Zesty Quinoa Salad — Fast, easy, and fresh! Bright flavors and loads of texture! This clean-eating salad keeps you full and satisfied! Healthy never tasted so good!! (No mayo and great for outdoor events or lunch boxes!)
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Zesty Quinoa Salad Recipe
I can’t believe something so healthy tastes so good. I’m normally indifferent to quinoa. I mean, it’s quinoa and usually not too earth-shattering. But I couldn’t stop eating this.
It’s a fast, easy dish that’s ready in 20 minutes and packed with big flavors and so much texture.
It happens to be accidentally vegan, gluten-free, with no added sugar, and very little oil or salt.
There’s sweet yellow onion to boost the flavor, chewy and slightly sweet sun-dried tomatoes, Fisher Natural Sliced Almonds for a satisfying crunch, and parsley to add color and a mild herb flavor.
Apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and lemon zest really brighten up the dish up and beautifully complement the sun-dried tomatoes. I use dry rather than oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes to keep things healthier.
What’s in Zesty Quinoa Salad?
To make this accidentally vegan quinoa salad, you’ll need:
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Apple cider vinegar
- Lemon juice and zest
- Salt and pepper
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Fresh parsley (mint or basil are also great)
- Fisher Natural Sliced Almonds
How to Make Easy Quinoa Salad
This is such an easy salad to make! It tastes more impressive than it really is to make!
Follow these simple straightforward directions:
- Cook the onion in an oiled skillet until it softens.
- Add the dry quinoa to the skillet and toast for about 30 seconds before adding in the water, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- Let the quinoa cook until all the liquid has been absorbed.
- Transfer the quinoa mixture to a large bowl.
- Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, almonds, and lemon zest. Serve and enjoy!
Can I Prep Zesty Quinoa Salad in Advance?
Yes and I actually prefer it! This quinoa and sun dried tomato salad can be served warm and immediately or stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
The flavors develop over time and tastes better a day or two after making it, and can either be served warm or cold.
Can I Add Other Veggies?
Yes you can but keep in mind that the more veggies you add to this cold quinoa salad, the more dressing you’ll need.
Finely chopped cauliflower or riced cauliflower, or very finely diced or shaved Brussels sprouts are two ideas and vegetables that come to mind.
Tips for the Best Quinoa Salad
I use tri-colored quinoa and while I don’t think it tastes much different than white quinoa, I like the added color but use your favorite.
The salad is great right away but it’s a perfect make-ahead recipe because the flavors develop over time and I think it tastes better a day or two after making it.
You can either serve this vegan quinoa salad warm or cold.
And since there’s no mayo it’s a great salad for lunch boxes, picnics, potlucks, and casual get-togethers.
Pin This Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- extra-large yellow onion, peeled and diced small
- 1 cup quinoa (I use tri-colored)
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (zest the lemon before juicing it)
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (about 3 ounces), sliced thinly (I use dry rather than oil-packed but oil-packed may be drained and substituted)
- 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup Fisher Natural Sliced Almonds
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, or to taste
- To a large skillet or saucepan, add the olive oil, onions, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until onions have softened and just begun to barely brown, about 7 minutes.
- Add the quinoa and stir it into the onions and let it toast for about 30 seconds.
- Add the water, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice (zest the lemon before juicing it), salt, pepper, reduce the heat to low, cover pan, and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until all liquid has been absorbed. While it’s cooking, chop the remaining ingredients.
- Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and add the sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, almonds, lemon zest, and stir to combine.
- Taste, check for seasoning balance, and if necessary add more salt, pepper, or possibly a pinch of sugar if you prefer it sweeter to balance the acids, or a pinch of cayenne adds heat.
- Dish can be served warm and immediately or stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. The flavors develop over time and tastes better a day or two after making it, and can either be served warm or cold.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 152Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 554mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 4g
More Easy Quinoa Salad Recipes:
Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Quinoa Salad (GF) — Trying to keep meals healthier and lighter? Make this easy, refreshing and satisfying salad!
Tabbouleh — Never had it? Think couscous or quinoa mixed with vegetables, herbs, lemon and olive oil! Easy, no cooking required, healthy, and packed with so much flavor! (Great for outdoor events because there’s no mayo!)
Spinach And Artichoke Quinoa Salad – All the flavors of classic spinach and artichoke dip are in this HEALTHY salad!! The only thing that’s missing is tons of fat and calories! FAST, EASY, naturally gluten-free, vegetarian, and tastes DELISH!
Quinoa, Cherry, and Goat Cheese Salad – Healthy, EASY, and loaded with juicy cherries, tangy goat cheese, snap peas, mint, and more!! The PERFECT light yet satisfying salad with so many great flavors!!
Garden Fresh Quinoa Salad – Loaded with everything fresh, light, healthy, and summery! Great for parties, potlucks, and lunch boxes because there’s no mayo! Make this easy and flavorful dish before summer disappears!
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad — This EASY quinoa salad is ready in 20 minutes with Mediterranean-inspired ingredients including chickpeas, Kalamata olives, artichokes, and goat cheese to give layers of flavor and texture in every bite! Naturally gluten-free and vegetarian!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad — A HEARTY salad that celebrates the flavors of fall including roasted Brussels sprouts and dried cranberries along with quinoa, chickpeas, spinach, and goat cheese!! Perfect for lunch, a meatless main, or a HEALTHY side dish on your holiday table!!
Twelve Superfood Salad — This superfood salad is packed with 12 superfoods! This is a great clean out the fridge meal and is easily customized to suit whatever you need to use up.
Skinny Mayo-Less Cabbage Salad (vegan, GF) – This healthy coleslaw isn’t coated with gobs of mayo and you won’t miss it!
Edamame Feta Salad – Fast, easy, healthy, and packed with bigtime texture and bold flavors! Easily adaptable based on what’s in your fridge!! Healthy never tasted so good!
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Post is brought to you by Fisher. The recipe, images, text, and opinions expressed are my own. #ThinkFisher