Home > Salads > Quinoa Recipes: Healthy Quinoa & Veggie Salad Quinoa Recipes: Healthy Quinoa & Veggie Salad January 1, 2020 | 118 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. A super healthy “detox” quinoa and veggie salad made with all natural ingredients that are good for you and help to detox your body!A super healthy “detox” quinoa and veggie salad made with all natural ingredients that are good for you and help to detox your body! We love Healthy Quinoa Recipes — quinoa is such a great superfood that is filling, packed with protein, and the perfect canvas for adding to so many different recipes! Today I’m sharing some of our favorite healthy quinoa recipes and bonus — a brand new one: this nutritious Quinoa and Veggie Salad is packed with good-for-you ingredients and a honey-lime dressing. Healthy Quinoa Recipes: Quinoa Salads It’s no secret that we adore quinoa on this site. And luckily, so does my whole family; we eat it in our house all the time. Come over to dinner at my home during the week and there’s a good chance there’s a quinoa recipe on the table! This quinoa salad is one of our go-to recipes, among many others. Here’s a list of our favorite quinoa salads (pick through your favorite flavors for some great meal inspiration!): Quinoa Salad with avocado, tomatoes, and cucumbers. This salad includes a lemon-basil vinaigrette. Caprese Quinoa Salad with mozzarella, tomatoes, and creamy avocado. This salad is dressed in a balsamic vinaigrette. Quinoa Fruit Salad with fresh berries and mango. This salad features a citrus vinaigrette. Kale and Quinoa Salad with fresh berries and dried blueberries. This salad is dressed in a sweet balsamic vinaigrette. Thai Quinoa Salad with crisp veggies, sweet mango, fresh herbs, and a medley of greens. This salad is topped with a peanut dressing. Sweet Potato-Quinoa Salad with roasted sweet potatoes, creamy avocado, and a honey-lemon vinaigrette. Citrus Quinoa Salad with pistachios and fresh citrus all wrapped up in a citrus-lemon vinaigrette. Southwest Quinoa Salad with black beans and roasted corn, with a cilantro-lime vinaigrette. Quinoa Corn Salad with fresh avocado, crisp corn, black beans, cilantro, and green onions. This salad is dressed in a chipotle-lime vinaigrette. Quinoa and Almond Salad with almonds, sunflower seeds, tart apples, and dried cranberries. This salad is complemented beautifully with a raspberry vinaigrette. Greek Quinoa Salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and feta. This salad is finished with a Greek-inspired vinaigrette. Quinoa Apple Salad with apples, pears, pistachios, dried cranberries, and a lemon-poppy seed vinaigrette. Quinoa Recipes: Savory Quinoa Entree recipes And quinoa isn’t just delicious in salads; we love it in so many savory applications. Here are our favorite dinnertime healthy quinoa recipes: Quinoa Tacos with black beans, corn, tomatoes, and enchilada sauce Quinoa Pilaf with chicken, chickpeas, and a lemon-herb sauce to finish it off Crockpot Quinoa with peppers, onions, and a southwestern fajita seasoning blend Quinoa Enchilada Bake with sweet potatoes, sweet peppers, and onion Quinoa Enchilada Crockpot with ground turkey and Cheddar cheese Mexican Quinoa with butternut squash and black beans Chicken Quinoa Bowl with marinated, grilled chicken and a mango salsa Bruschetta Chicken grilled chicken served over quinoa with a bruschetta topping Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Soup with veggies and fire-roasted tomatoes So what’s the deal with healthy quinoa recipes, anyway? Not only do I think quinoa tastes amazing, but it’s also considered a superfood – meaning it’s exceptionally nutritious for you. It is high in fiber and protein and one of the most nutrient-dense carbohydrate sources. Plus it contains all 9 amino acids! That makes it a complete protein–on a par with meat for how it supports good nutrition. Many people use it as a substitute for white rice, and the great thing is that it’s much more nutritious than regular white rice: it has fewer calories and carbohydrates, with much more fiber and protein. All good things! It also pairs exceptionally well with a lot of dishes, and can be right at home in a variety of meals – such as this salad recipe I’m sharing today! QUICK TIP Quinoa isn’t actually a grain at all. It is actually a pseudo-grain — a seed. Healthy Quinoa and Veggie Salad Now that we’ve talked about quinoa and quinoa recipes, let’s dive into this particular quinoa recipe — a nutritious veggie salad with quinoa in it! My number one tip for making quinoa recipes where you want chilled quinoa (salads!) is to prepare the quinoa ahead of time. With cooked and cooled quinoa ready to add to the salad, the prep time goes quickly. Waiting for quinoa to fully cook, steam, and cool is easy enough but time-consuming. So….get that part done in advance! That said, if you’re making the quinoa at the same time you’re making this particular salad, here’s how to speed up the process for quinoa cooling: Spread the cooked and fluffed quinoa on a sheet pan in one even layer. Slide the sheet pan in the fridge (or freezer) for 10-15 minutes or until cooled to room temperature. Healthy Quinoa Recipes (Tips) New to quinoa? Try some of these tips for success: Make sure to rinse the quinoa before cooking it. Quinoa has a natural coating called saponin which can make it taste bitter. Pour the uncooked quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold water for 30 seconds to a minute. Want to skip this step? Some quinoa comes pre-rinsed; check the package to see if that is mentioned. Allow time for the quinoa to steam. Once the liquid is absorbed, don’t rush to cool the quinoa. Instead, let it stand (covered) for at least 10 minutes (up to 15 or 20). Letting the quinoa stand allows the quinoa to fully “pop” and ensures it doesn’t end up watery or mushy. If the quinoa has cooked through, but there is still liquid in the pot, make sure to drain off that liquid. Alternatively, if the quinoa has not cooked through (the grains haven’t visibly popped), but the liquid has absorbed, add a few more tablespoons of liquid. While it may seem like a lot of healthy quinoa recipes are missing protein, quinoa is actually loaded with it. One cup of cooked quinoa has 24 grams of protein. Don’t forget to season quinoa. Just like everything else we cook, salt is hugely important to making flavors come alive. A little salt goes a long way for flavor in the quinoa and the salad as a whole. The salad will taste under-seasoned if the quinoa isn’t seasoned. QUICK TIP We mention that quinoa pops when it’s done. It really does open up just like popcorn does. With that in mind, did you know you can pop quinoa just like popcorn? Put a handful of quinoa in a skillet, cover, and shake, just like you’re making popcorn. In just a few minutes you’ll have mini popcorn to enjoy as a snack or as a salad garnish! Quinoa Salad Variation Tips Add some meat. This salad is vegetarian by default, but feel free to grill some chicken to serve on the side or to chop up and put on top of the salad. It isn’t necessary to add meat to the salad; it’s actually loaded with protein even without meat, thanks to the quinoa and black beans! Other topping ideas: Roasted red pepper, fresh sweet pepper, roasted pepita (pumpkin) seeds, matchstick carrots. Change up the herbs. If you aren’t a fan of cilantro or green onions, you can replace one with the other to only have one herb in the salad. Chopped parsley also makes a good alternate herb. Quinoa Salad Storage Unfortunately, this salad doesn’t sit very well with the dressing and avocado mixed in. If you aren’t planning to eat the entire salad at one sitting, toss and add dressing to only what you’ll be eating at this time. If you keep the dressing separate, you can store this salad in the fridge for up to 3 days (with the exception of the avocado). The avocado browns and takes on an odd texture, so I add half the avocado one day and place the other half in a plastic bag (squeeze some lemon or olive oil on the exposed side) in the fridge until I’m ready to prepare another serving. QUICK TIP While a lot of healthy quinoa recipes store nicely, quinoa salads are tricky since the quinoa continues to absorb the dressing and becomes bloated. FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Healthy Quinoa Recipes: Healthy Quinoa and Veggie Salad 4.98 from 35 votes - Review this recipe We love Healthy Quinoa Recipes -- quinoa is such a great superfood that is filling, packed with protein, and the perfect canvas for adding to so many different recipes! Today I'm sharing some of our favorite quinoa recipes and bonus -- a brand new one: this nutritious Quinoa and Veggie Salad is packed with good-for-you ingredients and a honey-lime dressing SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Healthy Quinoa Recipes: Healthy Quinoa and Veggie Salad 4.98 from 35 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe We love Healthy Quinoa Recipes -- quinoa is such a great superfood that is filling, packed with protein, and the perfect canvas for adding to so many different recipes! Today I'm sharing some of our favorite quinoa recipes and bonus -- a brand new