15-Minute Quinoa Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing
This 15-minute quinoa salad is a light vegan meal packed with texture and flavour. You’ll want to eat the sesame ginger sauce with a spoon!
While you can enjoy this quinoa salad anytime of year, it’s especially perfect for those steamy summer days when the last thing you want is a piping hot dinner. A cold, crunchy salad is exactly what I crave on a 90 degree day, but I also want it to have enough protein and substance to keep me satisfied.
Well, this 15-minute quinoa salad has the crunch, the coldness, and the flavour, and it also has fibre and protein for a filling meal. And, as you might have guessed from the name, it’s an absolute cinch to put together.
If you love my Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad, then you’re going to love this salad, too. There’s a lot of overlap between the two recipes, but I wanted to switch some things up: a lighter sauce, more protein, and it’s super meal preppable (so no lettuce or kale that can wilt).
Is Quinoa a Protein or Carb?
Quinoa is both! It’s a gluten-free whole-grain carbohydrate, but because it’s a seed, it’s also a protein. In fact, it’s a whole protein, which means it’s one of those rare proteins that contains all nine essential amino acids.
Notes on Ingredients
Please note that this is important information on the ingredients and instructions and the FULL recipe with amounts and details can be found DOWN BELOW (scroll to it) in the recipe card.
For the quinoa salad:
- Shelled and cooked edamame
- Bell peppers – Use any colour you prefer, or a few different colours.
- Tri-colour quinoa – Here’s how to cook quinoa.
- Cabbage – Save yourself some prep time by buying pre-shredded cabbage at the grocery store.
For the sesame ginger dressing:
- Ground ginger
- Maple syrup
- Liquid aminos – You can substitute low-sodium soy sauce if you prefer.
- Distilled white vinegar
- Sesame oil
- Sesame seeds – White, black, or a combination of both!
- Red pepper flakes – These are optional, but they’ll add a spicy kick to your quinoa salad!
- Fresh lime juice
What Is the Difference Between White and Tricolour Quinoa?
Aside from the colour difference, white quinoa cooks up softer and fluffier than other varieties of quinoa, which means that with tricolour quinoa, you get varying colours and textures. It adds a little interest to your quinoa salad!
You can use white quinoa in this recipe if you’d like, but I highly recommend using tricolour quinoa if you can find it.
How to Make 15-Minute Quinoa Salad
Once you’ve cooked the quinoa, this recipe is simply a matter of assembly!
Make the dressing. Whisk all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl or place them in a jar and give it a good shake.
Combine the salad ingredients. Place all of the salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl and gently toss to mix everything together.
Finish. Pour the dressing over the quinoa salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.
Tips for Success
Here are some hints and tips to help you make sure your quinoa salad turns out perfect!
- Don’t use soggy quinoa! If your quinoa is wet, it will water down the dressing, diluting all that flavour. You don’t want that! Cook the quinoa until the water evaporates or, if needed, pour the cooked quinoa into a fine mesh sieve and let any excess liquid drain off.
- Seed the cucumbers, if needed. English and Persian cucumbers are a great choice for this recipe, but if you’re using garden cucumbers, scoop out the seeds first. This will keep them from introducing too much liquid to your salad.
- Serving suggestions. You can serve this salad in butter lettuce leaves to make healthy lettuce wraps or stuff it into bell peppers for a colourful presentation.
How to Store
This is one of those glorious salads that tastes even better after a few days in the fridge! It will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
I don’t recommend freezing this recipe, as it will soften all those crispy, crunchy veggies and ruin the texture of your salad. If you’re looking for a quinoa recipe to freeze, try Vegan Fried Rice with Quinoa or Crispy Quinoa Patties.
Enjoy friends! If you make this vegan quinoa salad recipe, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love it if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!
15 Minute Quinoa Salad with Sesame Ginger Sauce
- 1 cup shelled and cooked edamame, 124g
- 1 cup diced cucumber, roughly 128g
- 1 cup sliced bell peppers, 100g
- 4 cups Bob’s Red Mill Organic Tri-Color Quinoa, cooked*
- 1 large shredded carrot or roughly 1 cup, 67g/1 cup
- 1 ½ cups chopped cabbage, 100g
Sesame Ginger Dressing
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 ½ tablespoons liquid aminos, or low sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon sesame seeds
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- Juice of two limes
Sesame Ginger Dressing
- Whisk all the ingredients together in a deep bowl until combined or shake together in a jar. Set aside until ready to use.
Asian Quinoa Salad
- Add all the ingredients together in a bowl.
Drizzle the sauce over the salad and mix everything in to combine.
Serve and enjoy!
Disclaimer: Although jessicainthekitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Jessicainthekitchen.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.
I never realized how hard you work every day. Thank you for letting us travel down your world. All your recipes are amazing and I’ve enjoyed making a lot of them. My husband and myself are not vegetarians (yet) but you are very inspiring. I plan to purchase your book as soon as I can. Your blog with your wedding picture was very profound and very emotional. God bless you both.
Thank you so much for your incredibly sweet comments!!! I hope you enjoy my ebook and thank you so much for supporting! God bless you too! <3 Thank you again!!
Quinoa salad is always a good idea, this asian version seems pretty good as well. Thanks!
I agree Sean! Thanks for your kind comment!
Hi! So the salad is in my backpack all ready for lunch, but I was wondering what would be the best time to add the dressing. Would that be in the morning when I make the salad or right before I am going to eat it?
Yesterday I discovered your website and I’m THRILLED! Already made two of your recipes and you’re making veganuary an absolute blast!
Hi Franka the best time to add the dressing is right before you’re ready to eat. We’re so glad that you enjoyed our recipes!
This dressing looks excellent! I might use fresh ginger juice instead of the dry ground, but the maple syrup is brilliant! Now I have to explore some more of your recipes…Thanks! Alia
Thank you so much Alia we are so glad you feel this way. Thank you for reading. We hope you enjoy!
Hi! Thanks for the awesome recipe. It looks delicious. Do you have the nutrition facts for this recipe?
Hi Lauren! We’re currently working on updating our recipes with nutritional information. But as soon as we have done this we will let you know. Thanks for reading!
Hi Jessica! Do you reccomend a specific brand of garam masala?
The first brand I used was Barida but I don’t see it anymore, right now I use Frontier Co-op! But any brand from a local Indian store should be amazing (that’s what I’m trying next). I hope that helps so much and that you enjoy!!
This was excellent.I served it as a side for steamed orange roughy with mushrooms and a Rombauer Chardonnary — the combo was perfect. The dressing is especially good – I want to use this dressing for a Chinese chicken salad next time.Yum yum yum.
We’re so happy that you like it Eric! The pairings that you’re using sound amazing as well. Thanks so much for reading and leaving such a nice review.
This recipe is so quick and tasty! I added your baked tofu to make it more of a meal for my work lunches. I was impressed with how well it kept in the fridge already dressed, it tasted just as fresh and delicious on the 3rd day as on the 1st!!
Thank you so much Kelly I loved the addition of our baked tofu! Thank you for leaving such a nice review!
BEST ASIAN QUIONA SALAD EVER <3 THANK you Jessica for all of your amazing work and recipes!
Oh wow! Thank you so much for the high praise! We’re happy that you’re happy.
Excellent! I made substitutions, but it was still great! I substituted Apple Cider vinegar for white, spinach for cabbage and increased to 2 cups, Turkish Black seeds for Sesame. I didn’t have the edamame either. I’ll definitely make it again! Using the undressed coleslaw mix with extra shredded carrots would make it even faster.