Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing

I have a healthy obsession with quinoa.Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing | Hugs ‘n Kitchen

I found this recipe from Ambitious Kitchen a few weeks ago and the second I read the list of ingredients I knew it was going to be delicious.  I went to the market, bought all of the ingredients and made it that night.

This salad is full of beautiful colors and bursting with incredible flavors from the ginger peanut dressing.

Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing | Hugs ‘n KitchenThai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing | Hugs ‘n Kitchen

Even more wonderful, is that it comes together SO QUICKLY.  (Like less than 30 minutes type of quick!)  My mouth is watering just looking at these pictures and thinking about how satisfying this salad is.

Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing | Hugs ‘n Kitchen

The dressing is really what makes this dish.  The peanut and ginger combination blend together perfectly, and the soy sauce adds great depth of flavor.  I think this dressing would be fabulous over a lettuce-based salad, too.  Or mixed in with some rice noodles, shrimp and veggies!  I can’t wait to experiment more with the possibilities.

You could add in your favorite Thai or Asian inspired toppings to this salad, and omit any from the ingredient list that don’t appeal to you.  Monique’s original recipe was vegetarian, and the first time I made this we enjoyed it sans-meat.  But the second time I decided to add some grilled chicken on top, and it was spectacular.  You really can’t go wrong!

Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing | Hugs ‘n Kitchen

The first time I made this with halved cashews, and the second time I used peanuts.  You could use whatever you have in your pantry or whatever your favorite nut happens to be.

Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing | Hugs ‘n KitchenThai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing | Hugs ‘n KitchenThai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing | Hugs ‘n Kitchen

My favorite way to enjoy this quinoa salad is room temperature right after I finish mixing everything together.  But I also scooped some leftovers over a big bowl of  kale with grilled chicken for lunch the next day and it was really yummy cold, too.

Don’t forget to squirt some fresh lime juice on top for good measure, and drizzle with extra dressing before you serve!

Hugs, kisses + yummy dishes… xoxo
Lauren

Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing

  • Total Time: 25 minutes

    Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup scallions, diced
  • 1/2 cup cashews or peanuts, halved
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 4 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 lime, cut into wedges (for garnish)
  • 6 Tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons agave nectar (or honey)
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • (optional) grilled chicken

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, cook quinoa according to package instructions.  (I combine 3/4 cups of quinoa with 1 1/2 cups of water and a sprinkle of salt.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes until all water has dissolved.  Fluff with a fork.)
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing.  Soften the peanut butter and agave nectar (so you’re able to stir them easily into the dressing) by heating them in a microwave-safe bowl for 20 seconds on high power.
  3. Stir in the ginger, lime juice, gluten-free soy sauce, red wine vinegar, sesame oil and olive oil until the dressing is blended and smooth.  If you want the dressing to be thinner you can add in a sprinkle of water or a little extra vinegar or soy sauce.
  4. Once the quinoa is finished cooking, pour it into a large mixing bowl.  Add in half of the dressing and stir until the quinoa is evenly coated.
  5. Mix in the cabbage, bell pepper, onion, carrots, cilantro and scallions.  Stir until combined and add as much extra dressing as you’d like.  I like to keep some on the side to drizzle on top, too!
  6. Garnish with lime wedges.
  7. Serve and enjoy!  (We had some tortilla chips on the side (and crushed on top) for a little extra crunch!  You can also make this in advance and serve chilled the next day.)

Recipe adapted ever so slightly from Ambitious Kitchen.

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