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Nutty Rainbow Veggie Quinoa Crunch Salad
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5 from 2 votes

Nutty Rainbow Veggie Quinoa Crunch Salad

This nutty rainbow veggie quinoa crunch salad (say that 10 times fast) packs an eye-popping punch of nourishing veggies. Boasting both high protein and fiber counts, it's a light summer lunch that satisfies in a big way.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Salad
Keyword: gluten-free, plant-based, vegan
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Ashley Melillo | Blissful Basil


Rainbow Veggie Quinoa Crunch Salad

  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa (white or red)
  • 3 ½ cups filtered water
  • 2 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 8 ounces mini bell peppers or regular bell peppers, cored and julienned
  • 3 to 5 cups finely shredded red or green cabbage (or a mix of both), to taste
  • 4 to 6 scallions, ends trimmed and thinly sliced, to taste
  • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced (optional for a kick)
  • ½ cup packed cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • ⅓ to ⅔ cup chopped roasted peanuts or whole roasted sunflower kernals, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Nutty Sesame Dressing

  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower butter, or tahini
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup


For the Quinoa

  • Thoroughly rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve or colander.
  • Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the quinoa, return to a boil, and cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, uncovered, or until the quinoa has absorbed most of the water, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from the heat, fluff with a fork, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes.
  • While the quinoa cooks, prepare the veggies and other quinoa add-ins.
  • Transfer the cooked quinoa to a large bowl and stir in the edamame, peppers, cabbage, scallions, cilantro, peanuts/sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds. Set aside.

For the Dressing

  • Whisk together the nut/seed butter, vinegar, tamari, sesame oil, and maple syrup.

To Assemble

  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more tamari, vinegar, maple, etc. if desired. (I leave the salad as is but serve my portion/s with a few more splashes of rice vinegar over top—loving that vinegary tang at the moment.)
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.