Deliciously Healthy: Gluten-Free Quinoa Salad Recipe

The kitchen is my happy place. It’s where I can lose myself in the smells, sounds, and flavors of cooking. And what better way to share that joy than by throwing a party? But as much as I love cooking, catering to everyone’s dietary restrictions can be a challenge. That’s why I always have a few vegan and gluten-free recipes up my sleeve, like this delicious quinoa salad.

But don’t let the words “vegan” or “gluten-free” scare you away – this salad is packed with flavor and healthy ingredients that everyone will love. Plus, quinoa is a complete protein, making it a great option for vegetarians and vegans.

In this article, I’ll show you how to make this tasty gluten-free quinoa salad step-by-step. Trust me, once you try it, you’ll wonder why you ever bothered with those boring old potato salads or pasta salads.

So put on your apron and get ready to impress your friends with this colorful and nutritious dish.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Gluten Free Quinoa Salad
Gluten Free Quinoa Salad

The world has never been more health-conscious than it is today. We all need meals that are not only delicious but also healthy. That is why I present to you the best gluten-free quinoa salad recipe, which will blow your mind away.

First of all, this quinoa salad is gluten-free and vegan, making it accessible to individuals with dietary restrictions. It contains plant-based proteins from the quinoa and black beans, making it a complete protein source. You do not have to worry about compromising on flavor or quality for dietary reasons ever again.

Additionally, this salad is perfect for anyone who wishes to maintain healthy eating habits while still indulging their taste buds. The veggies in this salad provide a wide range of health benefits while the quinoa serves as an excellent source of fiber that will help keep you full for longer.

Furthermore, this recipe’s versatility is unparalleled as there exist plenty of variations to choose from according to personal preference. From southwestern and Mediterranean quinoa salads to roasted butternut squash salads, this recipe covers every flavor profile you can think of.

In conclusion, if you are looking for a delicious and healthy meal that caters to your dietary restrictions and keeps you full for longer without compromising on flavor, then look no further! This gluten-free quinoa salad recipe is just what you need to make those taste buds dance with joy.

Ingredient List

 This colorful quinoa salad is giving me major summer vibes ????
This colorful quinoa salad is giving me major summer vibes ????

Here’s what you need for this delicious Gluten Free Quinoa Salad Recipe:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water or chicken broth
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced small
  • 1 English cucumber, diced small
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • 3 green onions, sliced thin
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (15 oz)
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (about 1 cup dry quinoa)
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

If you’re a vegan or follow a gluten-free lifestyle, don’t worry! This recipe is perfect for you. All ingredients are gluten-free and vegan-friendly. Quinoa, a naturally gluten-free plant-based complete protein, makes a perfect addition to any salad, and in this recipe, it adds the perfect nutty flavor and texture.

The Recipe How-To

 Get ready to impress your guests with this gluten-free quinoa salad! ????
Get ready to impress your guests with this gluten-free quinoa salad! ????

Step 1: Preparing the Quinoa

Before anything else, we need to prepare the quinoa. Rinse 1 cup of quinoa well with cold water in a fine mesh strainer. In a medium saucepan, combine the rinsed quinoa with 2 cups of water and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then decrease the heat a bit to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover, and cook for around 15-18 minutes, or until the quinoa has completely absorbed the water.

Step 2: Fluffing up and Cooling Down

After cooking quinoa, remove it from heat and allow it to cool down for a while. Once it cools down to room temperature, fluff it up with a fork; this step separates any clumps that may have formed. Then set it aside.

Step 3: Preparing Salad Dressing

In a separate small bowl, whisk together these ingredients until blended well:

  • Juice from 1 lemon (roughly about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper (to your taste)

Then set it aside as well.

Step 4: Preparing Salad Ingredients

Now we will need to prepare all other salad ingredients such as diced cucumber, red bell pepper, grape tomatoes, shredded carrots, chopped green onion and drained rinsed black beans.

Combine all vegetables and add these in:

  • The cooked quinoa
  • The dressing that you set earlier

Add some baby spinach leaves for an even healthier salad.

Toss everything together until everything is evenly coated with the dressing.

