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April 6, 2021

by Alyssa

Quinoa Caprese Salad

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This healthy and delicious quinoa Caprese salad is made with ripe cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, fresh basil, fluffy quinoa and tossed in a simple balsamic vinaigrette. It's vegan, gluten-free and nut-free!

45 degree overhead of quinoa caprese salad with tomatoes and basil

This recipe is a loose interpretation of classic Italian Caprese salad. There may not be any cheese in this vegan twist. However, it does have plenty of plant-based protein and satisfying flavor from my favorite grain!

In addition to nutty and fluffy quinoa, this healthy salad has fresh, juicy cherry tomatoes, basil, and a delicious balsamic vinaigrette. You can even prep this Caprese ahead of time and let it sit for a day or two, it gets even more flavorful! This is a perfect summertime recipe for vegan meal prepping or to take on a picnic.

overhead collage of steps to make quiona salad with toamtoes, basil and balsamic vinagrette

How to Make Quiona Caprese Salad

The salad itself is just four simple ingredients, plus a garlicky balsamic dressing you'll want to put on everything.


Here's what you need to make a healthy quinoa salad with cherry tomatoes and basil:

  • Cooked white quinoa. See here for exactly how I cook my quinoa every time.
  • Chickpeas. Or another protein source (see below for inspo).
  • Cherry tomatoes. I love bright red, juicy cherry tomatoes. However, you can use any color you like. You could even use a diced large tomato.
  • Basil. A must for anything labeled “caprese.”

Balsamic Vinaigrette

What really brings this grain salad to life is the sweet and savory balsamic vinaigrette.

To make the dressing, add the following ingredients to a jar and shake away:

  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Crushed garlic
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dried oregano
  • Red pepper flakes (this is optional but adds a nice subtle heat to the dish)

This is a classic dressing that you can use on nearly any fresh green salad, so go ahead and make a double batch. It will last up to two days in an airtight container in the fridge.

pouring balsamic vinegar dressing on quinoa salad with tomatoes and basil

Adding Protein to Caprese Salad

This is already a high-protein quinoa salad, thanks to the grains and chickpeas. However, if you're not a fan of garbanzo beans or want to add even more protein to your dish, here are some easy ways to beef up your Caprese salad:

  • Swap chickpeas for white or black beans
  • Add chilled cooked tofu
  • Stir in creamy tofu ricotta
  • Use cooked lentils instead of bean
  • And if you're not vegan, you can easily add cooked chicken, shrimp, or another light protein

close up on detail of quiona salad with tomatoes, basil and balsamic dressing

Is Quinoa Caprese Salad Vegan?

Yes, this salad is dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free.

overhead of a white bowl with fresh tomato and basil quinoa salad

Make-Ahead Caprese with Quinoa

This is not only a delicious 15-minute meal to throw together on a busy workday. It also stores well for meal prep.

Keep the salad (dressed or undressed) in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.

overhead of white bowl with quinoa caprese salad and fresh basil

More Healthy Quinoa Salad Recipes

“Caprese” Quinoa Salad

This easy quinoa salad recipe has chickpeas and grains for protein, cherry tomatoes and basil for sweetness, and fresh flavor for lunch or dinner. 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 391kcal
Print Pin
overhead of white bowl with quinoa caprese salad and fresh basil
4.88 from 8 votes


for the dressing:


  • In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, tomatoes, chickpeas and basil. Toss to combine.
  • Whisk together the dressing ingredients, reserving a bit of pepper to garnish, in a small bowl. Pour dressing over quinoa salad and stir together until evenly coated.
  • Garnish with some fresh cracked pepper if desired.
  • Serve immediately or chill in fridge for 30 - 60 minutes.



This recipe can be easily doubled to serve a larger crowd


Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 740mg | Potassium: 634mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 720IU | Vitamin C: 19.5mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 4.9mg


Caprese Quinoa Salad with tomatoes, basil and chickpeas | recipe on simplyquinoa.com

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. Hi, This looks really good! I’d like to make it soon, however I do not like balsamic vinegar. What do you think would be a good replacement? Thanks!

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