36 Best Quinoa Salad Recipes That Encourage Weight Loss And Great Health
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Perhaps you’re already familiar with quinoa.
For those who have not encountered quinoa yet in their culinary adventures, here are some of the basic facts.
Quinoa is considered a superfood. Why? It is the only plant-based source of complete protein; having all 9 essential amino acids necessary for muscle development. It contains such high levels of nutrients that the United Nations declared 2013 the International Year of Quinoa, in recognition of its potential to provide food security for the world.
Although it is often classified as a “whole grain”, quinoa is actually a seed belonging to the same family as beets, spinach, and chard. This means that it is a non-gluten food source and ideal for those who have certain dietary restrictions. Moreover, its non-starchy nature has been proven to encourage weight loss.
Quinoa is versatile as a cooking ingredient. Its nutty flavor and unique texture go well with almost any food.
Today, I’m sharing with you 36 best quinoa salad recipes to try for their delicious flavors and awesome health-giving benefits.
Before we make our salads, here are some pro tips when using quinoa in your recipes.
- Boil the quinoa before using.
- Make sure to thoroughly wash the seeds prior to cooking. Place them in a strainer and run the quinoa under flowing water. This removes the saponins and prevents any unwanted bitter taste in your dish.
- Use a 2:1 ratio when cooking. Two cups of water or broth for every cup of quinoa. Take note that one cup of uncooked seeds can yield up to 3 cups when cooked.
That said, let's start cookin'!
1. Favorite Quinoa Salad
Enjoy a refreshing salad that may remind you of the Lebanese taboulleh. It should be named the universal salad, because anyone with dietary restrictions can enjoy it.
2. Almond Apple Quinoa Salad
This salad is certified kid friendly. It's one of those quinoa salad recipes with dried cranberries that you'll be craving for after you've tasted it. For extra flavor, lightly toast the sunflower seeds and almonds first before adding them in.
3. Chilled Southwestern Quinoa Salad
Eat clean with this light fare that gives you a refreshed feeling. A bowl of this salad contains 9 essential amino acids and loads of minerals that spell healthy.
4. Healthy Quinoa Salad with Feta Cheese and Mixed Vegetables
This salad recipe is a crowd pleaser. Serve it for those potluck lunches or dinners and be ready to share the recipe because someone will be bound to ask.
5. Easy Asian Quinoa Slaw
This salad proves that healthy eating can be affordable. The ingredients are friendly on the budget but the dish is an explosion of awesome flavors that you'll not soon forget.
6. Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Recipes like this quinoa salad can be the best side for a meat dish or a healthy meatless main dish. It is a great way to filling up your veggie quota for the week.
7. Greek Quinoa Salad
Enjoy the perfect summer salad with this Greek-inspired recipe. It makes for a great side dish for grilled meats. Marinate the beans and soft vegetables in a few tablespoons of the dressing before putting it in the bowl for that extra burst of flavorful goodness.
8. Strawberry Avocado Feta Spinach Quinoa Salad
This savory-sweet salad will keep you coming back for more. It is perfect as a main course for light meal or as a side dish for grilled chicken.
9. Red Quinoa Tabouli with Pomegranate
As the colder months arrive, this super healthy and festive salad will remind you of the holidays. It has the flavor of traditional tabouli (taboulleh) plus the exquisitely explosive flavors of pomegranate.
10. Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing
This salad is loaded with ingredients inspired by Thai cooking. It is very filling and makes for a delicious meatless lunch or dinner. It pairs perfectly well with baked salmon, too.
11. Fall Quinoa Salad
As the weather gets colder heartier dishes are what most people crave. Although you can have this salad any time of the year, the flavors will remind you of the comforting homecooked meals.
12. California Quinoa Salad
The developer of this recipe touts this salad as bikini friendly. It is loaded with tropical fruits and has a tangy lime-based dressing for an exquisite flavor. It is a party in a bowl!
13. Cranberry Quinoa Salad with Candied Walnuts
This festive salad is full of the delicious and healthy goodness of cranberries, which are known for their infection-fighting properties, and heart-healthy walnuts. Switch from honey to maple syrup to make this into a vegan fare or simply add some shredded chicken to create a Paleo-friendly dish.
14. Celebrations Quinoa Salad with Pecans and Cranberries
This fall-inspired salad features dried cranberries and nuts. It is a memorable fare and you'll find yourself making it loads of times.
15. Quinoa Spinach Power Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Anyone who has food restrictions or is adhering to an eating philosophy or a specific diet can have this salad. It is super healthy and offers a load of nutrients, is gluten-free, meatless, and high in protein.
16. Moroccan Style Chickpea and Quinoa Power Salad
This salad packs a crunch courtesy of the carrots and nuts. It has a zingy-lemony flavor. This can keep refrigerated for several days. It will still be tasty, as the dressing will have seeped into the veggies.
