This easy vegan quinoa salad is mixed with asparagus, peas, and fresh basil then tossed in a lemony vinaigrette for a quick and simple springtime salad. Made in just 30 minutes.
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I love a good vegan quinoa salad.
I also love spring. So today I'm combining two of my truest loves and bringing you this quinoa salad with vegetables and lemon vinaigrette; it's the perfect vegan spring salad!
With some of the year's earliest vegetables, this salad is filled with peas, asparagus, tomatoes (okay, not a spring vegetable), and fresh basil for a delightful light meal that is filled with protein and packed with flavor. I think you're going to love it.
Let's take a closer look, shall we?
Recommended Ingredients & Equipment
This vegan salad recipe is super simple to make. It's a matter of cooking the quinoa, chopping some veggies, and whipping together some dressing. Let's start by looking at the quinoa.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Quinoa - Quinoa is one of my favorite superfoods. It is hearty, delicious, and so good for you. Read all about the benefits of quinoa.
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Frozen Peas - Canned peas will also work. If you are using canned peas, skip the boiling and blanching steps in the recipe card below.
- Fresh Basil
- Toasted Pinenuts - Feel free to omit if you don't have them on hand.
- Lemon Vinaigrette- This is a simple dressing made up of olive oil, white wine vinegar, fresh lemon, salt, and pepper.
Check out the full list of my recommended kitchen tools and gadgets.
How to Make Quinoa Salad
Step One - Cook the Quinoa
Cooking quinoa is very 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 saucepot. 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 sit 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 to let to quinoa cool down before adding the remaining salad ingredients.
Step Two - Prepare the Vegetables
While the quinoa cooks, prepare the remaining ingredients.
- Boil the peas and asparagus lightly and then immediately placed in an ice bath to stop the cooking.
- Chop the tomatoes and basil.
- Place all the ingredients for the Lemon Vinaigrette into a small blender and blend until the ingredients are evenly combined.
Step Three -Assemble
Once the quinoa has cooled down, you can add the vegetables, top it with the dressing, and return to the refrigerator for another hour to allow the flavors to marinate and the salad to cool.
Serving and Storing
Serve chilled as part of a summer potluck or for a light lunch or afternoon snack. Let the salad chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving. This allows the salad to cool and lets the flavors marinate.
Store leftover quinoa salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is quinoa gluten-free?
Yes! Quinoa is naturally gluten-free, making it a great dish for people who need to limit their gluten and a perfect party dish that everyone, despite their dietary restrictions, can enjoy it.
What does quinoa taste like?
Quinoa has such a delightfully nutty taste and fluffy texture, it pairs so well with most vegetables, nuts, fruits, and all sorts of herbs and spices.
Can you make this recipe in advance?
Yes! This salad is best when made 2-4 hours in advance. This allows the quinoa to chill all the way through and the flavors to marinate. However, this salad should be eaten the same day it’s made.
More Quinoa Salad Recipes
- Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad
- Strawberry and Mint Quinoa Salad
- Southwest Quinoa Salad
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Vegan Quinoa Salad
- Cook quinoa according to package instructions. While quinoa is cooking, prepare the rest of the salad.
- In a small blender combine the ingredients for the lemony vinaigrette.
- Once quinoa is ready, remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes to let the quinoa cool.
- Once quinoa is cool, add the remaining ingredients. Toss with the dressing and serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.