Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Peanut Ginger Sauce

By Jessica Hylton -

This Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad takes only 15 minutes and is a colourful vegan meal perfect for a light lunch or dinner! Loaded with Thai inspired ingredients and dressed with a divine peanut ginger sauce, it’s crunchy, packed with protein, and full of flavour.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

cashew Thai quinoa salad in a bowl with salad servers

This crunchy, incredibly flavourful full vegan salad is perfect for dinner but is also completely fuss-free for lunch. HELLO, perfection in a bowl!

Now, how about we get into this total dreamy rainbow effect of a salad?

Based on my Fresh Spring Rolls, I eliminated the wraps and noodles to make this quick meal. I switched up the lettuce for kale (so yummy and curly), added crunchy cashews, and plenty of quinoa for protein. This salad will leave you full and completely satisfied.

And can we talk about this peanut ginger dressing? It’s honestly the best sauce/dressing, one I would totally order over and over at any restaurant, and one I want to put on every single salad, forever. It also stores perfectly and is the perfect complement to this beautiful salad.

Notes on the Ingredients

ingredients for cashew Thai quinoa salad

For the salad:

Carrot – I like some sliced raw carrots in my salad for a bit of extra crunch and sweetness.

Quinoa – So protein-packed, quinoa makes this salad filling and super healthy. You can use pre-cooked quinoa or even frozen if you don’t want to make fresh. I like to pop my cooked quinoa in the fridge after cooking so that it’s cool when I make my salad.

Red cabbage – A bit earthier than green cabbage, red cabbage also gives a pop of colour to the salad.

Red and green bell peppers – While it may be surprising, red and green bell peppers are actually the same vegetable! A green bell pepper is at its least ripe and has more of a bite to it. Red bell peppers are the ripest (with yellow and orange in between) and more sweet. The combination of both gives this quinoa salad more complex flavour.

Kale – I used kale for this salad, but you could also use lettuce or uncooked spinach.

Cashews – The rich, nutty flavour of cashews pairs perfectly with the vegetables and the peanut ginger dressing.

Lime – I like to finish off my salad with a squeeze of fresh lime for a bit of citrusy brightness.

ingredients for peanut ginger dressing

For the dressing:

Ground ginger – The combination of warm, aromatic ginger with sweet, nutty peanut butter is absolutely to die for.

Maple syrup – Maple syrup sweetens the dressing naturally.

Soy Sauce/Tamari/Liquid Aminos – Tamari is similar to soy sauce but is gluten-free. It gives the same umami flavour but is a bit less salty tasting. You can also use liquid aminos or low sodium soy sauce.

Distilled white vinegar – For a bit of tang and balancing out in flavours.

Sesame seeds – I like sesame seeds for a little crunchy texture in my dressing.

Natural peanut butter – Natural peanut butter is typically made only of peanuts and salt, and the simplicity works will with the additional ingredients.

Red pepper flakes – Just a tiny bit of heat tops off the dressing.

How To Make Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad

peanut ginger dressing mixed together

Whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a deep bowl until combined. Set aside until ready to use.

salad ingredients mixed together with dressing beside it

In a separate bowl, mix together all the salad ingredients. Squeeze half a lime over it if desired to add a touch of brightness.

pouring dressing over salad ingredients

Drizzle the sauce over the salad and mix everything in to combine. Serve and enjoy!

Expert Tips and FAQ

cashew Thai quinoa salad shared out into two bowls with forks in them

  • You can store your Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad in a Tupperware container in the fridge for 5 days. The dressing can be stored in the fridge and covered or in a small mason jar. Stir before using or bring to room temperature for 20 minutes since it may thicken a bit in the fridge.
  • If you are on a gluten-free diet, make sure your tamari is wheat-free. Most brands are, but occasionally gluten is an ingredient.
  • You can always switch up the ingredients of the salad based on what you have in the fridge or pantry. Try adding other veggies, like chopped celery or edamame, or change up the cashews for slivered almonds or peanuts.

