Rainbow Quinoa Salad

Vegan, gluten-free, and totally delicious, this meal-prep friendly Rainbow Quinoa Salad is ready to rock your plate!

Rainbow Quinoa Salad

I’m not sure I’ll ever tire of quinoa salads in the summertime.

They’re so easy to customize with whatever vegetables you have on hand that very moment as well as a bevy of mix-ins.

I love adding everything from chopped spinach or kale to crumbled feta cheese to dried fruit and sliced almonds.

During the cooler months I opt for a seasonal fruit and veggie flecked Cranberry Quinoa Salad sprinkled with sweet candied walnuts but right now we’re still very much in the produce-palooza of Summer.

That means I’m letting ALLLLLLLLL the veggies in on the fun!

This rainbow quinoa salad is packed to the brim with fresh veggies!

Healthy Rainbow Quinoa Salad

I emptied my crisper drawer, adding a mix of tomatoes, carrots, scallions, bell pepper, red onion, corn, cucumber, and chickpeas, all tossed with fluffy quinoa and a light lemon kissed dressing.

You can follow suit or mix and match your favorites from the list below.

Quinoa Salad Mix-ins and Ingredient Options

  • tomatoes
  • onions
  • bell peppers
  • jalapeño peppers
  • carrots
  • cucumber
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • corn
  • kale
  • parsley
  • spinach
  • scallions
  • cilantro
  • crumble feta
  • dried fruit
  • almonds
  • walnuts
  • black beans or chickpeas
  • sunflower seeds
  • pepitas

Honestly the list could go on for miles! Have fun with it, and try something new each time for a fresh take on your quinoa salad game.

Vegan Quinoa Salad

Depending on how much you need the recipe can easily be doubled or tripled. It’s crazy flexible so feel free to add any extra veggies your heart desires.

It’s gluten-free and vegan as written but if you’re vegetarian and want to add a little feta, it’s quite tasty too!

Healthy Vegan Rainbow Quinoa Salad

One of the most glorious things about quinoa salad is that they can be made in advance as part of your weekly meal prep or as party/barbecue prep for your next shindig.

Simply toss together via the recipe instructions below and chill until needed. The salad should be great for up to 4 days and makes a speedy side dish for all your favorite meals!

Rainbow Quinoa Salad

Rainbow Quinoa Salad

Vegan, gluten-free, and totally delicious, this meal-prep friendly Rainbow Quinoa Salad is ready to rock your plate!
5 from 18 votes
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Vegetarian
Keyword: Rainbow Quinoa Salad
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Jenn Laughlin – Peas and Crayons

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1.5 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 2 carrots (or 1/2-3/4 cup shredded carrots)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 stalk green onion
  • ½ English (hothouse) cucumber
  • 1/4-1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 cup corn (steamed from frozen)
  • 1 can chickpeas (14.5 oz) drained and rinsed

LEMON VINAIGRETTE DRESSING

  • 1.5 lemons , freshly juiced
  • ¼ cup avocado oil (or light olive oil)
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 tsp fresh minced garlic from approx. 2 cloves
  • ½ tsp dried oregano leaves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley (optional but tasty!)

Instructions

  • First rinse and drain your quinoa using a mesh strainer or sieve. Bring a small pot to medium heat and lightly toast the quinoa to remove any excess water, stirring often. This step is optional but really adds to the nuttiness and fluff factor of the quinoa! Next add your water, set burner to high, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered with the lid slightly ajar, for 12-13 minutes or until quinoa is fluffy and the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Once your quinoa is ready, fluff with a fork and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a medium bowl to cool.
  • While the quinoa cooks, chop all your veggies and make the dressing.
  • To make the lemon dressing, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl or add to a mason jar (with a tight fitting lid) and shake well. Feel free to adjust ingredients to taste.
  • Now let's prep those veggies!!! Peel carrots and shred via julienne peeler or box grater or use pre-shredded carrots. Chop into small pieces. Peel cucumber and dice. Chop bell pepper, green onion, red onion, and tomatoes. Drain and rinse canned chickpeas and prep/steam corn if needed.
  • Combine cooled quinoa with veggies, chickpeas, and dressing. Mix well.
  • You can enjoy this salad right away or chill before serving. I love it both ways! If meal prepping, pop it in the fridge and dive in when your'e ready. The dressing will soak into the salad and amplify the flavor even more. So good!

Notes

Recipe yields approx. 8 cups of quinoa salad. Nutrition Facts below are estimated for 1 cup servings using an online recipe nutrition calculator for both salad and dressing together. Adjust as needed based on swaps/extras added and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 165kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 163mg, Potassium: 310mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 3335IU, Vitamin C: 37mg, Calcium: 29mg, Iron: 1mg
Rainbow Quinoa Salad Ingredients in Bowl

If you get a chance to try this rainbow quinoa salad recipe, let me know!

Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!

Crazy for Quinoa Recipes?

Jenn Laughlin Headshot Photo - About the Author
About The Author:

Jenn Laughlin

Jenn Laughlin created Peas and Crayons in 2009 after graduating with B.S. in Dietetics from Florida State University and working as a Nutrition Educator for WIC. The goal was simple: create and share delicious tested and perfected recipes with vegetables as the star!

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Questions & Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I loved this recipe!! It is so delicious!! I made it and let it sit in my fridge overnight I just have a BIG!! Bowl!! I will make it again!! 😋😋😋

  2. 5 stars
    Look no further ladies, this is the best healthy dish I’ve ever laid my precious taste buds on. If I could eat Peas & Crayons quinoa salads everyday I legitimately would! Thank you for another golden recipe. Maybe they should make a quinoa salad cook off. You’re recipes are my secret weapon!

  3. 5 stars
    This was delicious! Just what I was craving after a holiday weekend of indulgence. I’ll be sure to make this again (and I won’t forget the tomato this time–oops!).

  4. 5 stars
    Wow! What a stunningly delicious salad! I will be using this recipe and playing around with the list of extra ingredients you’ve recommended. This is definitely a game changer, especially when bringing a dish to impress at a party! Thank you Jenn

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the salad, Louise – thank you!! The ingredient combinations truly are endless – so many fun options! xoxo

  5. 5 stars
    Delicious as always! Love the new take on your signature dish. It looked so yummy my daughter asked for some as well!!