Enjoy these quick and simple vegan quinoa salads for a hearty and wholesome meal or side dish. From Southwest to Thai Peanut, there is a quinoa salad recipe for everyone.
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I love a good quinoa salad.
Quinoa salads are my go-to when it comes to potlucks and shared meals because they are so versatile and hearty enough to be a meal on their own. They are also one of my favorite light summer meals because they are packed with protein (quinoa is one of the few plant-based foods that contain all 9 essential amino acids) nutrients, flavor, and so much more.
Today I’ve rounded up 9 of the best quinoa salad recipes for you to keep on hand this summer. From Thai Peanut to a fresh Mediterranean salad, I am sure you will find a few quinoa salad recipes worth trying.
But before we get started, let’s take a closer look at quinoa.
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa originated in the northwestern corner of South America and has been around for three to four thousand years as a popular food in this region. It wasn’t until the 21st century that quinoa became commonly consumed around the world, most notably in North American and Europe.
While quinoa is grown, cooked, and served as a grain, this amazing superfood food is actually the seed from a flowering plant in the amaranth family. Similar to couscous or rice in texture, it can often be swapped out for these grains in any meal.
How to Cook Quinoa
Cooking quinoa is similar to cooking rice.
To begin, quinoa should always be first rinsed in a fine-mesh sieve until water runs clear. This is key for getting a clean, nutty flavor. Otherwise, quinoa can sometimes taste dirty and gritty.
Once it’s rinsed, drain the water and transfer it to a sauce pot. Add 2 parts water for every 1 part quinoa and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the water is completely absorbed about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let it set an additional 5 minutes before uncovering and fluffing with a fork.
Once the quinoa is cooked, transfer it to a shallow bowl and place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. It’s important to let to quinoa cool down before adding the remaining salad ingredients.
Benefits of Quinoa
Here are some of the reasons quinoa is considered a superfood.
- One serving has 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.
- It also contains a healthy amount of important vitamins and minerals such as zinc, magnesium, folate, iron, and so much more.
- It’s one of the few plant-based foods that naturally contains omega-3 fatty acids.
- Quinoa has all NINE essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.
- It is very high in antioxidants.
And that’s not all! Read more about quinoa’s amazing benefits.
Is Quinoa Gluten-Free?
Yes! Quinoa is naturally gluten-free, making it a great dish for people who, like me, need to limit their gluten. Additionally, it makes the perfect party dish that everyone, despite their dietary restrictions, can enjoy it.
Vegan Quinoa Salad Recipes
More Vegan Recipe Roundups
Looking for more? Make sure to check out some of my other popular vegan recipe roundups below.
Written by My Darling Vegan