Enjoy your flawlessly flavored salad!

Substitutions and Variations

 Who says gluten-free can't be delicious? This quinoa salad begs to differ ????
Who says gluten-free can’t be delicious? This quinoa salad begs to differ ????

If you’re looking for a recipe that is versatile and can be customized to your liking, then this gluten-free quinoa salad recipe is perfect for you. You can experiment with various ingredients, and the recipe will still be delicious. Here are some suggestions:

– Veggies: The recipe calls for diced cucumbers, shredded carrots, grape tomatoes, and diced red bell pepper. However, you can add any vegetables that you love. If roasted butternut squash salad is more your style, add it in or try adding in some rainbow quinoa.

– Protein: If you prefer a vegan or vegetarian version of the salad, you can skip adding chicken broth or use vegetable stock instead. You can also opt-out of dairy and add plant-based protein sources like black beans, chickpeas or lentils for an extra hearty meal.

– Nutty crunch: Try adding walnuts, almonds or peanuts to give your dish an extra nutty crunch. This goes great with Thai quinoa.

– Fruity twist: For a sweeter variation include cranberries or mangoes for a fruity twist.

– Dressing: The recipe calls for lemon juice and olive oil as dressing ingredients which gives it a tangy taste but feel free to mix this up by swapping it with balsamic vinegar or peanut butter sauce.

By experimenting with different ingredients or keeping it simple as per the instructions above, you’ll end up with a healthy and delicious gluten-free quinoa salad that suits your needs and preferences.

Serving and Pairing

 Look at all those colorful veggies! This salad is not only tasty but also packed with nutrients ????
Look at all those colorful veggies! This salad is not only tasty but also packed with nutrients ????

Alright, folks, the moment of truth has arrived – serving and pairing. Now that we’ve put in all the hard work, it’s time to enjoy the delicious fruits of our labor. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

This gluten-free vegan quinoa salad is incredibly versatile and pairs well with almost anything. For a light lunch, serve it as is with some toasted nuts or sliced avocado on top, or you can even turn it into a hearty meal by adding some cooked chicken, shrimp or tofu.

If you’re looking for more pairing options, try serving it alongside roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes, butternut squash or broccoli. You could also pair it with a light fish dish or grilled chicken for a complete balance of flavors.

For those of you who love the taste of Mediterranean food, pair this salad with some hummus and pita bread or serve as a side dish with grilled lamb or kebabs. The combination of flavors will make your taste buds go wild!

If you’re looking for something more refreshing and light to add to your dinner party menu, make a batch of quinoa salad as a side dish to go along with some roasted chicken with zesty lemon garlic sauce. Alternatively, if you want to keep things simple yet flavorful, serve it alongside grilled fish and garden-fresh salad greens.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to serving and pairing this delicious quinoa salad. Get creative and have fun experimenting with different combinations to match your own personal style!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 For a dish that's as beautiful as it is flavorful, this quinoa salad is the way to go ????
For a dish that’s as beautiful as it is flavorful, this quinoa salad is the way to go ????

The best part about this gluten-free quinoa salad recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for later. You can make a big batch on Sunday and have it for lunch or dinner throughout the week. It’s an excellent option for meal prep or a quick lunch option.

When storing quinoa salad, make sure to keep it in airtight containers or Ziploc bags to prevent drying out. The addition of fresh vegetables means that this dish is ideally consumed within three to four days of being stored to maintain its flavor and texture. However, if you want to store it longer, you can freeze it in individual portions for up to one month.

If you plan on reheating the gluten-free quinoa salad recipe, I suggest doing so in the microwave or on the stove. Add a little vegetable broth or water to the quinoa salad before microwaving, as this will help to retain moisture and prevent dryness.

When reheating on the stove, add a tablespoon or two of water or chicken broth into the pan and heat up over medium heat. Once heated through, add more flavor by topping with freshly squeezed lemon juice, olive oil, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes or your favorite dressing.

