Colorful, crunchy Thai-inspired Quinoa Salad tossed in the most amazing homemade garlic-ginger peanut sauce! (Vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free)
This salad combines bright colors, delicious flavors, and plant-based nutrients. Plus it's pleasantly filling. The key component for me is the creamy peanut sauce. It's luscious, savory, and so full of flavor.
This meal is a great choice for make-ahead meals and lunches. (It tastes great the next day after the flavors get a chance to mingle.)
Ingredients for Thai Quinoa Salad
For this salad portion you will need:
- Red cabbage
- Red bell pepper
- Green onion (scallion)
- Fresh cilantro
- Cashews (or peanuts)
Or substitute the quinoa with your favorite noodles or rice noodles for a noodle salad instead.
Ingredients for Peanut Sauce
For the peanut sauce you will need:
- Peanut butter (creamy, natural)
- Brown sugar (or maple syrup)
- Fresh lemon juice (or lime)
- Hot water to thin
For more notes and detailed instruction, see my full post for the Easy Peanut Sauce.
Fresh Thai-Style Quinoa Salad with Peanut Sauce
- 3/4 cup quinoa (uncooked)
- 1 1/2 cups red cabbage
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 green onions
- 1/3 cup cilantro
- 1/2 cup cashews (or peanuts, or a combo of both)
For the peanut sauce:
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (I use creamy, natural)
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar or maple syrup (more/less to taste)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. tamari (or soy sauce)
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon or lime juice
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 3/4 tsp. fresh grated ginger (or more to taste)
- Hot water (to thin to desired consistency)
- Optional: red pepper flakes
- Rinse and cook the quinoa according to package instructions.*
- Meanwhile, make the peanut sauce: mince garlic and grate ginger. In a mixing bowl, add all peanut sauce ingredients except water. Heat about 3/4 cup of water to just under boiling. Slowly add water, a couple tablespoons at a time, and whisk. Continue adding water and whisking until sauce reaches your desired consistency. (I usually end up adding roughly 1/2 cup water.) Set aside.
- Prepare veggies: thinly slice or shred cabbage, grate carrot, thinly slice or dice bell pepper, slice green onions, and roughly chop cilantro (stems removed). Place in a large mixing bowl.
- Add cashews (and/or peanuts) and cooked quinoa.
- Add dressing and toss well to combine.
- Top with more nuts or cilantro if desired.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
If you're enjoying this Thai-inspired Quinoa Salad, also check out:
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