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Vegan Quinoa Salad (Healthy + Easy)

Garden-inspired Vegan Quinoa Salad features colorful veggies, protein-rich edamame, and a zesty garlic-lemon dressing. It’s full of texture, flavor and is so easy to make!

top down view of healthy vegan quinoa salad in a bowl with items surrounding.

This quinoa salad recipe is in keeping with the traditional New Year’s healthy beginnings!

Inspired by my Chopped Vegetable Salad w/Citrus Garlic Dressing, I thought adding quinoa to this medley of garden veggies, and zesty dressing sounded delicious. And it was!

Why We Love This Recipe!

  • It’s healthy. Full of whole food plant based ingredients, this veggie filled quinoa salad is loaded with protein, fiber, and vitamins. Check out the nutritional label below!
  • Easily customized. This can easily be a ‘clean out the fridge’ salad letting you use whatever veggies you have on hand or need to use up!
  • It’s made in one pot. All in one pot recipes make for easy cooking and clean-up!
  • Stores well. Quinoa salads refrigerate well, making it perfect for meal prep and make ahead meals.
side by side photo of prepped veggies for quinoa salad, next to the freshly mixed zesty garlic lemon dijon dressing in a small glass bowl

Healthy Quinoa Salad Ingredients

Here is everything you’ll need:

  • Quinoa – full of protein and fiber
  • Carrots – adds color and crunch
  • Cucumber (or zucchini) – cool and refreshing
  • Edamame or chickpeas – protein rich
  • Bell pepper – colorful and crunchy
  • Red onion – colorful and mild flavored
  • Parsley – herby and brightly flavored
  • Garlic – pungent and spicy
  • Lemon – adds zest and liveliness
  • Dijon – for creaminess and flavor
  • Olive oil – emulsifies and clings
top down view of quinoa, veggies, and dressing in a pot and ready to mix.

How to Make Vegan Quinoa Salad

  • Cook the quinoa. Start by making the quinoa first which will take about 30 minutes. The recipe instructions are for stovetop, but feel free to use this Instant Pot Quinoa which cooks just slightly quicker and is more hands off. Both methods result in perfect quinoa every time!
  • Make the dressing. Whisk together the garlic, lemon, dijon, olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Prep the veggies. While quinoa is cooking, prep the veggies. Try to cut them on the smaller side and uniform in size.
  • Assemble the salad. To assemble, combine the quinoa and veggies in the pot you cooked the quinoa, or a large mixing bowl, pour the dressing overtop and toss to combine. Taste for flavor, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with sliced avocado and a squeeze of lemon. Enjoy often!

Top Tips

  • Make it herby. Add different fresh chopped herbs, like cilantro or basil, along with the parsley or in place of it.
  • Add seeds. For more texture and crunch, add a sprinkle of pepita’s (pumpkin seeds), sunflower seeds or hemp hearts. This is a perfect place for these delicious seeds!
  • Storing: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

top down view of freshly made vegan quinoa salad in a pot with items surrounding.

I hope you LOVE this quinoa salad as much as I do! It’s:

  • Healthy and nutritious
  • Quick and super easy to make
  • Full of veggies
  • Gluten free
  • & So delicious!

This vegan garden quinoa salad makes for a light and healthy, gluten-free lunch or dinner. It’s great for meal prep too!

I usually make a batch and eat half one day and the other half the next. Although it does make 4 servings, I can usually eat it in 2 servings.

Adjusting For Dietary Restrictions

Need to make adjustments to the recipe for dietary reasons? Here are few tips for making an easy transition.

  • Oil-free + Low Fat: Skip the oil in the quinoa salad dressing for a virtually low fat and oil-free recipe.
  • Soy-free: Replace the edamame with extra chickpeas or other beans of choice.
  • Nightshade-free: Omit the tomatoes and bell pepper, adding any other extra veggies you like.

top down view of meal prepped vegan quinoa salad in glass containers.

More Healthy Quinoa Recipes!

Quinoa salads are so easy to make, and I’ve never had one that I didn’t like! Be sure to check out these other delicious versions.

If you try this quinoa recipe or have a question, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

Print

Vegan Quinoa Salad + Zesty Garlic Dressing

Easy Vegan Quinoa Salad features colorful veggies, protein rich edamame and a zesty garlic-lemon dressing. It’s perfect for lunch, dinner or make ahead meals!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 – 6 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: boil, mix
  • Cuisine: American, Vegan
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Units Scale

Salad

  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 cup edamame
  • 1 can (14oz) chickpeas (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups English cucumber, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Dressing

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium lemons, juice of
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon or stone ground mustard
  • 12 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, optional
  • salt + pepper, to taste

Instructions

Quinoa: Rinse quinoa gently under running water to remove any dust. In a medium size pot, add quinoa and 1 1/2 cups water, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Once done, remove cover and let stand 15 minutes, fluff with a fork. Perfect quinoa! Alternatively, use this easy Instant Pot Quinoa.

Dressing: While quinoa is cooking, combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, taste for seasoning and let set.

Prep produce: Chop and dice your remaining vegetables, except the edamame. Place chopped vegetables and edamame in a large bowl, add the dressing, tossing gently to coat.

Assemble: Once ready, add quinoa to the vegetables and toss together. Serve with a little more sea salt & cracked pepper and squeeze of lemon on top.

Serve room temperature or chilled.

Makes about 8 cups.

Serves 4 – 6

Notes

Add some chopped cilantro, basil or parsley.

Try adding a sprinkle of pepita’s (pumpkin seeds), sunflower seeds or hemp hearts for extra flavor and texture.

Adjusting for dietary restrictions

  • Oil-free: Skip the oil in the garlic dressing for an oil-free quinoa salad.
  • Soy-free: Replace the edamame with extra chickpeas or other beans of choice.
  • Nightshade-free: Omit the tomatoes, adding any other veggie you like.

Updated: Vegan Quinoa Salad was originally published in January 2013. It has been retested and updated with new photos and helpful tips in March 2021.

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10 Comments

  1. Just made this recipe (or a version of it at least, with what I had on hand)! It’s delicious!! Used cilantro, and omitted the cucumber. I’m excited to try all of the possible variations!

  2. Ivy Antonio says:

    What’s the amount per serving?! I’m trying to calculate my intake but the details are not in the nutritional label. ?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      It yields about 8 cups total, which will make 4 servings with 2 cups each, or 6 servings with 1 1/2 cup per serving. I hope that helps!

  3. Shannon Mare says:

    Made this for our meal prep this week. So easy and absolutely delicious. The flavor held all week and it was a nice light and refreshing lunch. Perfect for summertime.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yay! So glad you enjoyed it! Cheers :)

  4. Holy crap! Just made this and can't stop eating!

  5. TheCookieFairy says:

    Sound lovely and just what I need for this New Year!

  6. lysa jordan says:

    what a colorful salad! It looks delicious, I will have to try one of your dressings they sound delicious!

    1. It must've been something because I ate almost the whole thing in one day. :)

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