Enjoy friends! If you make this Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Peanut Ginger Sauce, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!

cashew Thai quinoa salad in a bowl with salad servers

Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Peanut Ginger Sauce

This Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad takes only 15 minutes and is a colourful vegan meal perfect for a light lunch or dinner! Loaded with Thai inspired ingredients and dressed with a divine peanut ginger sauce, it's crunchy, packed with protein, and full of flavour.
by: Jessica in the Kitchen
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Course Dinner, Lunch, Salads
Cuisine Thai
Ingredients

Thai Quinoa Salad:

  • 1 large carrot julienned
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 3 cups sliced Red Cabbage (200g)
  • 1 cup chopped Red bell pepper (104g)
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper (104g)
  • 2 cups kale removed from stems, washed, dried and chopped
  • 1/4 cup cashews chopped
  • 1/2 small lime

Peanut Ginger Sauce:

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or liquid aminos or (gluten-free if needed) low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Instructions

Instructions

Peanut Ginger Sauce

  • Whisk all the ingredients together in a deep bowl until combined. Set aside until ready to use.

Thai Quinoa Salad

  • Add all the ingredients together in a bowl. Squeeze half a lime over it if desired to add a touch of brightness.
  • Drizzle the sauce over the salad and mix everything in to combine.
  • Serve and enjoy!
NOTES
You can store your Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad in a Tupperware container in the fridge for 5 days. The dressing can be stored in the fridge and covered or in a small mason jar. Stir before using or bring to room temperature for 20 minutes since it may thicken a bit in the fridge.
If you are on a gluten-free diet, make sure your tamari is wheat-free. Most brands are, but occasionally gluten is an ingredient.
You can always switch up the ingredients of the salad based on what you have in the fridge or pantry. Try adding other veggies, like chopped celery or edamame, or change up the cashews for slivered almonds or peanuts.

Nutrition

Calories: 193kcal | Carbohydrates: 21.7g | Protein: 8.2g | Fat: 9.2g | Sodium: 312mg | Sugar: 6g
by Jessica
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Recipe Rating




95 comments

  1. Ken says:

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I made this today and it turned out great. It’s good to find nutritious, vegan recipes like this, especially when trying to save money on meals. No need to buy food between classes when I have delicious food like this packed!

    • Jessica says:

      Hey Ken,

      So happy to hear this!!! Thanks for your feedback – you’re so welcome!!

  2. EDWARD JOHN says:

    THIS RECIPE IS SOOOOO AWESOME. ONE QUESTION, I AM HAVING 8 PEOPLE OVER FOR A LIGHT LUNCH. HOW MUCH SHOULD I PREPARE? DOUBLE THE RECIPE? THANKS.

  3. Andie says:

    This is excellent! I made it with the peanut butter sauce.I really love all your recipes. I enjoy trying them and they are ingredients that I usually have on hand or can easily find. Thank you so much for this wonderful selection of recipes.

  4. Nicole says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! My husband and I both enjoyed it, and I have printed it out to make sure I never lose it!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Nicole,

      I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you so much for your feedback and you’re so welcome!!

  5. Michelle says:

    Is there something that would be a yummy substitute for the peanut butter? What other nut butter would be best in your opinion?

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Our personal favourite switch is almond butter! Cashew butter works in a pinch as well!

  6. Little says:

    It is one of my favorite now! Thank you for sharing this. Tastes great! and I am Thai 😉

    • Jessica says:

      Aww I’m so happy to hear that Little!! Thanks so much for sharing and you’re so welcome!!

  7. Crystal says:

    How many servings is this recipe?

  8. Mary Ann says:

    I made this for dinner last night. Added chunks of grilled chicken!! A must try. Dressing was awesome. Amazing recipe.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Mary Ann. We’re so glad you enjoyed this recipe! Thank you for the kind words!

  9. Kim says:

    Hi!

    Do you think almond butter would work ok as a sub for peanut butter?

    Thanks!

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Kim! We’ve never used almond butter in this recipe so we can’t guarantee that it would work. It does sound as if it could work though so tell us how it turns out if you try it! Thanks for commenting!

  10. Bernadette Morrissey says:

    Have made this before … making it again for tonight. Delicious!

    • Jessica says:

      I’m so happy to hear that Bernadette! Thanks for letting me know!!

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