20-minute Vegetable Quinoa Salad made with fresh vegetables, chickpeas, quinoa, and balsamic dressing. Vegan quinoa salad is the perfect weekday lunch, picnic side, or potluck salad all year long.
Why we love this quinoa salad
When you need simple, budget-friendly ingredients to go the distance in one effort, this salad does exactly that. This healthy, 20-minute quinoa salad beats any packaged salad by way of flavor, texture, nutrition, and cost – and doesn’t require special tools or knowledge.
Whether you’re making quinoa salad for a week of lunches, a potluck, or summer picnic, it fits every occasion and is approved for most restricted diets. It can be made days in advance too, so it’s perfect for meal prep!
Just like everyone’s favorite Greek chickpea salad and kale chickpea salad, quinoa vegetable salad fits the description of nutrition-packed, heart-healthy, Mediterranean cuisine.
This quinoa salad recipe uses simple pantry ingredients and always-available grocery store produce. During summer, you can use vegetables right from your garden or farmers market.
For the salad
- quinoa – Cook quinoa from scratch using stove method or make Instant Pot quinoa.
- chickpeas – Use canned chickpeas for ultra convenience or make Instant Pot chickpeas for a budget-friendly option.
- carrots – Use baby carrots or whole carrots.
- bell pepper – Use red, green, orange, or yellow bell peppers – or a combination.
- cucumber – Any cucumber variety works for this recipe.
- sweet corn – Use fresh or frozen corn (if thawed).
- red cabbage – Green cabbage is just as tasty!
- cherry tomatoes – Or preferred tomato variety can be used.
- red onion – White, yellow, or green onions can be used too.
- parsley – Any fresh herbs like dill, basil, or oregano are delicious in this recipe.
For the dressing
- white balsamic vinegar – Any vinegar can be used for the salad dressing.
- Dijon – Or other mustard variety.
- maple syrup – Or honey, agave syrup, or date syrup.
- extra virgin olive oil – Or avocado oil.
- salt and pepper – Add to taste.
How to make quinoa veggie salad
At any point during this recipe, you can cover and refrigerate any components (quinoa, beans, vegetables, or dressing) until ready to serve.
First, cook quinoa using the stove method (instructions below) or make Instant Pot quinoa the hands-free way. Cool quinoa to room temperature.
Prepare salad ingredients (chop, shred, etc) and place in a bowl. At this point, you can add this recipe to your Buddha bowl collection because it certainly resembles one.
Make the dressing by combining vinegar, maple syrup, and Dijon. Whisk in olive oil until the dressing becomes creamy. Season with SALT and PEPPER.
Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine.
Serve and devour!
Quinoa salad tips and variations
Cooled quinoa is key for this salad. If cooking the same day, make sure it cools completely if before adding it to the other ingredients.
Use any combination of vegetables. There are no rules, so add your favorites! You can even use roasted vegetables in place of fresh veggies.
Try serving vegan quinoa salad over leafy greens such as arugula, spring mix, red leaf lettuce, romaine, or kale for added nutrition.
Quinoa salad stays optimal for 5 days, even once it’s dressed – as long as it stays refrigerated in an airtight container. Note: adding salad greens will shorten the storage span, so I recommend only doing so when serving.
To meal prep this recipe, prepare the salad components but don’t add dressing yet. Instead, portion the salad and dressing separately into containers and refrigerate. To serve, add dressing, toss to combine, and devour!
Try these other quinoa recipes
- Asian Slaw with Quinoa
- Zucchini Quinoa Fritters
- Veggie Quinoa Banh Mi Bowl
- Zucchini Noodle Quinoa Bowl
- Black Bean and Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili
For more information, please see more information about How long does quinoa salad last in the fridge