Satisfy Your Cravings with a Flavor-Packed Quinoa Salad

Let me ask you something, dear reader. How many times have you found yourself standing in front of the fridge or pantry, staring blankly into the void, wondering what to make for dinner? I know I’ve been there more times than I care to admit. That’s why I’m excited to share with you my favorite recipe for a vegan quinoa salad.

This dish is not only a quick and easy solution for dinner, but it is also packed full of healthy ingredients that will leave you feeling satisfied and energized. The best part? It’s naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, which makes it perfect for anyone with dietary restrictions or simply looking for a healthier option.

Quinoa has long been hailed as a superfood, and with good reason. It’s high in protein and fiber, contains essential amino acids, and is loaded with vitamins and minerals. Combine that with the flavorful combination of fresh vegetables, pine nuts, and a homemade dressing made with maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, and lemon juice – trust me when I say this salad will be your new go-to dish.

So why not give it a try? Not only is it delicious, but it’s also versatile. You can easily swap out some ingredients for others depending on what you have on hand or add some protein like grilled chicken or roasted tofu to make it even heartier. And who knows? Maybe this salad will become your new family favorite.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vegan Quinoa Salad - Gluten Free
Vegan Quinoa Salad – Gluten Free

Are you searching for a delicious and healthy salad to add to your weekly rotation? Look no further than this vegan and gluten-free quinoa salad! Not only is it filled with nourishing ingredients like kale, pinto beans, and avocado, but it’s also bursting with flavor thanks to the zesty dressing made with lemon juice, garlic, and Dijon mustard.

But what sets this salad apart from others is the versatility it offers. You can make substitutions or variations based on what you have on hand or your personal preferences. Add in some butternut squash or black beans for extra fiber and protein, or swap out the pine nuts for chopped walnuts or almonds.

Plus, this salad is perfect for meal prep. Make a big batch on Sunday and enjoy it throughout the week as a hearty lunch or dinner. And if you’re hosting a summer barbecue or potluck, bring this salad along as a crowd-pleasing side dish that will leave everyone feeling satisfied.

Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy meal option or a show-stopping dish to impress your friends, this vegan and gluten-free quinoa salad is sure to be a hit. So why not give it a try today? Your taste buds (and body) will thank you!

Ingredient List

 This vegan quinoa salad is like a rainbow in your bowl.
This vegan quinoa salad is like a rainbow in your bowl.

Here is everything you’ll need to make this delicious and healthy vegan quinoa salad, which is a naturally gluten-free recipe. Make sure to gather all the ingredients beforehand so you can quickly put together this colorful dish.

What You Will Need:

  • 1 cup of uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts (toasted)
  • 1 avocado (diced)
  • 1/2 cup of pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced small)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (diced small)
  • 1 medium zucchini squash (chopped finely)
  • 1 English cucumber (diced small)
  • 3 cups of kale leaves (chopped roughly)
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup of shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup of sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup of diced red onion

For the Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • Fresh ground black pepper and kosher salt, to taste

Optional Additions:

Feel free to add any other favorite ingredients such as cherry tomatoes, butternut squash, red cabbage, broccoli, or black beans to this tasty vegan gluten-free quinoa salad. Experiment with different textures and flavors to create your own unique quinoa salad recipe.

The Recipe How-To

 Who says salads have to be boring? This one will change your mind.
Who says salads have to be boring? This one will change your mind.

Now, let’s dive straight into the fun part – making the delicious vegan quinoa salad. Have your apron ready and your ingredients prepared. This vegan and gluten-free recipe is straightforward, so you don’t have to be a professional chef to pull it off.

Step 1: Cook the Quinoa

Rinse 1 cup of quinoa thoroughly with cold water in a fine-meshed strainer. In a medium-size pot, mix the rinsed quinoa with 2 cups of water and bring it to boil over high heat.

Once the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and let simmer for approximately 15 minutes until all the water has evaporated. Take off the heat and allow it to cool down for about ten minutes.

Step 2: Prep the Vegetables

While the quinoa cooks, finely chop ½ cup of red onion, dice 1 red bell pepper small, roughly chop 3 cups of kale, peel and shave 1 zucchini, and shred ⅓ cup of purple cabbage. Roughly chop some fresh parsley for garnish.

Step 3: Rinse and Drain Canned Beans

In a colander, rinse and drain 1-15 oz can of pinto beans until no foam appears.

Step 4: Make the Dressing

In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 1 clove of minced garlic, and a pinch of fresh ground black pepper and kosher salt. While whisking slowly add in ¼ cup olive oil to form an emulsion.

Step 5: Ready to Mix

Fluff cooked quinoa with a fork or spatula; then transfer them into a big mixing bowl. Add in the rinsed pinto beans, chopped red onion, diced bell pepper, roughly chopped kale, shaved zucchini, shredded purple cabbage, and ½ cup of pine nuts.