17. Fiesta Mango Black Bean Quinoa Salad
This salad could easily become a permanent part of your go-to dishes. It is an ideal meal if you're looking for something light for lunch or as the perfect salad for gatherings.
18. Corn and Black Bean Quinoa Salad
Here is an ideal salad recipe if you're keeping your weight at a certain number. It is also one of the tastiest ways to enjoy quinoa.
19. Chili-Roasted Sweet Potato Black Bean Quinoa Bowls
There are two things that make this salad awesome, aside from the super foods it contains. First, there is no fuss in its preparation. Second, the rich creamy dressing qualifies this as a decadent meal.
20. Creamy Broccoli Quinoa Salad with Lemon Yogurt Dressing
This salad is a harmonious blending of flavors and textures. It is perfect for when you want something tasty and fresh to serve as a side dish or as the main attraction for lunch or dinner.
21. Spring Quinoa Salad
This recipe makes it to our list because it's quite delicious and is so easy to make. And since it's refreshingly light, it gives you a boost of energy through the day.
22. Red Quinoa Salad with Grilled Vegetables
The smoky flavor of the grilled vegetables adds an extra oomph to this tasty salad. The dressing gives the entire dish a southwestern vibe.
23. Peruvian Quinoa Salad with Queso Fresco
This recipe is a homage to Peruvian cooking. It incorporates beans, corn, fresh cheese (queso fresco), and cilantro. It is ideal for when you need something fresh to serve when you've got company coming over for dinner.
24. Beet and Orange Quinoa Salad
In this salad, beets are roasted to give extra flavor. It is an ideal vegan fare that's ready in half an hour.
25. Butternut Apple Cranberry Quinoa Salad
Enjoy a salad that evokes the flavors of the fall harvest. This recipe is ideal for a holiday side dish. Pro tip: For that extra flavor, cook the quinoa in broth instead of plain water.
26. Summer Quinoa Salad Jars
This salad keeps well for days when refrigerated. The recipe is so versatile. You can add your favorite meats or seafood to the salad for a filling meal. Storing the salad in jars is also ideal for portion control.
For further details on tools to assist your healthy eating habits and weight-loss goals, check out this review of the top 3 portion control containers for 2018.
27. Mediterranean Three-Bean Quinoa Salad
Give your body a healthy treat with this colorful three-bean salad consisting of cannellini, garbanzo, and green beans. Add quinoa to the mix for an extremely nutritious meal.
28. Instant Pot Quinoa Black Bean Salad
This salad is the ideal side dish for Tex-Mex dinners. It features the familiar flavors in Tex-Mex cooking, plus the health-giving nutrients found in the major ingredients.
29. Detox Quinoa Bowl
Eating clean has never been this easy or delicious. This salad is so filling, it will leave you satisfied. The best part is that it keeps well in the fridge so there's more when the craving hits.
30. Chicken Quinoa Salad with Spinach + Mandarin Oranges
Succulent mandarin oranges, tender chunks of chicken, walnuts, quinoa, and spinach create a medley of flavors and textures in this salad. Drizzle some sriracha sauce for the ultimate gustatory delight.
31. One-Pot Sweet & Spiced Quinoa Lentil Salad
You can enjoy this richly colored salad either warm or cold. It has surprising textures that keep you coming back for more as well as a flavorful goodness that makes it a memorable fare.
32. Loaded Greek Quinoa Salad
You will pull out all the stops when you create this salad. Unlike the first Greek-inspired quinoa salad featured above, this one is heavy on the accessories: the veggies, cheese, and carbs. It is a meal in itself. Use a fresh naan or pita bread for scooping the goodies in lieu of a fork.
33. Fresh Berry Quinoa Salad
You would be surprised and probably also pleased to know that there is no lettuce in the ingredient list for this salad. It tastes awesome and the texture means that you're eating something epic.
34. Sweet and Salty Quinoa Salad with Tempeh
You can never get enough of this sweet-savory salad that has the pleasant crunch of pomegranate seeds. Top with tempeh and you're all set for a beautiful meal.
35. Maple Balsamic Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad
This salad is also great as a busy weeknight dinner fare. It is filling, and the maple syrup provides just the right hint of sweetness to balance the whole thing out.
36. Quick Cherry Quinoa Salad
If you are looking for a quick and light lunch recipe, then you've found it in this salad. If you're worried that it's not cherry season and you're craving for this salad, have no fear. Dried cherries or other fruits will work just as well.
Putting All of It Together
I’d like to remind you that it takes a balance of good nutrition and regular exercise to achieve your fitness goals. And one of the most beneficial exercises for your overall health and well-being is walking. Do try it a few minutes a day and see the positive changes in your mood and outlook.
For now, we end our delicious journey together. Wishing you good health always.