Easy Quinoa Salad

By Maria Lichty

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This Easy Quinoa Salad is the BEST quinoa salad recipe! It is great for lunch, dinner, or the perfect side dish for potlucks and parties.

Easy Quinoa Salad

Best Quinoa Salad

Are you looking for a simple salad that you will absolutely LOVE? Yes, you can LOVE salad, if you don’t believe me, make this Easy Quinoa Salad. I guarantee you will love it. I make this quinoa salad almost every single week because it is that good and it is easy to throw together, especially if you have leftover quinoa in the fridge. I like to meal prep quinoa every weekend so I can easily toss this quinoa salad together! It is light, refreshing, and full of flavor. Plus, it is allergy-friendly making it a great salad for almost everyone!

Best Quinoa Salad Recipe

Quinoa Salad Recipes

I love quinoa salads, a few of my favorites include:

I could eat a quinoa salad every single day and sometimes I do. Especially, this Easy Quinoa Salad. It is my go to when I am craving good, healthy food. It always hits the spot!

Quinoa Salad Recipe

Quinoa Salad Ingredients

I REALLY love this easy quinoa salad because it is made with simple and fresh ingredients…and ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen! YAY! You can whip this salad up at anytime.

So what’s in my favorite quinoa salad?

  • quinoa
  • spinach
  • tomatoes
  • cucumber
  • avocado
  • green onion

The ingredients might seem super basic and that is because they are, but I promise you that’s a GOOD thing. We are bringing basic back! Oh, and there is also a rocking lemon dressing that takes about two seconds to whisk up that makes the salad the best quinoa salad ever. Don’t skip the easy dressing!

How to Cook Quinoa

Don’t be afraid of cooking quinoa, it is super easy to make. I love using quinoa because it is healthy, hearty, and a good source of protein. I like to make the quinoa in advance so the salad is easy to throw together. You can keep cooked quinoa in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Here are my tips for cooking perfect quinoa every single time!

  • Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold water.Rinsing removes quinoa??™s natural coating, called saponin, which can make it taste soapy or bitter. Drain.
  • For one cup of quinoa, you need 2 cups of liquid, water or broth. Cooking the quinoa in broth will add more flavor, but water is fine too.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine water or broth, the rinsed quinoa, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes, covered. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Serve!

Healthy Quinoa Salad

This quinoa salad is vegan and gluten-free too! It makes a great healthy lunch, dinner, or side dish to any meal. I love taking this simple quinoa salad to potlucks and parties because everyone loves it and it only takes me minutes to make!

If you want to make the quinoa salad more of a main dish, you can add shredded chicken, chickpeas, or white beans.

This quinoa salad is best the day it is made, but I think the leftovers are good the next day too. The lemon in the dressing will keep the avocado from browning. If you want to meal prep the salad in advance, you can toss everything together except the avocado and the dressing. Add the avocado and dressing when ready to eat and the salad will be super fresh!

Make this quick and easy Quinoa Salad part of your weekly routine.  I know it is going to become a staple in your house, just like it is in ours. And I made a video to show you how easy it is!

Favorite Quinoa Salad Recipe

How to Make Quinoa Salad

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Easy Quinoa Salad

This fresh and healthy quinoa salad makes a great lunch or dinner. It is also a great side dish to any meal.
4.57 from 204 votes


  • Salad Bowl (I use this Williams Sonoma bowl for large salads and entertaining)


For the Dressing:

For the Salad:

  • 2 cups cold cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves chopped
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large avocado pitted, peeled, and chopped
  • 2 green onions sliced
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste


  • First, make the dressing. In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, maple syrup or honey, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine quinoa, spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, and green onions.
  • Drizzle salad with dressing and gently stir until salad is coated with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve.


Serving: 6g, Calories: 225kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 19mg, Potassium: 419mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1165IU, Vitamin C: 15.3mg, Calcium: 33mg, Iron: 1.7mg
Keywords quinoa salad

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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4.57 from 204 votes (179 ratings without comment)

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  1. 5 stars
    Made this for a potluck this weekend and it was a hit! (Even though I forgot the avocado) 10 minutes might be optimistic for a less-experienced person.

  2. I have heard that you can prepare quinoa salad ahead of time and it will keep in the fridge for 5 days. I am wantIng to do this for my work lunches. Question I have is whether the dressing should still be put on during the initial prep or kept separate and put on in the mornings before leaving for work each day?

    1. Yes, you can make the quinoa in advance. I would wait and dress the salad every morning. Enjoy!

  3. Quinoa salad was tasty and easy to make. I loved the avocado, but I always say I will eat any salad as long as avocado is included. Although I like spinach, I’m not sure it is the right fit for this recipe. I’m going to try to omit the spinach and use flat leaf parsley or another leafy vegetable.

  4. What can I substitute for the golden balsamic vinegar or champagne vinegar? I have apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, or rice vinegar. Thanks!

  5. Would cold quinoa taste weird considering this will be sitting in my refrigerator for a couple days??

  6. I love this salad and wouldn’t change a thing!  Simply delicious!!  Thanks for sharing!

  7. I am diabetic so tying to limit adding extra sugar. Would it still taste the same without any added sweetener.

  8. 5 stars
    Thanks for a great recipe! Super easy & delicious.  I substituted white wine vinegar for the golden balsamic…didn’t have golden balsamic or champagne vinegar.   Dressing tasted yummy!  Also, added 1 cup of garbanzo beans for more protein.  

