Thai Quinoa Salad with Peanut Dressing Recipe

Yields: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes (for quinoa)


For the Salad:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup shelled edamame (frozen, then thawed)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

For the Peanut Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for a little heat)


Cook the quinoa:

  • Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a fine-mesh sieve.
  • Combine quinoa and water (or broth) in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool slightly.

Make the dressing:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey (or maple syrup), sesame oil, ginger, lime juice, and red pepper flakes (if using).
  • You may need to thin it slightly with a tablespoon or two of water to make it pourable.

Assemble the salad:

  • In a large bowl, combine the cooled quinoa, red cabbage, carrots, red bell pepper, edamame, cilantro, and green onions.

Dress and serve:

  • Pour the peanut dressing over the salad and toss to coat evenly.
  • Garnish with chopped peanuts and additional cilantro, if desired.
  • Serve immediately or chill for later.

Tips & Customizations:

  • Veggie variations: Add other veggies like cucumber, snap peas, broccoli florets, or thinly sliced radishes.
  • Protein boost: Include cooked shrimp, chicken, or tofu for added protein.
  • Spice it up: Increase the amount of red pepper flakes or add a drizzle of sriracha sauce.
  • Make it ahead: Both the dressing and cooked quinoa can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator, making this a perfect meal prep option.

Enjoy your refreshing and flavorful Thai Quinoa Salad!


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