It is no secret that having a few tasty quinoa salad recipes in your weekly rotation is a good idea, especially if you are looking for easy, filling, and healthy meals that happen to be gluten-free. In our household, quinoa salads are a part of our weekly menu. That’s why I thought that it would be helpful to you to put all my best warm and cold quinoa salad recipes in one easy place.
Packed with protein-rich superfoods and topped with sumptuous dressings, these dishes will be your new favorites—and they take 30 minutes to make! Even better, they are only a handful of my fast and easy quinoa recipes and salad recipes to add to your collection. Your kitchen will brim with fluffy quinoa and fresh veggies with these top-rated meals.
Why Should You Make Quinoa Salads a Part of Your Weekly Meals?
There’s a reason why a good flavorful salad is such a popular dish. Nutritious, filling, and always customizable, each of the easy quinoa salads you see here will have you licking your lips.
- Quinoa is easy to cook and mildly flavored, so it’s the perfect base for any taste profile—especially once you learn how to season quinoa properly.
- Packed with antioxidants, dietary fiber, and iron, quinoa is a vegetarian superfood that contains all nine essential amino acids. It is also naturally gluten-free.
- Meal prep is a cinch with these quick quinoa salad recipes. Cook quinoa in bulk, cool it and mix it with whatever you’re craving for a meal that’s ready in minutes. You can even freeze quinoa for long-lasting storage!
How to Cook Quinoa for Salad
You can have a simple quinoa salad ready in no time once you learn these easy methods for how to cook quinoa. No matter what type of quinoa you use, there’s a foolproof recipe just for you!
Below are different methods that you can use to cook quinoa. They are all foolproof with everything you need to know to get a perfectly cooked quinoa every time:
- Stovetop quinoa
- Microwave quinoa – the quickest way
- Rice cooker quinoa – most hands off method
- Instant Pot quinoa
Is Quinoa Salad Healthy?
Absolutely. The quinoa salads listed below are made by mixing cooked quinoa with fresh vegetables, legumes, and seasonings (such as fresh herbs and spices). They are also flavored with homemade salad dressings.
Quinoa salads like this are not only filling but also nutritious, especially when they are packed with fresh vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, spinach, and more.
Best Quinoa Salad Dressing Recipes
Wondering what to add to quinoa salad to make it pop? Once you learn how to make quinoa salad dressings, every bowl will explode with zesty, tangy, or even bold Asian flavor.
- Lemon Vinaigrette: Simple and bright, this basic lemon vinaigrette will make any recipe come to life. Better yet, it only needs six dressing ingredients!
- Lemon Balsamic Dressing: When you’re working with Mediterranean or Italian dishes, this rich and tart mixture is the best dressing for quinoa salad.
- Sesame Ginger Dressing: Bold garlic, spicy ginger, and sweet honey make this dressing my go-to for any Asian-inspired salad. Fresh veggies never tasted so good!
- Chili Lime Vinaigrette: It only takes five minutes to whip up this healthy dressing for quinoa salad. Sweet and spicy, this southwestern sauce makes a great dressing and marinade.
- Avocado Salad Dressing: No one can resist the light, creamy taste of this vegan dressing for quinoa salad. Gluten-free and paleo-friendly, this recipe is safe for most special diets.
- Tahini Yogurt Sauce: Tangy and creamy, this quinoa bowl dressing is a must-have at every Mediterranean meal. This recipe is so delicious, it even works as a dip!
What To Serve Them With?
To make an amazing quinoa salad even more amazing, serve it with a mouthwatering main dish. Pair a simple salad with anything from roast chicken to hearty beef stew to make a perfect meal.
Succulent, scrumptious, and easy to cook, chicken is a go-to for any weeknight meal and it pairs so well with quinoa. Take my best chicken recipes to the next level by pairing them with a fresh quinoa salad. Here are a few recipes to get you started:
No one can resist the rich umami flavor of classic beef dishes. Now you can add a light side to my favorite beef recipes by serving them with a simple quinoa salad.
When wondering what to have with quinoa salad, what could be better than my top-rated easy vegetarian meals? These meatless matches are guaranteed to make your mouth water:
Finding it a challenge to make quinoa salads a part of your meals? Whether you are short on time or are looking for a superfood-packed healthy meal for your family, I hope the tips below will help you:
- Cook quinoa in large batches and freeze: What makes quinoa so wonderful for quick salads is that it can be frozen after it is cooked and thawed quickly right before you are ready to use it. If you need help with how to do that, be sure to check out my post on How To Freeze Quinoa.
- Use prewashed greens & pre-cut vegetables: There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of shortcuts. Using pre-washed greens and already-cut vegetables will help you save time. All you need to do is to add the quinoa and drizzle it with your favorite salad dressing.
- Keep your favorite salad dressings in jars in the fridge: Make it a part of your weekly meal prep to make a few salad dressings and store them in jars. My go-to quinoa salad dressing is this Lemon Dressing Vinaigrette and it works almost all of these quinoa salad recipes (except the ones with Asian flavors.)
- Add cooked chicken on top: All of these salads would work if you want to add in a baked chicken breast that is cut into smaller pieces. If you are short on time, you can also buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it to top them off.
Quinoa Salad Recipes: Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad
To cook the Quinoa:
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed
- 1 ¾ cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
For The Dressing:
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed – plus more to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
For the Tabbouleh:
- 1 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 1 cup fresh dill chopped
- ½ cup fresh mint chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes chopped
- 2 small or 1 English cucumbers, peeled and chopped
- 3-4 scallions sliced thinly both white and green parts
- To cook the quinoa: Place quinoa in a saucepan and add in the water and salt. Give it a mix, put the lid on and bring it to a boil in medium high heat. Once it comes to a boil, turn down the heat to low and cook for 10-12 minutes or until water is fully absorbed. Take it off the heat and let it rest for 15 minutes. Fluff it with a fork and place it in a large salad bowl.
- Make the salad dressing: Meanwhile, prep the dressing by whisking all dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set it aside.
- To assemble the quinoa tabbouleh: Place all tabbouleh ingredients in the bowl with the cooked quinoa.
- Drizzle it with the dressing. Give it a toss.
- Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.
- Can I make quinoa tabbouleh in advance? You certainly can make this salad a day in advance. If you do so, be sure to keep the salad in an airtight container in the fridge. Some people chop everything up, mix it with cooked quinoa, and drizzle it with the dressing at the very last minute, but I prefer adding the dressing in as I assemble the salad. I find that the time spent marinating in the fridge yields a more flavorful salad.
- What to do with the leftovers? If you have any leftovers, you can place them in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge up to 2 days. This quinoa tabbouleh salad makes the most amazing lunch on the next day.