  9. 5 stars
    I just made this salad and it taste DELICIOUS… I sub for the missing ingredients and added others….this dressing is the Bomb!
    Sara D

  10. 5 stars
    I found this looking for recipes I can eat on my elimination diet. I had the tri-colored quinoa, which is nuttier in flavor than just the white. Then, I replaced the tomatoes (because they are nightshades) with roasted golden beets. Also, I left out the dressing since I cannot have citrus or sweeteners, just used a little salt and pepper.

    I brought this to two separate functions in this past week and it was a hit at both! This is even more amazing considering everyone who tried it had never heard of quinoa.

    1. Thanks so much for your substitution idea of beets for tomatoes – was wondering what would work in place of the nightshades.

  11. 4 stars
    Total prep time more like 30 minutes. Not having all these vegetables already prepared, I needed 20 minutes to wash and chop the spinach, chop the cucumber, green onion and tomatoes, and halve, seed and chop the avocado. The remaining 10 minutes was close to enough to assemble the salad and mix the dressing. It’s a delightful dish!

  12. 5 stars
    This was really tasty! I didn’t initially see the note about the cooked quinoa. With cooking the quinoa, it took longer than 10 minutes. I made the salad again a couple days later with leftover cooked quinoa, and it took a little less than 10 minutes to make it. I look forward to adding this recipe to my weekday meals. The avocado is a nice touch! Thank you!

  13. What a great salad! Easy to switch up too, to accommodate what’s on hand. The second time I made it I used Meyer lemons (left out the honey) and used baby arugula instead of spinach for the greens. Even tastier!

  14. Very good salad however the first time I made it I cooked the quinoa in just plane water. It was good but very bland. When you cook the quinoa you have to use broth

  15. Thank you for sharing this exquisite quinoa salad recipe, I prepared last night and the flavor is absolutely delicious!
    My family love this salad.

    Best Regards.

  16. 5 stars
    This dish is fab! and easy! and healthy!! YUMMMM. I added yellow pepper to it because I had one and the added crunchy texture and sweetness was quite nice. I prepared everything the night before, quinoa in one dish, veggies (minus the avocado) in another and dressing in a jar and mixed it together in the morning for a working lunch party. Was a hit. Thanks for making me look good! 🙂

  17. So good. We have a ton of cucumbers and cherry tomatoes in our garden, so I’ve been looking for ways to use them up. I didn’t have green onions, but the salad still tasted amazing. Thank you!

  18. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe! The dressing is nice and light; it is not overpowering. The quinoa, dressing, and all of the fresh veggies are amazing together. I add chicken for protein!

  19. 5 stars
    This is fabulous! I’m not the biggest fan of quinoa, but I’m trying to eat more of it. The ingredients in this salad compliment each other so well. I wanted to eat 4 servings of it. Thank you for this recipe!

  20. 4 stars
    This salad is absolutely delicious and beautiful! The dressing could not be easier. I cooked the quinoa in salted water rather than putting salt in the dressing. In my opinion, it flavored the quinoa so much more evenly.

  21. 5 stars
    Delicious. The dressing is wonderful. I hate when people do this, but I had no lemons. I made it with lime. Yum.

  22. hey! loved this recipe.
    what i don’t understand is the nutritional part… a serving is 6g? are there 226 kcal in every 6g?

  23. 5 stars
    This was a really good “emergency” dinner. The dressing was so balanced and flavorful, and the hint of fresh garlic was a nice touch. I used honey and substituted with sherry vinegar. It was easy to make with ingredients I already had at home. I omitted the tomatoes and green onions, but it was still amazing.

  24. I tried the recipe but when I log in the ingredients on my personal calorie app it comes out very different with the number of calories mostly due the the 1/4 cup of olive oil for the dressing. Did I do something wrong? I would love to hear back. Thank you

  25. How long will this last in the fridge without the dressing & avocado? I thought this would be great to take for lunch at work.

    1. 2-3 days. You can always make the salad and add the avocado every day and it will last a little longer.

  26. If you’re planning to meal prep this salad, is it better to add the dressing when you’re ready to eat or is the dressing even better once its absorbed into the quinoa and veggies? Wondering if it gets too soggy.

    1. I would use half of the dressing and then add the rest before serving to freshen it up.

  27. 4 stars
    Wow, this quinoa recipe looks super yummy! I’m a quinoa fan, iIt’s so versatile, you can pair it with just about anything. Love the creativity you’ve shown in this recipe. I’ll give it a try. Keep the awesome recipes coming! Cheers!

  28. 5 stars
    just wanted to say your recipes look and sound amazing, but your website is soooooooo filled with ads it’s just wonky, frustrating, everything is jumping all over it’s just too frustrating watch. I know you put ads on for revenue. But so many on one page just ruins the experience.

  29. 5 stars
    Quick and easy. No weird ingredients. I usually add a cup of chick peas for protein, and then whatever other veggie I might have around. Today I threw in some artichokes and sliced up grilled chicken. This will last long enough for a few lunches in the fridge

  30. 5 stars
    Tried this for lunch today!! It was super yummy topped with a bit of feta cheese!! thanks for the hint to wash the Quinoa!!! Will absolutely be making again!

  31. Does 1 cup of dry quinoa yield 2 cups cooked? Haven’t made this yet – or any other quinoa recipe – but I’m game to try.