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This vegan Thai quinoa salad recipe is fresh, easy, and bursting with flavor. The peanut lime dressing is totally addictive! It’s fast and fantastic for meal prep.

Craving more quinoa salads? Try my ranch chicken quinoa salad or this Mediterranean quinoa salad.

bowl with Thai quinoa salad drizzled with peanut lime dressing

Why you’ll love it

There’s just something SO addictive about Thai-inspired flavors. Pairing them with quinoa is a no-brainer for making a hearty, totally flavorful salad! It’s very filling, and the dressing is perfectly balanced with the fresh veggies. It’s the kind of recipe that is ideal for vegan meal prep.

That homemade Thai salad dressing, though! I loved it on this salad, but I’m kinda tempted to drizzle it on everything now. I’m always amazed how much flavor so few ingredients can have. The contrast between peanuts and fresh lime is pure bliss.

What you’ll need

For the salad

  • Quinoa – it’s loaded with nutrients and protein and has great texture for salads
  • Red bell pepper – adds a pop of color. You can use orange or green or yellow instead, of course!
  • Cucumber – I used mini cucumbers, but English would work too
  • Tomatoes – use grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
  • Onion – red onions are the best variety for salads
  • Basil and cilantro – these herbs add a vibrant freshness and complement the dressing
  • Peanuts – chopped peanuts add a delicious crunch

For the dressing

  • Peanut butter – the base for many Asian-inspired dressings. Make sure to use the creamy kind so the dressing turns out smooth
  • Lime juice – fresh lime juice is a must. Don’t use the concentrated stuff
  • Soy sauce – adds a savory balance of flavor
  • Olive oil – emulsifies the dressing
  • Garlic – I can’t resist using garlic in salad dressings. Make sure to use fresh garlic cloves and not the stuff in a jar!
  • Water – to thin the dressing out
close-up of peanut lime dressing on Thai quinoa salad with wooden salad utensils

How to make quinoa salad

This is an overview, and full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

  • Cook the quinoa according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, prep the other ingredients and make the dressing. Add the peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, olive oil, garlic, and water to a food processor, and blend until it’s nice and smooth.
  • Once the quinoa has cooled, toss everything together in a large bowl. Serve immediately or chill it first!

Substitutions and variations

  • This salad is fairly customizable. If you don’t have something on hand or don’t like an ingredient, it’s not a big deal! For example, you can sub the onions or adjust the quantity as needed.
  • I haven’t tested it, but substituting farro or another grain will probably work as long as you’re confident in cooking it.
  • Want more protein? Throw in some chickpeas or cannellini beans.
glass bowl with Thai quinoa salad and wooden serving utensils

Leftovers and storage

  • This quinoa salad will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • I like putting individual portions in airtight containers and eating them as light lunches for the next few days.
bowl with vegan Thai inspired quinoa salad with cucumbers and tomatoes

I hope this becomes one of your favorite quinoa salad recipes! Please leave a star rating and review below, and be sure to follow me on Instagram.

This healthy cold Thai quinoa salad makes a delicious light lunch.  You will love the peanut lime dressing! A great simple vegan/vegetarian salad for meal prep!
5 from 3 votes

Thai Quinoa Salad

This vegan Thai quinoa salad recipe is fresh, easy, and bursting with flavor. The peanut lime dressing is totally addictive! It's fast and fantastic for meal prep.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 3 Persian (mini) cucumbers or 1/2 English cucumber chopped
  • Handful little tomatoes halved
  • 2 tablespoons red onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • 3 heaping tablespoons peanut butter
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup water


  • Cook quinoa according to package directions. Once cooked, set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, prep the veggies and herbs.
  • Make the dressing by adding the dressing ingredients to a food processor and processing until smooth (I drizzle the water in while it’s running).
  • Once the quinoa is cool, add it to a large salad bowl along with the other ingredients. Toss and season with extra salt & pepper if needed.


  • Great for meal prep so you have meals throughout the week.
  • Serves 4-6. 
  • Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.


Calories: 354kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 191mg, Potassium: 610mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 1306IU, Vitamin C: 46mg, Calcium: 48mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

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    1. Hmmm I mean that’s tough since that’s the star ingredient of this salad and that’s what I tested it with. Maybe you’d like this Thai salad instead: If you want to experiment, you could maybe try using rice or perhaps something like farro?

  1. 5 stars
    I made this salad as part of Fafher’s day supper. It was a big hit! Delicious flavours! I used all natural peanut butter and added 1 TBSP of honey to the dressing to balance the acidity and sharpness of the peanut butter. Using all natural peanut butter is fine as long as you add a bit of honey or sweetener.

    1. I’m so glad it worked out, Melanie! Thanks for the tip re: natural pb… I am sure it will help other readers who want to go that route. 😀

  2. If making this for meal prep can you dress it all at once and store it, or do you need to reserve the dressing until you eat it?

  3. I haven’t made this yet – I’ll gather the vegetables to make it tomorrow. But here’s what I know about this recipe: **if it’s as good as the ten foolproof, delicious S&L recipes I make all the time, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?** It is definitely going to enter my rotation for the summer.

  4. I have a question. I am also not a fan of quinoa, so I was wondering, do you think this recipe which looks delicious would work with orzo? Thank you, if not I will just have to break down and try the quinoa🤗