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.
Why you'll love this salad
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 as well.
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 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
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.
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.
I hope this becomes one of your favorite quinoa salad recipes! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.
Thai Quinoa Salad
- 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.