An incredibly simple and Easy Quinoa Salad for those days you have like zero time to cook but still want to nourish your body.
Quinoa is a nutrition-packed salad base that will help you make filling side salads for dinner or as take-to-work-lunch. Learn more about how to make quinoa fluffy and delicious every time with my How to Cook Quinoa guide.
Another exceptional use for quinoa is meal prepping. Make a big batch of quinoa each week and prepare delicious and nutritious lunches for the week. Some of my favorite go-to’s are these Healthy Meal Prep Bowls and Quinoa Fried Rice. Did you know you can even eat quinoa for breakfast? Check out this Nourishing Quinoa Breakfast Bowl and your mornings will change forever.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Quinoa – as I mentioned before, quinoa is a super grain and I highly recommend using it in this salad. However, other grains like farro, barley, buckwheat or brown rice can work too.
- Red Onion – I like my salads to be colorful, and red onion not only looks great with the rest of the ingredients but it also has a nice mild taste. Alternatively, you could also use scallions or white onion.
- Cilantro – personally, I prefer cilantro in this easy quinoa salad, but parsley or basil work perfectly too.
- Avocado – adding avocado to your salads helps omit using too much oil or omit it altogether, plus it is super yummy!
- Cherry Tomatoes – tomatoes add another pop of colour to this quinoa salad and are super flavorful. The riper and juicier the better.
How to Make Easy Quinoa Salad
- Make Quinoa – the easiest and fastest way to cook quinoa is in the Instant Pot, but if you don’t have one you can cook it on the stovetop as per the package instructions or using my quinoa guide. Add 1 ½ cups of quinoa to your Instant Pot and 1 ½ cups of water, season with sea salt to taste. Make sure all the grains are submerged in the water. Put the lid on and seal it, set it to 1 minute on high pressure and then let the pressure release naturally.
- Chop Red Onion – get a chopping board and finely dice a ¼ of red onion.
- Chop Cilantro – coarsely chop about ½ a bunch of cilantro or any other herb you are using.
- Cut Avocado – get a ripe but firm avocado, cut it in half and then cut it into slices. Remove the skin from each slice and then cut into bite-size cubes.
- Chop Tomatoes – get about 2 cups of cherry tomatoes and cut those in half or quarters, depending on their size.
- Assemble Salad – when your quinoa has finished cooking, transfer it to a big salad bowl and fluff it with a fork to let it release some steam. Then add all your chopped veggies to the same bowl. Now, what makes this quinoa salad so easy is how you season it. The easiest, simplest and yet most delicious way is to add salt and pepper to taste, squeeze 2-3 limes over everything and then drizzle 2-3 tbsp of olive oil on top. Give the salad a good stir and serve with your favorite protein.
I love serving this with 10-minute baked chicken breasts for a quick lunch or dinner. Enjoy!
Easy Quinoa Salad
- 1.5 cups quinoa
- 1.5 cups water
- 1/4 red onion
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 avocado
- sea salt
- 1 pepper
- 2-3 limes
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- Cook quinoa in the pressure cooker: 1 minute high pressure + full natural pressure release 1:1 quinoa to water ratioCook quinoa on the stovetop: 1:1.5 quinoa to water ratio bring to boil then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.season quinoa with a little salt
- In the meantime, finely chop red onion, coarsly chop cilantro, half or quarter cherry tomatoes, and half, pit, peel, and dice the avocado.
- Remove quinoa from pot and add to a big salad bowl and immediately fluff up with a fork.
- Top quinoa with chopped onion and cilantro and diced tomatoes and avocado. Then season with sea salt, pepper, lime juice, and olive oil. Toss and enjoy!
It Nirman says
Mustard and carrots can be mixed together and eaten?
Lorena Grater says
I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question. There is no carrot or mustard in this recipe.
Looks great! I think you may have forgotten carrots and broccoli in the recipe list :) (some don’t watch the video to notice) Of course adding any extra veggies are always a great idea too, thanks for the recipe 😀
What did you use to cut the carrots?
Lorena Grater says
It’s a “julienne peeler” :)
What sort of mustard do I use for dressing please?
My favorite is Dijon.
Where I can find this peeler.
You mean a Julienne peeler? At any kitchen store or on Amazon.
I loved the salad….. How to cook broccoli?
I’m glad you liked it :) You can either use frozen and simply defrost in a pan or you can cut a fresh one into florets and boil them for about 5 minutes or until desired consistency.
Sarah Cummings says
I love the look of mixed color of this salad. Looks so healthy and mouthwatering. Thanks for the recipe, Lorena! :) 👍