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This Spicy Peanut Quinoa salad has a rainbow of crunchy veggies and a luxurious Thai Peanut inspired dressing. It is vegan with gluten free options, and holds up well for several days, making it great for meal prep or bringing to a party or BBQ.

This post was originally posted on 9/11/2015. It was updated with new photos and text on 9/30/2022.

I am updating some of my oldest posts, including this Peanut Quinoa Salad from way back in 2015. I’ve been making this recipe for even longer, and it has long been one of my favorite healthy meal prep recipes. The Peanut dressing was the inspiration for my popular Thai Peanut Sauce.

How to make Quinoa

One very important thing to do when cooking quinoa is to always rinse it first. Add the quinoa to a fine mesh strainer, and rinse until water runs clear.

Although you can follow package instructions to cook quinoa, I really like this method from Cookie and Katie.

After rinsing, add 1 part quinoa and 2 parts water to a pan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10-20 minutes, until water is absorbed.

Remove from heat and cover, allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with a fork.

Peanut Dressing for Quinoa Salad

I’ve been making versions of this peanut dressing for years, and ultimately it led to my Thai Peanut Sauce recipe. This version is a little different, including some fresh basil that really makes the flavors pop. The basil is optional, but use it if you’ve got it.

Ingredients for Peanut Dressing

Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until blended. You can make this without the food processor if you leave out the basil. Just whisk everything together, and then chop the basil and add it to the salad.

How to make Spicy Peanut Quinoa Salad

  • Add cooked quinoa, cabbage, bell pepper, green onions and carrots to a large bowl, toss to combine.
  • Add peanut sauce to other ingredients and stir until everything is coated in sauce.
  • Taste and add salt if needed.
  • Allow to sit for at least an hour before serving to allow flavors to meld. Can be served cold or at room temperature.

How to store Spicy Peanut Quinoa Salad

This Quinoa Salad keeps very well in the fridge. It makes an excellent meal prep option, because the vegetables used are sturdy and don’t get soggy very quickly. I find it tastes best for about three days.

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Spicy Peanut Quinoa Salad

Prep 20 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 40 minutes
Servings 6 Servings
This easy Spicy Peanut Quinoa Salad is vegan and gluten free and makes a healthy meal or side dish.

Ingredients 

For The Salad:

  • 1 cup quinoa uncooked
  • 2 cups purple cabbage finely sliced (I usually use 1/4-1/3 of a head of cabbage)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper finely sliced
  • 4 green onions finely sliced
  • 2 carrots grated or julienned.
  • salt to taste
  • spicy peanut sauce see below

For The Sauce:

Instructions 

  • Cook quinoa according to package instructions.
  • Combine all ingredients for peanut sauce in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Add cooked quinoa, cabbage, bell pepper, green onions and carrots to a large bowl, toss to combine.
  • Add peanut sauce to other ingredients and stir until everything is coated in sauce.
  • Taste and add salt if needed.
  • Allow to sit for at least an hour before serving to allow flavors to meld. Can be served cold or at room temperature.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Notes

*If gluten free, be sure to use gluten free soy sauce!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 296kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 520mg | Potassium: 518mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 4330IU | Vitamin C: 34.4mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 2.5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salads
Cuisine: American
Did you like this recipe?Please comment, rate and share! And don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @foxandbriar AND #foxandbriar so I can see what you made!

Hello! I’m Meghan.

I am so glad that you are here! I am the recipe developer, photographer, and writer here at my blog Fox and Briar. I am a passionate, self-taught home cook and believe that most things are better homemade and that good food doesn’t need to be complicated.

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