A nutrient-rich Quinoa Vegetable Salad recipe with chickpeas and fresh lemon-basil dressing! It's easy to assemble, and also great for make-ahead meals, take-along lunches, picnics, potlucks, and more. (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free.)
This healthy quinoa salad is a great recipe for take-along lunches and meal prep.
The quinoa and chickpea combination provides a hearty, satisfying boost of protein.
Then it's tossed in a fresh and light lemon-basil dressing.
Plus this is a great recipe to make ahead of time as we find the flavors only intensify as it chills.
Ingredients for Quinoa Salad
For the salad portion you will toss together in a large bowl:
- White quinoa: Quinoa is so versatile, nutrient-rich, and simple to cook. You will lightly boil it in a medium saucepan with about 1.5 cups water or vegetable broth.
- Garbanzo beans (chickpeas): You could also try this salad with black beans, cannellini beans, white beans, etc.
- Grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes: I use these because they are so sweet and flavorful. But you can substitute roma, plum tomato, or other garden tomato if desired.
- Orange bell pepper
- Green onion (scallion)
- Cooked sweet corn: Either frozen, canned, or a freshly cooked ear of corn.
- Fresh basil
Ingredients for Dressing
For the lemon-basil dressing you will whisk together:
- Fresh lemon juice: You will need three tablespoons lemon juice for this recipe, which is about one lemon. For an even bolder lemon flavor, you can also use some lemon zest. (You could also try this with lime juice instead, but I haven't tested that version.)
- Apple cider vinegar
- Fresh garlic cloves
- Dried basil
- Salt to taste: You can also include black pepper to taste if desired.
- Olive oil: This is optional. Simply omit for an oil-free version.
More tangy flavor: The dressing is fairly subtle, so add a teaspoon of lemon zest, more lemon juice, or more vinegar to taste if desired.
Herbs: Fresh herbs add great flavor to this dish, and I highly recommend adding fresh basil or parsley if you have it.
Flavors: You can also add Kalamata olives, roasted red pepper, red onion, black pepper, or vegan feta cheese for extra flavor.
Vegetables: If you would like this salad heavier on the veggies, simply decrease the amount of quinoa. (Use about 1/2 to 3/4 cup instead of 1 cup.)
This is a wonderful main dish or side dish for take-along lunches, meal prep, picnics, potlucks, BBQs, and gatherings.
Simply toss together a batch ahead of time, then store covered in the refrigerator until ready to enjoy.
We find it keeps well for about 4-5 days.
Quinoa Vegetable Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing
- 1 cup white quinoa (uncooked)
- 15 oz. can garbanzo beans
- 6 oz. grape/cherry tomatoes (or 3 roma)
- 1 orange bell pepper
- 4 green onions
- 1 1/2 cups sweet corn (cooked)
- 2-3 Tbsp. fresh basil (optional, but recommended)
For the lemon-basil dressing:
- 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice* (about 1 lemon, or more to taste)
- 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Optional: lemon zest
- Cook the quinoa: place 1 cup quinoa (rinsed and drained) in a small saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water (or vegetable broth for more flavor). Bring to a light boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing: In a small bowl combine all dressing ingredients. Whisk to combine.
- Dice tomatoes and bell pepper. Slice green onions. Rinse and drain garbanzo beans. Roughly chop fresh basil, if using.
- When quinoa is done cooking, let cool for a few minutes. Then place all salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- Pour dressing over top and toss well to combine. Taste and adjust flavors if desired.
- Can serve immediately or chill covered in the refrigerator for a few hours to let flavors intensify. (Also great served with diced avocado!)
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
If you are enjoying this lemon-basil quinoa salad, also check out:
- Quinoa Chickpea Salad with Dill Dressing
- Mexican Quinoa Salad
- Cucumber Salad
- Chickpea Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing