Drizzled with spicy peanut dressing and loaded with fresh veggies, Thai Quinoa Salad is the ultimate quick and easy meal. This recipe is perfect for lunch on the go or a light dinner at home. It’s vegan and gluten-free.
Thai Quinoa Salad
The weather is warming up, which means it’s time for lighter meals. During this time of year, I tend to turn to salads, whole grain bowls, and light sandwiches. This recipe is a combination of two of my go-to meals, as I’ve combined a quinoa bowl and a salad.
Cooking with Quinoa
I love quinoa because it’s easy to make and super versatile. Unlike other grains, it’s doesn’t take very long to cook. When preparing quinoa, give it a quick rinse before you cook it. This is to remove saponin, the grain’s bitter coating. Saponin helps to protect quinoa from pests while it’s growing.
Quinoa uses a 1:2 ratio with water. So, if you’re making 1 cup of quinoa, you’ll need two cups of water. Combine quinoa and the water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed. Then remove it from the heat and let it stand for about 5 minutes. Fluff it with a fork, and you’re ready to go!
I like to cook up a big batch of quinoa and then freeze it in portioned containers, so that I have it at the ready when I want to cook with it. This recipe will come together even quicker if you happen to have cooked quinoa on hand.
Health Benefits of Quinoa
- It contains all eight essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.
- Quinoa is high is B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium & vitamin E
- It’s gluten-free and easy to digest.
Making a Thai Quinoa Salad is Super Easy!
- First, you cook the quinoa.
- While the quinoa is cooking, you slice the cucumber, cabbage, and carrots.
- Once the quinoa is cooked, you divide it among four bowls and top with the vegetables, edamame and tofu.
- Finally, you drizzle on the peanut dressing and top with chopped cilantro and peanuts.
How to Customize Your Thai Quinoa Salad
I’ve used carrots, purple cabbage, cucumber, and edamame in my quinoa salad. If you prefer different veggies, feel free to switch things up. This quinoa salad would be just as tasty with red peppers and mung bean sprouts.
I’ve used my favorite homemade baked tofuin this recipe. If you don’t want to make your own, you can use store-bought baked tofu. I’ve also used my homemade spicy peanut sauce, but again, if you don’t want to make your own, you can use a bottle of store-bought peanut dressing.
This quinoa salad travels well, so you can pack it up and take it with you to work at the office or even on a picnic.
Thai Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup shredded carrot about two medium-sized carrots
- 2 cups shredded purple cabbage
- 1 cup sliced cucumber about half of an English cucumber
- 1 cup shelled edamame
- 1 recipe Baked Tofu or 16 ounces store-bought baked tofu, cut into cubes
- ½ cup Peanut Sauce
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- 2 tablespoons peanuts chopped
- Add the quinoa and water to a medium-sized pot and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a bowl, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and allow to simmer until the quinoa is tender and all of the liquid has absorbed. This will only take about 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and allow to sit covered for 5 minutes.
- Divide the quinoa among four bowls.
- Top each bowl with the shredded carrot, shredded cabbage, sliced cucumber, edamame, and baked tofu.
- Drizzle two tablespoons of peanut sauce onto each bowl and top with cilantro and peanuts.
It's pretending to be winter here.... not very well but I am wearing a hoodie inside right now. But eventually we'll go back to our 9 months a year of hot weather. I am always looking for nice, big salad recipes so I will add this to my list.
You could serve this with warm quinoa and cooked veggies like broccoli and bell peppers and it would be great for colder weather! I hope you enjoy it!
What a satiating and colorful vegan bowl! I love the variety of textures & tastes. Plus, peanut sauce is always a big winner in my book.
Thank you, Cadry!
The weather is warm again and this was so great. I switched up a few of the components, but this was lovely and fresh and so many great flavours and textures. I mentioned in the sauce recipe that I had left out the chili, so I served this with sriracha for those who like things spicy.
Hi, Susan! I'm so glad you liked it!