This Quinoa Vegetable Salad showcases SEVEN shades of healthy green ingredients. It’s the perfect quinoa recipe for the spring and summer when green fresh vegetables are at their prime. Serve it as a side dish or a delicious vegan main course.
There’s no shortage of green veggies in this quinoa vegetable salad.
This quick and easy chilled salad features fluffy quinoa and a medley of green veggies, chopped green apple, and fresh green herbs!
Pumpkin seeds bring a delightful nutty crunch to every bite, and a simple lime and olive oil dressing brings the zest and zing!
This fiber-rich vegetable quinoa salad can stand as a satisfying meal on its own and is perfect for meal prep. It keeps nicely and is easy to transport.
This quinoa recipe is simple but does require some knife work, but I promise it’s worth the effort. So if you’re ready to enjoy the taste of spring in a salad, gather your ingredients, and let’s make this gorgeous green vegetable quinoa salad.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s full of fresh ingredients loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- It’s perfect for brunches, showers, and outdoor gatherings.
- This quinoa salad recipe is a great way to fight food waste and use up extra fresh veggies!
- Quinoa is an excellent source of plant-based protein, and the green vegetables supply plenty of fiber, making this salad very filling.
- This salad is dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Quinoa: I like making this salad with white quinoa to accentuate the colorful veggies. It’s also slightly softer, but red, black, or tri-color rainbow quinoa work just as well.
Frozen Shelled Edamame Beans: Edamame is blanched, then immediately frozen to preserve the firm texture and vitamins and minerals. It gives this salad a big boost of vitamin K.
Cucumbers: I like using mini or English cucumbers as the skin is softer and has less moisture. If using a standard garden cucumber, scoop out the watery center and seeds with a spoon.
Granny Smith Apples: Fresh apples add pops of tart fruity flavor and crunch in every bite.
Celery: Bright green celery adds another layer of vitamins and minerals and more fresh crunch.
Green Bell Pepper: A salad with this many shades of green wouldn’t be complete without green bell pepper. Green bell pepper has a mild, sweet flavor. Feel free to use red, orange, or yellow instead.
Pumpkin Seeds: Pumpkin seeds (or pepitas) boost healthy fats and improve every bite with a nutty crunch.
Parsley: Fresh parsley wakes up the ingredients and boldens every flavor, but you can use any fresh herbs you have on hand.
Dressing: You’ll need lime juice, extra-virgin olive oil, and salt. It’s simple yet brightens up this delicious salad.
How To Make Quinoa Vegetable Salad
- Prepare quinoa: Soak the quinoa in a bowl of cool water for at least 30 minutes to 4 hours, drain, and rinse again to remove the natural bitter-tasting residue. Add the quinoa and 2 cups of water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and let simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender (about 10 minutes). Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Cook the edamame: While the quinoa cools, cook your edamame as instructed on the packaging. Then, let the edamame cool to room temperature as well.
- Make the dressing: Before tossing the salad, quickly whisk lime juice, olive oil, and salt together in a small bowl.
- Toss and serve: In a large salad bowl, add the chopped cucumbers, apples, celery, and bell pepper, as well as the pumpkin seeds, parsley, and the cooked (and cooled!) edamame & quinoa. Pour the dressing over the top and toss to coat the grains and mix-ins in the dressing. Serve at room temperature or chilled, and enjoy!
Rinsing quinoa helps remove the bitter-tasting saponin residue (a natural insect repellent). You can skip rinsing if you have a taste for bitterness. I much prefer my quinoa rinsed!
Use vegetable broth for cooking the quinoa for better flavor.
Take time dicing the vegetables. They don’t need to be perfectly diced but do your best to chop the veggies into similar sizes.
To heighten the lime flavor, add the lime zest to the dressing together with the juice.
Toss with dressing just before serving. Otherwise, the veggies will soften from the moisture and lose their crunch.
See below for ways to modify your quinoa salad and make this recipe your own:
- Toss in a handful of leafy greens like spinach, chopped kale, or arugula.
- Add blanched asparagus, zucchini, green beans, or sweet green peas.
- Brighten things up with more fresh herbs such as fresh chives, cilantro, basil, dill, etc.
- Mix and match the raw veggies – cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, red onion, sliced olives, green onions, radish, etc.
- Switch up the citrus and use fresh lemon or orange.
- Boost the protein with grilled shrimp, shredded rotisserie chicken, or roasted salmon.
- Sprinkle with feta, halloumi, mozzarella, or goat cheese before serving.
Storing & Making Ahead
Storing leftovers: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Make ahead: If making this healthy quinoa in advance, I recommend storing the quinoa and vegetables separately from the dressing and tossing it all together before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is quinoa salad healthy?
Quinoa inherently has twice the protein and more fiber than rice. In addition, thanks to the multiple layers of nutrient-dense green vegetables, this quinoa salad is particularly healthy!
What is the best quinoa for salads?
Apart from color, the differences between the quinoa varieties are minimal. White quinoa isn’t as firm and chewy as red and black quinoa, so it’s better with crunchy salad ingredients, but use what works!
What is a good substitute for quinoa in this salad?
Not a fan of quinoa? The chopped vegetables, fresh herbs, and zesty dressing pair well with cooked and cooled couscous, barley, bulgur, or millet.
More Healthy Quinoa Recipes You’ll Love
- Beet Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese and Grapefruit
- Quinoa Vegetable Soup
- Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
- Quinoa Chili
- Mediterranan Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa
- 3 mini cucumbers, chopped
- 2 Granny Smith apples, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 cups frozen shelled edamame beans
- 1 green bell pepper, cored and chopped
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 2/3 cup chopped parsley
For the dressing:
- juice of 2 limes (about 2 to 2 1/2 Tbsp)
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- To prepare quinoa, rinse and soak it in cold water for 30 minutes to 4 hours. Drain and rinse well one more time. This helps to get rid of any left-over saponin residue (a natural insect repellent) that gives quinoa a bitter taste. ( You can skip this step if the slightly bitter taste doesn't bother you. I always soak quinoa first because I don't like bitter foods. )
- Place the quinoa and 2 cups of water into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes or until quinoa is fluffy and has absorbed all of the liquid. Let the quinoa cool to room temperature.
- In the meantime, cook the edamame following the instructions on the package. Let it cool to room temperature.
- In a large salad bowl, add the cucumbers, apples, celery, bell pepper, pumpkin seeds, parsley, edamame and quinoa.
- To prepare the dressing, add the lime juice, olive oil and salt to a small bowl. Whisk and pour over the veggies. Toss to combine.
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Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1/4 of recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 466Total Fat 23.1gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 20.1gCholesterol 0mgSodium 28.6mgCarbohydrates 51.1gFiber 10.6gSugar 11.7gProtein 17.9g
Nutrition facts provided on this website are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a qualified health care provider for personalized diet advice and make sure that each of the ingredients is allowed in your diet.