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Almond Butter Thai Quinoa Salad

Author - Alyssa Rimmer

This simple Thai Quinoa Salad is peppered with a rainbow of veggies and tossed in a creamy almond butter sauce! Tastes like pad thai, but in salad form!

A super simple THAI QUINOA SALAD with all the veggies and a creamy almond butter dressing!

After spending a few weeks in Thailand last fall, I came home with a new found obsession with all things Thai-flavored.

Visiting Thailand had always been a dream of mine. I'd always loved the food, but there was something about the culture that drew me there. The Buddhist way of life just resonates with me and I felt this intense pull to travel there. And so I hopped on a plane (all by myself!) and went.

I was lucky enough to spend about 8 days there and all my feelings were solidified. The country is inspiring, the people are warm and friendly and the food. Oh guys, the food. It's SO good. (if you want to read more about my trip, check out my travel recap!)

And while I can't necessarily bring you all with me to Thailand, I can certainly help bring those amazing flavors to life and perhaps transport you virtually to the Land of Smiles 🙂 So, on our menu today? This Almond Butter Thai Quinoa Salad.

How to make the BEST thai quinoa salad ever!

How to make the BEST thai quinoa salad ever!

It kind of reminds me of super healthy version of Pad Thai. Like a Pad Thai but in crunchy salad form.

The blend of vegetables gives the salad the perfect mixture of flavors and textures. The carrots and bell peppers bring a hint of sweetness, while the broccoli and cabbage add their brilliant earthy flavors, which is all balanced out with the brightness from the green onions. And then there’s the quinoa which makes the whole salad feel fluffy and light.

But what makes this salad distinctly Thai-inspired is the wonderful dressing. A typical Pad Thai dressing is made with many ingredients that I simply don’t use in my own kitchen anymore – fish sauce, refined sugar, processed peanut butter and soy sauce being a few of them.

So instead of the traditional route, I went for a clean eating version and made a simple dressing that boasts a ton of flavor and brings this whole salad to life. And since I know many of you have peanut allergies, I chose to make a creamy almond butter dressing instead.

Same great texture, and arguably even better nutty flavor!

A super simple THAI QUINOA SALAD with all the veggies and a creamy almond butter dressing!

A super simple THAI QUINOA SALAD with all the veggies and a creamy almond butter dressing!

The dressing uses just five ingredients, is healthy, and is gluten-free and vegan. It starts with a blend of creamy almond butter, toasted sesame oil and gluten-free tamari. Then for some acidity, I added in brown rice vinegar and lime juice. It’s creamy, nutty and just delicious!

And drizzled over this quinoa salad? Oh my. To die for.

So let’s take a little mental vacation, my friends and take ourselves to Thailand where soaking up the sun, riding elephants and eating this awesome quinoa salad is all we have to do each day. Sounds pretty perfect, doesn’t it?

This simple THAI QUINOA SALAD is peppered with a rainbow of veggies and tossed in a creamy almond butter sauce! Tastes like pad thai, but in salad form!

This simple THAI QUINOA SALAD is peppered with a rainbow of veggies and tossed in a creamy almond butter sauce! Tastes like pad thai, but in salad form!

simply-quinoa-instagramIf you make this recipe, make sure to snap a pic and share it on Instagram using #SIMPLYQUINOA – I want to see your own quinoa creations!

A super simple THAI QUINOA SALAD with all the veggies and a creamy almond butter dressing!
5 from 2 votes
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Almond Butter Thai Salad

Like a Pad Thai but in crunchy salad form!

