Make Ahead Vegan Quinoa Salad Recipe

Are you looking for an easy, but healthy dish to make?

This vegan quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) salad is the perfect recipe! It’s packed with veggies and protein, and the best part is that both meat eaters and full-fledged vegans alike can enjoy this dish.

A great thing about this quinoa salad is that it’s served cold, so you can make it the day before, and store it in the refrigerator. It transports easily, so it’s great for potlucks, picnics, or work lunches.

You’ll notice that all the ingredients in this salad are gluten free and dairy free which makes it a great “allergy friendly” option. Beyond that, this quinoa salad recipe is loaded with Superfoods like cucumber, tomato and of course, quinoa.

There are three main kinds of quinoa: red, white, and black. The tricolor quinoa that this salad calls for is a mixture of the three. If you haven’t cooked with quinoa before, I would highly recommend trying this recipe since it’s so simple.

Whenever cooking quinoa, keep in mind that you want a two to one ratio of water to dry quinoa.

Everything else is pretty much up to interpretation!


  • 2 cups tricolor quinoa
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 whole English cucumber
  • 2 yellow bell peppers
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • ½ cup avocado oil
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Pepper

Serving size: ½ cup
Recipe yields: 8 servings


-Bring 4 cups of water and 2 cups of tricolor quinoa to a simmer in a medium-sized pot. Stir occasionally. When all water has been absorbed by quinoa, turn the pot off. Transfer quinoa to heat-safe bowl.
-Add salt, pepper, avocado oil and the juice of 3 lemons. Stir well and allow quinoa to cool.
-While quinoa is cooling, cut the English cucumber into thin slices, then quarter the slices for bite-sized pieces. Dice up the bell peppers and cut the cherry tomatoes into halves.
-Once quinoa has cooled entirely, add the vegetables and stir without crushing the vegetables.
-Adding fresh herbs like mint really give the salad an extra level of flavor!

Mix It Up

The great thing about this quinoa salad recipe is that the possibilities are really endless. You can play around with flavors to create your own version of the recipe, and alter it to fit different dietary restrictions.

  • Not a fan of the vegetables we added? It’s easy enough to substitute them for ones that you’ll enjoy eating.
  • You can never have too much protein! Chickpeas are a great vegan source for added protein.
  • And you can also change up the dressing for the salad. Instead of using lemon juice, maybe try balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

If you’re not concerned with keeping the recipe totally vegan-friendly…

  • A great add-in is feta cheese.
  • Try using chicken or beef stock to cook the quinoa. This will add a whole new layer of flavor as the stock will cook into the quinoa as it fluffs up.
  • The tang of the lemon brightens up the salad, which goes great with savory chicken.

Part of the reason quinoa makes such a great base for cold salads is that it is filling and doesn’t have much of a flavor, so it lends itself to the ingredients you choose to add.

The best part of cooking is taste testing, so if you’re changing up the add-ins or adding different herbs and spices, be sure to taste as you go along!

What Makes Quinoa a Superfood

Quinoa is a seed that is consumed much like a grain would be. Gluten free and high in protein, quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids. Plus, it contains beneficial antioxidants and is high in fiber, B vitamins, calcium, and vitamin E.

Instead of being primarily composed of starch, quinoa is essentially a protein, but it is disguised as a starch. You almost trick your body into thinking that you’re eating a starch, which makes quinoa salads a great alternative to starchy pasta salads.

Which one of your favorite vegetables are going to add to this quinoa salad recipe? We’d love to hear how you made this recipe your own!

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