein and nutrients. I know you’ll love them.
Wild Rice Quinoa Salad with Asparagus + Lemon-Turmeric Vinaigrette
Talk about spring flavors! The veggies in this quinoa salad are asparagus and kale, and it’s as fresh as fresh can be. Quinoa is often used as a replacement for rice, but this recipe uses it alongside wild rice, which makes for some complex flavors and interesting textures.
Quinoa pairs so well with fresh herbs. This recipe capitalizes on that, with a large amount of parsley, cilantro, and basil. When you account for the snap peas, radishes, and fresh lemon dressing, this is one of the most refreshing meals you’ll ever eat.
The star of this salad is the almond butter dressing, which also has toasted sesame oil, gluten-free tamari, rice vinegar, and lime juice. It’s so rich and tangy and brings out the natural nutty flavor of quinoa. This recipe is also packed with fresh veggies, as it has broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, and cabbage.
This recipe has so much broccoli in it that it’s more like a broccoli salad with quinoa than a quinoa salad with broccoli. And trust me when I say that it works incredibly well! The salad is so simple, as it only has quinoa, broccoli, and almonds. But those ingredients work beautifully together, and the cashew butter dressing makes the salad rich and complex.
Summer Squash + Zucchini Quinoa Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts
Squash is one of my favorite summer vegetables, and this salad is absolutely loaded with it. The dressing is so fresh and vibrant, with lemon zest, lemon juice, and fresh dill. Plus, this recipe uses yellow summer squash and green zucchini, so it looks gorgeous, too!
This recipe has all of your favorite pad thai flavors but in a quinoa salad. It’s got the fresh veggies, the cilantro and scallions, the peanut butter, sriracha, and tamari dressing, and the roasted peanuts on top. It really is pad thai! Except it’s also quinoa salad, and it’s awesome.
These are some of my favorite flavors to eat with quinoa. The crisp juiciness of tomatoes and cucumber adds so much life to quinoa. And the rich creaminess of avocado balances out the flavor and texture. This recipe couldn’t be easier to make, but it’s bursting with fresh flavors and healthy ingredients.
Quinoa and chickpeas are two of my favorite healthy ingredients. So it only seems right to pair them together in this recipe, along with loads of fresh veggies and herbs, and a sweet, tangy, maple syrup and lemon vinaigrette. There’s so much fresh flavor and a wild amount of healthiness.
There are very few foods that are as beautiful as what you’ll get if you go to the farmer’s market, buy ripe, in-season vegetables, and turn them into a quinoa salad. You’re bound to have gorgeous colors and shapes, and it will somehow taste even better than it looks!
Quinoa might go wonderfully with vegetables, but it actually goes great with fruit, too! This recipe proves that, as it pairs savory ingredients like kale, cashews, and avocado, with blueberries and mango. The dressing is also a mix between sweet and savory, with ginger, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and honey. Trust me: it works!
This is another example of fruit tasting so good when paired with quinoa. The strawberries in this recipe give a burst of sweetness to the quinoa and spinach and also add a little bit of tartness. A simple dressing of lime juice, mint, and honey makes this salad taste unbelievably fresh.
Blueberry Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette
The flavors in this recipe could just as easily describe a cocktail, but they make for an amazing quinoa salad instead. The secret to this recipe is that it has lots of spicy arugula, which cuts into the sweetness of the fresh blueberries.
Roasted Leek and Broccoli Quinoa Salad with Chopped Almonds
A lot of quinoa salad recipes just use fresh vegetables, but some of my favorites use roast veggies. Broccoli and leek is a classic combination, and the roasted veggies add a depth, richness, and smokiness to the quinoa. I love nuts in salads, especially quinoa salads. The whole almonds in this recipe really take it to the next level.
I love Moroccan food. If you do too, then you’ll love this dish. And if you’re not familiar with Moroccan cuisine, then this is a great way to get started eating it. The salad itself has amazing flavors like pistachios and dates, while the mouth-watering dressing includes lemon juice, orange juice, lemon zest, cumin, turmeric powder, and cinnamon. It’s a flavor party!
This is one of my go-to recipes when I feel like I need to cleanse my body. It’s such a simple recipe, as the salad is just four ingredients: quinoa, chickpeas, beets, and arugula. The tahini lemon salad dressing is nutty and acidic but not overpowering. The beauty of this quinoa salad is its simplicity.
With kale and pomegranate seeds, this quinoa salad has enough red and green to be served at Christmas! But those ingredients go so well together, and walnuts and crispy chickpeas add a lot of richness to this salad. You’ll feel amazing after eating this healthy salad, and your taste buds will be happy, too!
Grilled corn is a staple at my home in the summer. Something about the smokiness of the grill and the sweetness of the corn is just magical. It goes really well with quinoa, and the flavors are amplified by a handful of fresh cilantro, and the kick from a jalapeño. There’s a lot going on in this salad … and I mean that in a good way.
Strawberries and feta cheese is one of my all-time favorite sweet and savory pairings. The salty brininess of the cheese just brings out the strongest flavor in the strawberries. This is a super rich recipe, as it not only has cheese but also avocado. Some fresh mint adds a nice Mediterranean flair to the salad.
Blackberries and apricots may both be sweet, but they’re two fruits that always work well in savory dishes. They’re mixed with mint, almonds, and spinach in this quinoa salad, while a maple syrup, lemon juice, and turmeric salad dressing covers them. It’s an explosion of flavors that’s even better than it sounds.
Quinoa may be from South America, but it just goes perfectly with Middle Eastern flavors. The saffron, mint, dates, and sunflower seeds bring out the best flavors in the quinoa. Plus, the saffron makes the quinoa an absolutely stunning shade of gold. Talk about a beautiful dish!
Green beans with almonds is a common side dish. So why not take it one step further and turn it into a quinoa salad? That’s what this recipe does, and the results are phenomenal. It’s so simple, but also a reminder that sometimes simple is perfect.
It’s safe to say that if you’re ever unsure of what to do with some quinoa, you can always just grill some veggies, throw them on top, and add a little salad dressing. That’s bound to leave you with a delicious meal. This recipe, with mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and zucchini, is a strong reminder of how well quinoa pairs with roasted vegetables.
This recipe is closer to a fruit salad than a traditional quinoa salad, and I love it. It has strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries, with seasoning from limes, maple syrup, and ginger. It’s basically an amazing fruit salad with the added health benefit of quinoa! It works as a dessert, but I love to eat it as a side during a cookout.
If you don’t like Brussels sprouts, then this recipe probably isn’t for you. But if you do, then you’ve come to the right place. This is one of my favorite ways to eat Brussels sprouts, as the bitter flavor works wonderfully with rich quinoa. But the salad dressing is probably my favorite part of this dish, as it has coriander seeds, fennel seeds, and cumin seeds, mixed with vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil. What an amazing burst of flavors!
This recipe is primarily kale, with a little bit of salad. But it also has radicchio and carrots, and the result is that it’s visually stunning. It’s a bright green quinoa salad with bursts of orange and purple. Oh yeah, and it also tastes fantastic, with a miso paste salad dressing that you have got to try.