one: this nutritious Quinoa and Veggie Salad is packed with good-for-you ingredients and a honey-lime dressing Course Dinner, lunch, Main Course, Salad, Vegetarian Cuisine Healthy, Vegan, Vegetarian Keyword healthy quinoa recipes, quinoa recipes Prep Time 35 minutes Cook Time 30 minutes Quinoa Cooling Time 1 hour Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes Servings 6 servings Calories 420kcal Author Chelsea Lords Cost $8.23 Ingredients▢ 1 cup (186g) white quinoa, thoroughly rinsed▢ 3 oz. (85g; 4 cups lightly packed) baby spinach, coarsely chopped▢ 1 can (15.25 oz; 432g) corn, drained OR 1-1/2 cups (208g) frozen corn (thawed)▢ 1 can (15.25 oz; 432g) black beans, drained and rinsed▢ 1 cup (155g) cherry tomatoes, halved▢ 5-6 green onions, chopped (3/4 cup; 60g)▢ 1/4 cup (13g) cilantro, finely chopped▢ Fine sea salt and pepper, to taste▢ Optional: 1 large ripe avocadoDressing▢ 2 large limes, juiced (4 tbsp (56g) juice; 1/2 tsp zest)▢ 4 tablespoons (46g) olive oil▢ 2 teaspoons EACH: ground cumin, Dijon mustard, honey use another sweetener for vegan▢ 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes InstructionsQUINOA: Prepare the quinoa by rinsing it under cold water in a fine-mesh sieve to remove the bitter saponin coating. Combine the quinoa and 2 cups water in a small pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, add in 1 teaspoon fine sea salt (or to taste), reduce the heat to low, and cover the pot. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, keep the quinoa covered, and let stand for 10-15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and place in the fridge or freezer to cool to room temperature. Quinoa can be prepared 3-4 days in advance. DRESSING: Add all of the dressing ingredients to a jar. Season to taste with salt and pepper, I add 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (use less if using table salt) and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; add to preference. Place lid on the jar and shake vigorously to combine. Store in the fridge until ready to use. If making the dressing far in advance, don’t be concerned if it separates or forms clumps — this is just the olive oil solidifying, which it does at cold temps. Take the vinaigrette out of the fridge about 20-30 minutes or so before you need it to bring it back up to temperature; then shake it up to remix. VEGGIE PREP: Lay the spinach out on a cutting board and run a knife through a few times to get a coarse chop. Drain the corn or thaw frozen corn. Drain and rinse black beans. Halve cherry tomatoes. Chop the green onions and cilantro. Dice avocado if using. ASSEMBLY: In a large bowl, toss together the quinoa and spinach. Top with corn, black beans, cherry tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, and avocado. If planning to eat all this salad in one sitting, drizzle on the dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings. Toss and enjoy! If you want this salad as leftovers, don't add all the dressing -- read the next step. LEFTOVERS: This salad doesn’t sit very well with the dressing and avocado mixed into it. If you aren't planning to eat the entire salad at one sitting, toss and add dressing to only what you’ll be eating at this time. If you keep the dressing separate, this salad can store in the fridge for up to 3 days. See Note 1 for how to store the salad. Video Recipe NotesNote 1: Storage: Here's how I store this salad to eat throughout the week: Prepare the salad as the recipe indicates, but leave out the avocado and don't add the dressing. Divide the salad evenly into four containers, leaving space for the dressing. Add the dressing to small containers or snack-sized bags and then add the sealed dressing packets to the meal prep containers. Seal the containers and store them in the fridge until ready to eat. For the avocado: On the first day you'll be enjoying the salad, halve the avocado. Chop 1/4th of the avocado and add it to the salad. Take the remaining avocado and squeeze lime juice over it all and refrigerate it in an airtight plastic bag. Add 1/4 of the avocado each day, slicing off the top layer if it's browned. To enjoy a portion of this salad each day: Add the avocado, pour the dressing over everything, toss to combine, and enjoy! Nutritional information does not include the optional avocado. Nutrition FactsServing: 1serving | Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 28mg | Potassium: 905mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2547IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 5mg We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.