Make sure not to overheat the quinoa salad while reheating as this can result in overcooking and mushy ingredients. By following these simple steps, you’ll have perfectly reheated gluten-free quinoa every time.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Crisp greens, juicy cherry tomatoes, and zesty lemon vinaigrette: what more could you
Crisp greens, juicy cherry tomatoes, and zesty lemon vinaigrette: what more could you

Lemme tell ya, making a gluten-free quinoa salad is like putting together a puzzle. You’ve got to get all the pieces in the right place, or it’s not going to look as pretty or taste as delicious as it could be. With that in mind, I’ve compiled some tips to help you get your quinoa salad just right.

First of all, cooking the quinoa correctly is critical. I recommend using a 2:1 ratio of liquid to quinoa. You can use water or chicken broth if you want to add more flavor (I won’t judge!). Once the liquid reaches boiling point, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. Make sure you fluff it up with a fork before mixing it with the other ingredients.

Another crucial tip is seasoning. Don’t make the mistake of only adding salt and pepper to your salad recipe! I love using a combination of lemon juice and olive oil for seasoning. It gives the dish a fresh Mediterranean flavor that pairs perfectly with the earthy taste of quinoa.

Now let’s talk about texture. A salad with uniform textures can be boring, so try experimenting with different ingredients such as grape tomatoes, red onions, and black beans. They will add a range of colors and textures to your salad recipe that will make it pop.

Finally, remember to keep the dressing separate until you’re ready to serve the salad. Otherwise, it’s likely that your vegetables will wilt and become soggy under the dressing. Nobody wants a soggy salad!

Follow these tips closely and you’ll have an awesome gluten-free quinoa salad at your next party guaranteed.

Bottom Line

The Gluten Free Quinoa Salad Recipe is a great dish not just for those who are gluten intolerant or vegans, but for anyone who loves healthy and delicious food. Quinoa is high in protein and fiber, making it a complete and nutritious meal on its own.

By following this recipe article, you’ll be able to create a tasty and satisfying quinoa salad that you can serve at your next party or enjoy as part of your regular meals. With its colorful mix of vegetables, flavorful dressing, and fluffy quinoa, this salad is sure to impress.

So why not give this recipe a try today? You won’t be disappointed! And with its many variations and substitutions, you can customize the salad to suit your taste buds and dietary needs. Trust me; this Gluten Free Quinoa Salad Recipe will become one of your go-to recipes for years to come. Happy cooking!

Gluten Free Quinoa Salad

Gluten Free Quinoa Salad Recipe

A recipe me and my mom made up as we went when we first got into eating quinoa. With different variations you can make it vegetarian as well.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer/Salad
Cuisine Gluten-free
Calories 125.5 kcal


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinses and drained
  • 2 2 cups water or 2 cups vegetable stock, can be used as well
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • tomatoes (to garnish)


  • First rinse and drain the Quinoa till the water runs clear to prevent a bitter taste in the finished product.
  • Place the Quinoa in a medium sauce pot with the 2 cups or chicken stock, water or vegetable stock can be uses as well to make this vegetarian.
  • Bring the Quinoa to a boil and then reduce to a simmer with the lid on.
  • Simmer for around 20 minutes until the Quinoa germ is visible, The grain will be slightly chewy but not overly so. Time could vary depending on your stove and your brand of Quinoa some take less time while others take more. The water will be mostly if not completely absorbed when the Quinoa is done.
  • Set the Quinoa aside when it's done to let it cool. Seed and then chop the cucumber and chop some tomato as well to garnish.
  • Once the Quinoa is cooled add the cucumber as well as the olive oil. Use a zester to zest the lemon and then juice the lemon. Depending on the size of the lemon you may only need half the lemon.
  • Add the salt and pepper to taste and mix the Quinoa together. Serve chilled with a garnish of tomato.
  • It's not listed in the recipe but you may toast some pine nuts and add them as well. I omit them from this recipe because I'm allergic but my mother likes them in it.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 130gCalories: 125.5kcalCarbohydrates: 15.9gProtein: 4.6gFat: 5.1gSaturated Fat: 0.7gSodium: 188.7mgFiber: 1.9gSugar: 1g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Free Of..., Grains, Low Cholesterol, South American, Summer
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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