This avocado quinoa salad recipe is a powerhouse salad packed with good-for-you ingredients and the best healthy lemon vinaigrette.
We’re obsessed with this quinoa salad in my house lately. Not only is it healthy and packed with healthy ingredients – it tastes great! (and that’s not easy with healthy food sometimes)
Quinoa is one of my favorite “superfoods” and in salad form, it combines with other vegetables to make a well-rounded and healthy meal. This quinoa salad is fresh, light, a little tangy, filling, and so flavorful. The veggies work so well with the quinoa and the dressing goes perfectly with everything else.
The quinoa gives this salad tons of protein, and, paired with the healthy fats from the avocado, you’ll be amazed how filling this salad is. The toddler and I will eat this as a full meal for lunch and we also love eating it as a side dish with grilled chicken (try this marinade!)
And speaking of healthy meals…
I’ve mentioned the toddler’s affinity for all things healthy food — he ADORES salads and sandwiches and won’t touch a burger or fried food with a 10-foot pole. Of course he likes his fair share of less-than-healthy foods, but if you ask him what he wants to eat it’s generally something pretty light and/or healthy.
The other day I was out and my husband had the two boys with him. He’d planned a fun “boys” day complete with arcade games and burgers with fries.
I got a text about an hour after heading out that said, “Grey is begging me for salad with tomatoes. Is this for reals?” Yes, yes it is.
“So….will he eat the tomato and lettuce on a burger?…”
Yes, my 3-year-old really asks for salads and he really eats them all the time. The more veggies in them, the better! In fact, as I was making this very salad for him, he grabbed a cucumber off the counter and started eating it straight up without it being cut at all.
And the tomatoes were scarce in the salad since he’d eaten most of those too. Needless to say, this salad is a hit at my home! And not only with the toddler — everyone loves it!
Parts of this salad can be made ahead of time, but it is best enjoyed shortly after being dressed and assembled. You can prep all the veggies (minus the avocado), quinoa, and dressing ahead of time and store them separately in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat, chop the avocado (you’ll want the avocado prepped as close to eating as possible) and add it to the salad along with the dressing.
If you aren’t planning on finishing this salad all in one day, I’d recommend keeping the dressing separate from the salad and only dressing what you’ll be eating.
And you can of course always halve the recipe, but you’ll probably want to make a full batch of the dressing to have on hand because it is THAT good. 🙂
This Avocado Quinoa Salad is a powerhouse salad packed with good-for-you ingredients and the best healthy lemon vinaigrette.
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 8 ounces fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 large cucumber, chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 5 ounces fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- 2 large ripe avocados, pit removed and chopped
- 1/4 of 1 bunch fresh cilantro, optional and to taste
- 1/3 cup Feta Cheese, optional and to taste
- 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, do not use regular mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 lemon (2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice)
- Salt and pepper
Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Fluff and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, prep the dressing. Whisk the red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, oregano, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste), and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste) together in a small bowl. Slowly add in the olive oil into the vinegar mixture while whisking briskly. Whisk in the lemon juice. Pour into a jar and store in the fridge while prepping the vegetables.
Prep the veggies: Halve the cherry tomatoes, chop the cucumber (peel if desired, we leave the peel on), finely chop a quarter of a red onion, roughly chop fresh spinach, remove the pits and chop the avocados. Finely chop the cilantro if desired.
In a large bowl, add in all the prepped veggies and quinoa. Remove the dressing from the fridge and shake it well and then pour over the salad*. Toss the salad and then top with feta cheese if desired.
*If you aren't planning on finishing this salad all in one day, I'd recommend keeping the dressing separate from the salad and only dressing what you'll be eating. Also, only prep the amount of avocados to what you'll be eating that day (so if you'll have leftovers, only add 1 avocado and add the other one the next day)
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