Simple to make, but complex in flavor and full of protein, this simple quinoa side salad will become your go-to recipe for leftover quinoa. It’s the perfect addition to your dinner, or a filling, healthy lunch!
This simple quinoa side salad is a tasty and healthy addition to any meal. Savory spinach and peppery arugula make up the base of the salad. Top it with craisins for sweetness, sunflower seeds for crunch, shallot for a little bite, and chewy quinoa for a flavorful, and filling dish! I like to serve this salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette.
This side salad is my favorite recipe to make with leftover quinoa. I always seem to make more quinoa than I need for one meal, just like I do with rice. But that actually works in my favor since I love this salad! If you haven’t made quinoa before, it’s really easy, you can find the instructions here.
I found a premixed combination of baby spinach and arugula that I really like, but use whatever kind of lettuce you have. You can also use leftover brown or wild rice in place of the quinoa. Maybe I should have called this the leftovers salad? It’s just too pretty for that name though.
I like to use shallot for this recipe because it’s got a nice, mild onion flavor that doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the ingredients.
If you don’t have any leftover, you can make the quinoa earlier in the day, or the day before. You don’t want to add hot quinoa to the salad, but room temperature is fine. Adding the quinoa not only adds interest and lots of protein, but also substance.
Once you’ve got your quinoa ready to go, all you need to do is chop your shallot, then layer everything into a serving bowl.
I make this as a side salad to go with dinner, but it’s also a perfect light lunch. It’s also nice to have a simple vegetarian option like this when you have company over.
If you’d like to make this a main dish salad, it’s also delicious with cubed feta cheese, grilled chicken or shrimp!Print
Simple Quinoa Side Salad
Simple to make, but complex in flavor and full of protein. A great addition to your dinner, or a healthy lunch!
- Yield: 8 cups
- 6 cups lettuce, I used a combination of butter lettuce, spinach and arugula
- 1 cup cooked quinoa, any color you like, I used red. Quinoa should be cold or room temperature.
- 2 tablespoons finely diced shallot
- 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
- 2-3 tablespoons roasted, salted sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette, or more to taste
- Layer all the ingredients in your serving bowl.
- Serve with balsamic vinaigrette. Enjoy!
You could also add some cubed feta cheese.