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This spring quinoa salad is the perfect way to kick off the season! It’s loaded with crisp asparagus, sweet peas, fresh herbs, and avocado all tossed together with a honey-lemon vinaigrette. Nourishing, easy to make, and perfect for meal prep!
Ingredients in spring quinoa salad
- Quinoa: For this spring quinoa salad recipe, you’ll need to cook your quinoa in advance. Allowing the quinoa to chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours also ensures that it stays fluffy and doesn’t wilt the other ingredients.
- Asparagus: Fresh asparagus is a spring staple and a key ingredient in this salad. Ensure that your asparagus is fresh by checking to make sure the stalks are firm and the tips are tightly closed.
- Peas: No spring salad would be complete without sweet peas! We like to keep it simple by thawing frozen peas, but feel free to use fresh, shelled peas. If you choose fresh, we recommend blanching then beforehand.
- Dill and mint: These herbs add even more springy freshness to the salad!
- Lemon vinaigrette: Keep it quick with this easy lemon vinaigrette. Made with freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, honey, and a touch of dijon mustard.
How to Make Spring Quinoa Salad
This spring quinoa salad is pretty simple to make. It does require a bit of prep work upfront, but the salad will taste just as good, if not better, for up to five days in the fridge, so you’ll be able to enjoy it all week.
- To make this spring quinoa salad recipe, start by cooking the quinoa and then putting it into your fridge to cool. This step keeps the quinoa fluffy and prevents it from wilting the herbs in the salad.
- The next step is blanching the asparagus. This method involves cooking the asparagus in salted boiling water for just a couple of minutes and then plunging it directly into an ice bath to halt the cooking process. This ensures that the asparagus becomes crisp and tender, not mushy. It also preserves that beautiful vibrant green color! Once the asparagus has been blanched, chop it into small pieces.
- To make the dressing, simply combine all the ingredients in a jar and shake it up to combine.
- When you’re ready to assemble the rest of the salad, place the cooked quinoa, asparagus, peas, chopped scallions, and herbs in a very large mixing bowl. Add the dressing and toss to combine.
- The last, but very important, step is to season with salt and pepper. Don’t shy away from seasoning, it really helps bring out the other flavors!
What to Serve with Spring Quinoa Salad
We recommend serving this spring quinoa salad with some ripe avocado and toasted almonds for a little crunch. Toasted seeds would also work for a nut-free option.
If you’re looking to make this salad a main meal, try adding in a can of drained chickpeas, white beans, or fava beans. Grilled proteins such as steak, chicken, or salmon would also make for a delicious dinner!
Also, make sure to try our favorite kale salad!
Tips and Substitutions
- This spring quinoa salad recipe is naturally vegetarian but can be easily made vegan by substituting maple syrup for honey in the dressing.
- If you’re not a fan of quinoa, try swapping in another whole grain, such as cooked farro, barley, or buckwheat. You could even make it a pasta salad and add your favorite short-cut pasta.
- In terms of measurements, the recommendations in this recipe are pretty forgiving. Don’t like peas? Swap them out for another fresh spring vegetable. Feel free to adjust until you find a combo that you love!
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 ¾ cups water
- 1 small bunch asparagus (trimmed)
- 3 scallions (finely chopped)
- 1 cup shelled peas (fresh or thawed from frozen)
- ¼ cup fresh dill (chopped)
- ¼ cup fresh mint (chopped)
- Avocado and toasted almonds (to serve)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- Zest from 1 unwaxed lemon
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- Kosher salt (to taste)
- Combine the quinoa and water in a medium-sized pot and bring the pot to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit, covered for another 10 minutes. Transfer the cooked quinoa to a wide, shallow bowl and put it into your fridge to cool completely.1 cup quinoa, 1 ¾ cups water
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and place a bowl of ice water next to the stove. Add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes or until just tender. Quickly transfer the asparagus to the ice water to halt the cooking process. Once cooled, remove and slice into 1-inch pieces.1 small bunch asparagus
- To make the dressing, add all ingredients to a jar and shake to combine.¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, Zest from 1 unwaxed lemon, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, Kosher salt
- To assemble the salad, toss the quinoa, blanched asparagus, scallions, peas, dill, and mint in a large mixing bowl. Add the dressing and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.3 scallions, 1 cup shelled peas, ¼ cup fresh mint, ¼ cup fresh dill
- Serve the salad chilled or at room temperature with sliced avocado and a handful of toasted almonds.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.