Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad

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Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
45 mins

This Gluten Free Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad tossed with a Light Sesame Dressing is the perfect side dish or lunch during the week!

Top view of Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad in a bowl with utensils

This Gluten Free Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad is loaded with veggies then tossed with a Light Sesame Dressing. It’s high in protein, fiber and flavor and guaranteed to become a favorite around your house! The perfect side to bring to that next party!

This weekend I have a little getaway. I’m going to the Austin Food & Wine Festival with one of my close friends and I cannot wait! Even though I’m super excited to get away and be me again (not momma), I’m also kinda freaking out.

There are so many more things to think about when you leave a baby for a weekend.

Top view of three bowls of Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad with utensils

Mike is staying home with the kids which gives me peace of mind, but I still have a lot of things to line out before I leave. This weekend alone Cason has soccer practice Friday night, a game Saturday  morning, then a birthday party for my nephew who turns one and then church the following morning. Mike will have to cart the kids around to all of that, by himself! Which translates to me needing to have the laundry done, birthday present purchased and wrapped and then dinners lined out so they can eat!

Although if worse comes to worse, Mike makes a mean breakfast burrito and bowl of mac & cheese. 🙂 And that’s just stuff I need to do on the house front. I need to pack myself and think about pumping.

Colorful vegetable ingredients for Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad in a mixing bowl

I’m not quite sure how that’s going to work yet. But I’ll figure it out. I’m only pumping 4-5 times a day anyways but I’ll have to pump while we’re out and about at the food tents and cooking demos.

I just bought one of those hands free breast pumps that is small enough to keep in a tote bag. So I’ll probably just stuff it in my purse and have to pump and dump. Cuz I’ll be trying all the foods & wines yo!  Luckily I produce enough milk that my freezer is completely stocked so I’m covered in that department, I’ll just have to replenish a little bit when I get home. #milkfordays

Top view of Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad in a bowl

Ok, enough about that. Let’s talk about this Thai Quinoa Salad, shall we?

If you can’t tell yet, my mind and my recipes are already shifting towards all things spring and summer. I know some of you are still dealing with snow. But let’s be honest, it’s weird … you should be dealing with spring flowers not shoveling. I use to live in Wisconsin so I can say that, it’s definitely not a normal thing to have snow in April. Hopefully these recipes will warm you up and usher in that warmer weather. Because as I’m writing this post, I’m sitting in my garage in shorts and flip flops in 80 degree weather watching my son ride his new Razor Scooter. Ahhhh….

Which on a side note, those things are no joke. I totally injured myself riding that thing last week when I went to pick Cason up from school. I rode it up to the school and hopped off for a second to say hi to one of the moms and the scooter swung around and gashed my ankle. Annoying!

Top view of Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon

Ok, back to the point. Sorry, today I feel like my mind is all over the place.

I’m really trying to get you guys set for those Summer BBQ’s and poolside parties. This Thai Quinoa Salad is light, refreshing, filled with all kinds of veggies and tossed with a light sesame vinaigrette. I know you’re going to love it. It was great to have this on hand in the refrigerator because all I had to do was make a protein and we had dinner.

In fact, I ate this with my Honey Mustard Baked Salmon the other day and it was divine!

Make this salad for meals during the week or bring it as a side to your next party. It’s perfect!

Bon Appetit friends and happy eating!

Top view of Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad in a bowl with utensils


Thai Quinoa Salad

  • Author: Krista @
  • prep_time Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • cook_time Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • total_time Total Time: 45 minutes
  • category Category: Salad
  • method Method: Mix
  • cuisine Cuisine: Asian



For the Salad:

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, diced
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • 1 cup of english cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 cup edamame

Spicy Sesame Dressing:

  • 6 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons tamari sauce
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • ⅔ cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoon sriracha sauce
  • 2 teaspoon honey


  1. Add quinoa and water to a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cover. Cook for 15 minutes or until the liquid is gone.
  2. Remove the quinoa from the heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Then fluff with a fork and add to a large serving bowl.
  3. To the serving bowl with quinoa, add red pepper, yellow pepper, green onions, cucumber, red cabbage, carrots, cilantro, peanuts (or cashews) and edamame. Set aside.
  4. To a small bowl, add toasted sesame oil, avocado oil, lime juice, tamari, rice wine vinegar, cilantro, ground ginger, minced garlic, sriracha and honey. Whisk the mixture until smooth and combined.
  5. Pour over the quinoa salad when you are ready to serve. Toss the salad to everything is coated in the dressing and combined.
  6. Serve.


Want More Healthy Summer Side Dishes?

Grilled Corn Salad with Jalapeno Dressing

The BEST Summer Fruit Salad

Lightened Broccoli Salad

Creamy Springtime Farro Salad

Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad recipe collage



Hey There

Hi! I'm the recipe developer and food photographer behind all these easy healthy recipes! I love food, Jesus, morning lattes, and am obsessed with fantasy football!

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15 Responses
  1. carol

    is this to be served hot or cold?? i thought since it said ‘salad’ it was a cold side, but no mention of putting it in the frig before serving? Please advise?

    1. Krista

      You can serve it either. I like it lukewarm. But I’ve had it warm when the quinoa is just finished cooking or the next day cold after sitting in the fridge. That’s the beauty of this salad. 🙂

  2. Cynthia

    I make a lot of quinoa salads and this is my least favorite. The toasted sesame oil is overpowering and if made ahead of time the moisture released from the cucumbers causes the salad to be a runny mess. I wanted to love this recipe, but will not make it again.

    1. Krista

      Yes, this definitely makes quite a bit. I like to serve this during the summer for a crowd. If you are making it during the week and found it to be too much, maybe half the recipe and save the cucumbers for the end. However, I like to keep the cucumbers because the sauce really soaks in and brings out lots of flavor!

  3. Karin

    this is a great recipe! my kids love it! The only thing is that prep time takes me WAY longer than 15 minutes, but other than that, great meal! Thank you

    1. Krista

      Yes. If you’re going to do that I wouldn’t put the cashews or peanuts in though because those tend to lose their crunch.

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