Quinoa Salad w/ Honey Mustard Dressing

Quinoa Salad Honey Mustard Dressing

A tasty quinoa salad is always a good thing to be able to whip up for any occasion – picnic, BBQ, potluck or simply dinner at home. I made this salad to take to a birthday party recently, and much to my relief everyone really enjoyed it 🙂

The sweet cranberries, tangy tomatoes, crunchy cucumber and red bell pepper, and the bite from the scallions made for a great combo in this salad!

Quinoa is a tasty, gluten-free grain with many health benefits. In particular, it is known to be a complete source of protein, supplying all nine essential amino acids (ref: WHFoods).

As with any salad, feel free to tailor the vegetables and their quantities to you what you like and what you have on hand, but be sure to include the cranberries, because they are so tasty! This is a great salad to make the day ahead.

Quinoa Salad w/ Honey Mustard Dressing

1 cup quinoa (soak overnight in warm water, then drain and rinse thoroughly)
1/2 medium cucumber (semi-peeled, quartered lengthwise and sliced)
1/2 cup cranberries
3/4 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
3-4 scallions, sliced
1 red pepper, seeds removed and diced
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Honey Mustard Dressing*:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice (I used meyer lemons)
3-4 cloves garlic
4 teaspoons prepared mustard (I used plain, but Dijon should also work)
4 teaspoons liquid honey

To cook the quinoa:
1. Add rinsed quinoa and 1 1/4 cups** filtered water into a pot.
2. Heat on high until it just starts to simmer.
3. Cover and turn down to lowest setting.
4. Cook for 20 minutes (do not lift lid while cooking).

To make the salad:
1. Allow the quinoa to cool completely.
2. Mix cooked quinoa and salad vegetables together in a bowl.
3. To make the dressing, add all ingredients into a small bowl and whisk together.
4. Add the dressing to the salad bit by bit (you may not need all of it) and mix well.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Place in the fridge to chill for an hour or so before serving. This salad can also be made a day ahead.

Notes:
*The dressing will taste very strong on its own, but the blandness of the grains will absorb much of the intensity so don’t worry!
**The soaking process means the quinoa grains have already absorbed a lot of water, so only 1 1/4 cups are needed to cook the quinoa. If you choose not to soak the quinoa first, then you may need more water.

Linking to: Summer Salad SundaysMonday Mania, Make Your Own Mondays, Inspire Me MondayMeatless MondaysHomestead BarnhopFat Tuesday, Traditional TuesdaysReal Food WednesdaysHealthy 2day WednesdaysWhole Food WednesdayAllergy Free WednesdaysPennywise Platter ThursdaysFight Back FridayFresh Bites FridayFriday Food FlicksFoodie FridaySouper Sundays @ Kahakai Kitchen

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27 Comment

  1. I love quinoa salad! I have not had it in quite a while. I think I need to buy some. I usually do a cilantro, lime, and avocado type salad with quinoa but I think I should branch out.

    1. Debbie says: Reply

      I like your cilantro, lime and avocado combo, that sounds really good too!

  2. That looks and sounds delicious! Can’t wait to make it.

    1. Debbie says: Reply

      Thanks Sue!

  3. Beautiful salad Debbie. The cranberries are a nice compliment to the mustard. I never soak my quinoa. Do you find this improves or changes the texture?

    1. Debbie says: Reply

      You know its been so long since I’ve cooked quinoa without soaking it first that I couldn’t say for sure! I cook it using the absorption method, and I’m still experimenting with water quantity and cooking time to get it just right. The soaking step means the grains have already absorbed some water and therefore need less water to cook in. Too much water and it can be a little gluggy!

  4. the salad sounds great but I really like your dressing recipe! 🙂

  5. Rogene says: Reply

    I love quinoa salad! Will have to give yours a try. The picture is beautiful.

  6. Yum! Will have to try this one. What an interesting combination. I’ve been making this one a lot and am thoroughly addicted to it: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/quinoa-salad-recipe/index.html

    1. Debbie says: Reply

      Hello!!! Good to hear from you! So many different yummy combos to choose from….I love making salads like this. I checked out the link you sent and it sounds delicious! I’ll have to try that one next time!

  7. Hi Debbi,
    What a great Salad, I just love this combination. Hope you have a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  8. I love how popular quinoa has become.. it is so tasty and unbelievably healthy.. Like the mustard dressing…great salad. Thanks for sharing this on foodie friday.

  9. I love a good quinoa salad–so satisfying! Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays.
    😉

  10. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! 🙂

  11. amber says: Reply

    Hi Debbie,

    What a great recipe! I’m such a fan of honey mustard dressing. I make a version with a cabbage/apple/sunflower seed salad…hoping to share that with you soon! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing with us on AFW! I always enjoy your creative recipes, Debbie.

    Have a great rest of your week.

    Hugs,
    –Amber

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