Course Salad
Cuisine Asian
Keyword easy salad, pad thai
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 382 kcal
Author Alyssa

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup broccoli florets finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 cup red bell pepper julienned and cut into 2″ strips
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 2 green onions finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup peanuts chopped (optional)
  • Dressing
  • 1/4 cup creamy almond butter (or peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons water to thin the dressing

Instructions

  1. Add all the salad ingredients into a large bowl, minus the broccoli and dressing.
  2. If desired, gently steam the broccoli for 2 minutes (or 40 seconds in the microwave) and transfer to the salad bowl. Toss ingredients together to combine. (<-- this step is optional, you can also just eat it raw!)
  3. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss again until everything is incorporated and evenly covered by the dressing.
  4. Serve immediately or store in fridge and serve when desired.
  5. Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
Almond Butter Thai Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 382 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 29%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Sodium 288mg 12%
Potassium 680mg 19%
Total Carbohydrates 41g 14%
Dietary Fiber 8g 32%
Sugars 5g
Protein 13g 26%
Vitamin A 81.2%
Vitamin C 95.3%
Calcium 11.7%
Iron 20.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

This simple THAI QUINOA SALAD is peppered with a rainbow of veggies and tossed in a creamy almond butter sauce! Tastes like pad thai, but in salad form!
51 comments
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  1. Delicious, Alyssa!! I loved it cold but warmed some of the leftovers up in the microwave for a minute which steamed the veggies just a tad. So good both ways!!

  2. Looks amazing! Can it be served as a cold salad or should it be heated? I’m looking for a side dish to bring to a picnic this weekend.

  3. I’m not a huge fan of quinoa (it’s a texture thing)… Thoughts on another grain that would be good in this awesome salad?

  4. delicious! I used broccoli slaw in place of the broccoli and it was so much less prep. Used it as main dish one night, in a spinach wrap for lunch the next – add some hot sauce and yummy!

  5. I made this salad for a family event. I doubled it and served it on a huge platter surrounded with cucumber slices. It loved so impressive and everyone loved it. I added grated fresh ginger and a bit of maple syrup to the dressing. Thank you for the recipe. It will be a family favourite.

  6. Hi Alyssa, I just wanted to share a variation of the dressing/salad.. it has become our fave here with my family 😄 I use only NON-GMO/Organic ingredients

    3tbsp almond butter (I prefer fresh ground unsalted)
    1tbs raw honey
    2tsp toasted sesame oil
    2tbsp Coco Aminos (delightful soy alternative)
    1/4c Apple Cider Vinegar
    1tbsp fresh grated Ginger

    I mix all ingredients in a mason jar, let sit for at least 5mins before serving

    We usually eat this with a raw cabbage salad; white and purple cabbage, grated/spiralized carrot, chopped celery, and lots of fresh cilantro.. I also like to throw in chopped romaine and red or yellow bell pepper

    We love avocado and it tastes great w this salad too, along with sliced raw almonds.
    My husband is a personal trainer and this has become a staple in our house. Most times I serve it with chicked marinated with a little avocado oil, lots of COCO Aminos, garlic, onion, pepper, Himalayan Pink salt, and red pepper flakes.. Perfection!
    So healing and refreshing! Great detox salad too!

  7. Just made this! Oh my goodness, simply delicious! I added black beans for some additional protein and am using this as a main dish. Thank you!

  8. I made a modified version of this tonight using the veggies I had in my frig( sautéed onions, peppers, mushroom and rainbow chard). It was delish. Loved the saice. Huge hit with the hubby.

  9. Amazing. So, so yummy!! I made one adjustment – used a spicy sesame/peppers oil (The Spread) instead of toasted sesame oil. A hint of heat. Absolutely delicious. Thank you!

  10. This turned out amazing! Needed a simple cleansing meal and used up all my veg! Super good and the dressing….yumm! Thanks girl! Easy meal for a family, will probably add some cilantro next time!!!

  11. Such yummy ingredients! I love the color in this dish. It will certainlly make for a healthy and cooling side dish.

  12. Oh my gosh, I wish we weren’t going out of town tomorrow. I would make a HUGE batch of this. Your Blog and recipes are so great. And I like your stories. Enjoy VT.

  13. YAY! Your blog is finally back up in my Bloglovin’ feed! And o I love thai flavors! And yes, the sweetness from the peppers and that light crunch and burst! So great! Plus I’m a sucker for the sesame and peanut flavors!

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