Since the dressing will not be enough for a large mixing bowl’s quantity of salad, drizzle half the dressing over the ingredients prepared and toss gently using salad tongs or two large spoons. Afterward, add more dressing as desired; remember that too much can make it too oily.

Step 6: Add Some More!

With the mixing is done, let us add some more salad ingredients to make it more substantial and nutritious. Consider adding diced cherry tomatoes or cucumber for fresh crunch or shredded carrots and sliced green onions for a colorful pop.

Step 7: Mix Again and Chill

Toss everything thoroughly again to make sure that all flavors get mixed together. Transfer the vegan quinoa salad into an airtight container and let it chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Now your plant-based dish is ready to serve;

Substitutions and Variations

 Get ready to fall in love with this gluten-free quinoa salad.
Get ready to fall in love with this gluten-free quinoa salad.

If you’re feeling adventurous, or simply don’t have all the ingredients on hand, fear not! This versatile vegan quinoa salad recipe can easily be adjusted to suit your taste preferences or dietary restrictions. Here are some variations and substitutions to try out:

– To make this salad grain-free, replace the quinoa with cauliflower rice or finely chopped broccoli.

– For added protein, swap out the pinto beans for chickpeas, black beans or edamame. You can also add tofu, tempeh or crispy roasted chickpeas for a crunchy texture.

– If you’re not a fan of kale, try using another dark leafy green like spinach, Swiss chard or collard greens.

– Add more veggies to the mix! Bell peppers, zucchini and cucumber can be swapped out for other vegetables like shredded cabbage, grated carrots or sliced cherry tomatoes. You can even throw in some roasted sweet potatoes or butternut squash if you’re feeling festive!

– For a different flavor profile, switch up the dressing. Try a peanut sauce, tahini dressing or a simple lemon and olive oil vinaigrette to keep things fresh.

Remember that substitutions are all about making this recipe your own! Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with new flavors and ingredients.

Serving and Pairing

 This salad is the perfect balance of sweet, tangy, savory, and fresh.
This salad is the perfect balance of sweet, tangy, savory, and fresh.

This Vegan Quinoa Salad is a perfect dish for a light yet nourishing meal. It’s packed with nutrients from whole foods ingredients, and it’s versatile enough to be served as a side or a main dish.

You can serve this salad chilled or at room temperature, depending on your preference. If you’re going for a chilled salad, make sure to refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes before serving. I recommend serving this quinoa salad in a bowl, topped with sliced avocado, pinto beans and toasted pine nuts to add some crunch.

When it comes to pairing this vegan quinoa salad, it pairs well with grilled chicken or tofu for a protein boost. It’s also great with grilled seafood like shrimp, scallops or salmon. If you’re looking for a vegan option, pairing it with roasted veggies like zucchini, butternut squash or broccoli would be ideal.

This salad is also perfect as a side dish for any summer barbecue party. The lemon Dijon dressing gives the salad a tangy flavour that complements the smoky flavours of charred meats and veggies.

Overall, this vegan quinoa salad is so versatile that it can be paired with almost anything! Whether you’re looking for a main dish or a side dish, this healthy and delicious recipe is perfect for any occasion.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Say goodbye to boring lunches and hello to this delicious quinoa salad.
Say goodbye to boring lunches and hello to this delicious quinoa salad.

As someone who cooks quinoa on a regular basis, I can confidently say that this vegan quinoa salad recipe is one of the most convenient meals to prepare ahead of time. Whether you are looking to feed a large crowd or meal-prep your lunch for the week, this recipe has got you covered.

To make-ahead, simply follow the recipe instructions and store the cooked quinoa and chopped veggies separately in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. When ready to eat, simply toss everything together with the dressing and enjoy! This salad can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days without losing its texture or taste.

If you are planning to serve this salad at a party, consider preparing it a day in advance and keep it covered with a plastic wrap before serving. Doing so will help all the flavors meld together, making it even more delicious!

To reheat this vegan quinoa salad, simply warm up a portion of it on medium heat on the stove or in the microwave until heated through. However, be mindful that reheating may cause some ingredients like avocado, pine nuts or kale lose its texture and flavor.

Overall, whether you serve this as a main dish or as a side for your next family dinner party, this gluten-free and vegan quinoa salad is a perfectly healthy and practical addition to any meal!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Every color in this salad represents a different nutrient your body needs.
Every color in this salad represents a different nutrient your body needs.

Cooking quinoa can be tricky, with the risk of ending up with a mushy or undercooked texture. Here are some tips to ensure that your vegan quinoa salad turns out perfect:

1. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly before cooking to get rid of any bitter taste and residue.

2. Use the correct ratio of water to quinoa, which is 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of dry quinoa.

