Moroccan Quinoa Salad
Author - Alyssa Rimmer
This is hands down the best Moroccan Quinoa Salad you'll ever taste! It's quick to make, uses a few simple ingredients, is flavor-packed and has the perfect balance of texture.
I just got back from a trip up to Vermont, and I have to say, coming home is one of the best feelings in the world.
Even though I love spending time with my parents, I love escaping the city, I love that I can work remotely and love seeing how happy Trevi is, I miss my space, my routine, my bed (!!), my friends and of course, I miss Matt.
One of the first orders of business, when I get back from a long trip, is to meal plan. I tend to fall a little off track when I travel, so it's really important for me to set out the meals that we're going to have for the week.
First is writing down the shopping list, then I go to the store and then I feel prepared. It's so great having that solid plan in place – and a fully stocked fridge – because that way I know I have what I need to make healthy choices all week long.
I bring this up because this Moroccan Quinoa Salad is one of my go-to, post-vacay recipes. It's easy to make, it can be prepped ahead and kept in the fridge for a couple days (hello healthy lunches!), and it's a great base for a meal.
I chose not to add a protein to this salad because I wanted it to be one that you can eat as is and enjoy as a side, or customize for the diet-preferences in your house.
I'm plant-based and Matt is not, so I can whip up this salad and serve it to both of us, just adding beans to mine and chicken to his. We both get what we want, we both enjoy it, and it also means way fewer dishes for me!
How to make a Moroccan Quinoa Salad
We're using a combination of cooked quinoa and kale for the base of the salad. Then we're sprinkling in some carrots for a bit of color but also natural sweetness, some pistachios for crunch, scallions for bite and cilantro for that added depth of flavor.
But my secret weapon in this salad? Chopped dates!
I know it might sound strange, especially if you're used to eating dates in my Turtle Cookie Energy Bites, but they're actually a really natural addition to this salad. Of course, they add sweetness, but dates are also really high in fiber, are a great source of iron and magnesium.
Now I'll be honest and tell you when I was thinking about the dressing for this salad, I desperately wanted to go with a tahini base. It just felt natural, but I realized I shared my 10-minute Spicy Moroccan Salad a few years ago and that one uses tahini.
So…we're going in a different direction and using an olive oil base instead! (yes, I know it's shocking)
Here's why I adore this dressing. It's…
Super citrusy (thanks to the lovely combination of lemon and orange)
Has the perfect blend of spices
Not too bold
And truthfully just the right amount of flavor amount to bring the salad ingredients to life.
More healthy Moroccan-inspired recipes!
Moroccan Quinoa Salad
This simple Moroccan Quinoa Salad is flavorful, quick to make and packed with healthy ingredients. It's the perfect side dish and can easily be bulked up by adding your favorite protein!
for the salad:
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 2 cups kale finely chopped
- 1 cup carrot julienned
- 1/2 cup pistachios chopped
- 1/2 cup scallions finely sliced
- 1/2 cup cilantro finely chopped
- 4 Medjool dates pitted & chopped
for the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon about 2 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon orange juice optional for sweetness
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Zest of 1 lemon about 1 tablespoon
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Pinch of cinnamon optional
- Salt & pepper to taste
In a large bowl, combine all the salad ingredients.
Add the dressing ingredients to a mason jar and shake to combine. You can also use a bowl and whisk them together until combined.
Pour dressing over the salad and toss until everything is evenly coated.
Allow salad it sit for 15 minutes before serving (this helps the kale soften a bit). Enjoy as is or serve with your favorite protein!
To make this salad more of a meal, add chickpeas, grilled chicken, shrimp, or your favorite protein of choice.
New to cooking quinoa? Grab your FREE Quinoa Starter Guide!
Become part of the Simply Quinoa community and receive weekly emails with exclusive content that I only share in email, as well as my in-depth guide to starting your quinoa journey.