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. Kelly says:

    This is a delicious salad! I’ve made it 3 or 4 times now. It’s the perfect salad to make at the start of the week so we have a few days of lunches! Thanks for sharing

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Wow we love this feedback Kelly! Thank you for trying it and then even commenting on it!

  2. Bev says:

    Great tasty salad. Hated the dressing so made one with peanut butter, maple syrup, liquid aminos, ginger and crushed pepper. Very yummy

  3. Dana says:

    Love this salad. So easy to. put together, flavourful, and the cashew adds a nice crunch

  4. Maddy says:

    Amazing salad! I added whole snap peas into it too which added a great crunch

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Maddy! Snap peas sound like an amazing addition. Thanks for your kind words and thank you for reading!

  5. Molly says:

    This salad looks wonderful. Sadly, I need to stay away from night shades like green and red peppers. Do you recommend other vegetables to substitute instead? Thanks, Molly

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Molly Thanks so much for reading! Hmmm… As a suggestion I would use zucchini to mimic the same crunch of the bell peppers. I hope this helps!

  6. Shantel says:

    Looks yummy! I’m going to try!

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Awesome Shantel! We hope that you enjoy the recipe! thank you for reading!

  7. Chaitanya says:

    Hello,
    This looks amazing. Wanting to make this week. I’m confused by the 2 cups cooked quinoa. Do I measure the 2 cups dry or or do I measure 2 cups already cooked quinoa? Thanks!

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Chaitanya! Thanks so much for reading. You would have to measure out 2 cups of quinoa already cooked. I hope this helps!

  8. Eloise says:

    5 stars
    I love this recipe so much, it’s perfect for taking to work during the week. Healthy and delicious as usual. I definitely recommend!!

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      We’re happy that you love the recipe, Eloise! Thanks for the recommendation.

  9. Anya says:

    5 stars
    Delicious salad! I would like the dressing to have a little more spice just because I like my thai food to have a kick;) so I added siracha on top of mine. Also I added some grated fresh garlic to the dressing, and to the salad I added shelled edamame, julienned cucumber, and sliced scallions. It turned out so good and it was such a perfect dinner on a summer evening.

  10. Andrea Yager says:

    I love this recipe. It has become my new recipe when i want to eat healthy and show off a bit 🙂

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