3. Bring the water to a boil before adding the quinoa, then turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.

4. Leave the cooked quinoa to rest for at least 5 minutes before fluffing it up gently with a fork.

5. Add the dressing to the salad sparingly, tasting as you go along, so as not to overpower the other flavors.

6. To add a crunch to your salad, try roasting pine nuts or almonds in the oven until golden brown and then sprinkle over your quinoa salad just before serving.

7. For some added zest and tang, squeeze fresh lemon juice over your dish.

8. Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations of this recipe by adding in ingredients such as shredded carrots, broccoli, or butternut squash to make it a hearty vegetable salad or even some black beans for an extra boost of protein.

By following these tips and techniques, your vegan gluten-free quinoa salad will turn out flavorful, healthy, and perfectly cooked every time!


Now that you have all the details of how to make this delicious Vegan Quinoa Salad, you might want to know some additional information to ensure your dish comes out perfectly. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of FAQs that I often receive about this recipe. These questions cover ingredient substitutions, cooking variations and other tips to help you customize your salad to suit your taste or dietary needs. Keep reading and get all the answers you need to make this salad perfect every time!

How to make Jennifer Aniston’s quinoa salad?

Here are the ingredients that you will need to make a delicious and healthy salad:
– One English cucumber, which should be chopped to make about one cup.
– One can of chickpeas, which should be drained and rinsed before use.
– About one-third cup of chopped red onion.
– Half cup each of chopped fresh mint and parsley.
– Half cup of shelled pistachios, which should be roughly chopped.
– Half cup of crumbled feta cheese.

How healthy is quinoa salad?

Quinoa has amazing anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent and treat various diseases. Additionally, it contains omega-3 fatty acids which are good for the heart and has a higher level of monounsaturated fat compared to other cereals.

Is quinoa salad better hot or cold?

To maximize the quality of your salad, I suggest serving it chilled. Planning ahead is key when making this dish, as you can prepare the dressing, roast the pepper, and dice the vegetables ahead of time. This trick helps you pull off an effortless and mouth-watering salad.

How do you make quinoa taste good?

When it comes to adding flavor to quinoa, my go-to seasonings are cumin, dried bay leaf, turmeric, salt, and black pepper. I also adore fresh garlic and herbs, including parsley, dill, and cilantro. It’s best to add your preferred seasonings to the pot along with the liquid and cook as instructed for maximum taste.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the vegan quinoa salad recipe we have discussed today is not only a healthy and sustainable choice, but it is also a delicious meal that can be enjoyed for lunch or dinner. By following this recipe, you will create a perfect blend of textures and flavors that your taste buds will thank you for. Whether you are a vegan, gluten-free eater or just looking to add some veggies to your diet, this recipe is perfect for you.

Moreover, the best part about this recipe is its versatility. You can easily swap out any ingredients to suit your taste buds and add more variety to your diet. Additionally, by preparing it ahead of time and storing it in the fridge, you can have a delicious meal ready in no time.

So go ahead and give this vegan quinoa salad recipe a try! Not only will it provide you with all the necessary proteins and nutrients your body needs, but it will also help you lead a healthier lifestyle while enjoying delicious food.

Vegan Quinoa Salad - Gluten Free

Vegan Quinoa Salad - Gluten Free Recipe

I can't stop munching on this hearty crunchy salad!!! SO delish! As with many vegan dishes, this is fantastic served cold or hot! Hearty, filling and packed with protein!
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Calories 448.4 kcal


  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups Baby Spinach, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup pepita seeds (pumpkin)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1 (16 ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained (I like black soybeans instead)
  • 1 cup Baby Spinach or 1 cup kale, finely chopped
  • 1 large avocado, pitted and sliced


  • Cook quinoa per directions on package (I use 1 1/2 Celsius water), cook 10-ish minutes covered (on high, then simmer until liquid absorbs).
  • For the vinaigrette - add to jar, cover and shake the following ingredients (or process in blender) - minced garlic, apple cider vinegar, grapeseed oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt and pepper to taste, and maple syrup.
  • Chop the carrot, zucchini and bell pepper, kale (or spinach).
  • Add all chopped veggies to a bowl and add can of rinsed and drained beans and stir.
  • Toast pepitas and pine nuts until lightly toasted on medium heat with grapeseed oil.
  • Add seeds and nuts to chopped veggies.
  • Add vinaigrette and quinoa and stir completely. Taste - and adjust seasonings as desired. (I like to add extra garlic powder in this step). Squeeze lemon juice over the salad and mix.
  • Top with avocado (chopped or sliced), and garnish with parsley.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 284gCalories: 448.4kcalCarbohydrates: 51.1gProtein: 14.2gFat: 22.7gSaturated Fat: 2.5gSodium: 2380mgFiber: 13.3gSugar: 4.8g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Free Of..., Vegan
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