A nutrient-packed Quinoa Vegetable Salad with chickpeas and fresh lemon-basil dressing! Easy to assemble, and also great for make-ahead meals, take-along lunches, picnics, potlucks, etc. (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free.)
This healthy quinoa salad is a great recipe for take-along lunches and meal prep.
The quinoa and garbanzo beans provide a hearty, satisfying boost of protein, and the lemon-basil dressing is so simple, light, and fresh.
Quinoa is so versatile, nutrient-packed, and simple to cook.
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 this recipe you will need:
- White quinoa: You will lightly boil this in a medium saucepan with about 1 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth.
- Garbanzo beans (chickpeas): You could also try this with black beans or other beans as well.
- Grape or cherry tomatoes: Or you can substitute roma or other garden tomatoes.
- 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 need:
- Fresh lemon juice: Plus optional lemon zest if desired for an even bolder lemon flavor. (You could also try this with lime juice instead, but I haven't tested that version.)
- Apple cider vinegar
- Garlic cloves
- Dried basil
- Salt to taste
- Optional: olive oil
Variations and Substitutions
The dressing is fairly subtle, so add a teaspoon of lemon zest, more lemon juice, or more vinegar to taste if desired.
Fresh herbs add great flavor to this dish, and I highly recommend adding fresh basil or parsley if you have it.
You can also add kalamata olives, roasted red pepper, red onion, black pepper, or vegan feta cheese for extra flavor.
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 and store covered in the refrigerator until ready to enjoy.
We find it keeps pretty 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 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 quinoa salad, also check out: