This Spring Quinoa Salad is filled with fresh spring produce and topped with a zippy lemon dressing! It’s perfect for a light lunch or side dish.
After a long winter, spring always gets me in the mood for fresh green veggies! This Spring Quinoa Salad contains a few of my favorites: asparagus, watercress and sugar snap peas. I then toss this quinoa salad with a zippy lemon dressing and it becomes the perfect way to welcome spring.
Spring Quinoa Salad Ingredients and Substitutions
- Quinoa – I love making quinoa salads because quinoa is nutritious and cooks up quickly and easily. You could sub really any other grain for quinoa though: rice, farro, barley, wheat berries or even couscous!
- Asparagus – I love eating asparagus when it’s in season! I prefer to use asparagus that is pretty thin, no larger than my pinky finger.
- Watercress – If you’re not familiar, watercress is a peppery green that is really good for you! If you can’t find watercress you could use arugula or baby spinach or kale.
- Sugar Snap Peas – Sugar snap peas are sweet and crunchy and go perfectly in this quinoa salad. You could also use regular sweet peas that you can buy frozen and heat in the skillet.
- Shallot – When you thinly slice and sauté shallots they add a nice sweetness to the salad. You could also use regular onion if you can’t find shallot.
- Lemon Dressing – I love making easy homemade dressings for my salads! This dressing is made using olive oil, lemon juice and zest, dijon mustard and salt.
How To Make This Spring Quinoa Salad Recipe
There are just a few steps in making this fresh and delicious Spring Quinoa Salad:
- I like to make my quinoa first because I like to let it sit covered on the stove for a bit after it’s finished cooking. Cook your quinoa, or other grain, according to package directions and then let sit until you’re ready to use it.
- Blaching the veggies: blanching is a cooking technique where you dump your vegetables into boiling water for a minute or two and then immediately put them into ice water. This allows them to keep their bright green color. After you blanche them you will sauté them with some garlic, shallot and olive oil until tender.
- Make your dressing: this dressing is SO easy to make! All you do is add the ingredients to a small bowl and mix until combined.
- Make your salad: to a large bowl, add the quinoa, cooked veggie mixture, watercress and dressing. Mix until combined and you have yourself a delicious and refreshing quinoa salad!
Optional Additions To Your Quinoa Salad
This salad is great the way it is, but if you want to add some extra yum, here are a few suggestions:
- Chickpeas – These will add some protein and nice flavor!
- Toasted Nuts – Any kind of nut would work, I would probably add sliced almonds, walnuts or pine nuts.
- Feta Cheese – You could add either regular feta cheese or vegan feta cheese. Shaved parmesan would be great too.
- Extra Veggies – Avocado, radishes, green onion, carrots, etc…
- Fresh Herbs – Any fresh herbs would be great! I would probably use basil or mint.
Quinoa Salad Frequently Asked Questions
- How long does this keep in the refrigerator? I would suggest up to 4 days.
- Should I serve this warm or cold? Either is great! You can eat it right away or refrigerate until you’re ready to eat.
- Can I use different vegetables? Absolutely!
- How can I add protein to this spring quinoa salad? I would recommend adding chickpeas and feta cheese (if not vegan).
- Can I use a grain other than quinoa? Yes! Use whatever grain you like.
Have a question that I didn’t answer? Ask in the comment section below and I will get back to you ASAP!
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