Vegan Thai Quinoa Salad in a bowl with spoon
5 from 4 votes

Fresh Thai Quinoa Salad with Peanut Sauce

Colorful, crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad tossed in the most amazing homemade garlic-ginger peanut sauce! (Vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free)
Author: Kaitlin - The Garden Grazer
Prep Time30 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Thai, Vegan
Servings: 5 medium bowls


  • 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)

Garlic-ginger 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 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.


*I simmer 3/4 cup quinoa in about 1 1/4 cup water or veggie broth covered for about 20 minutes. (I use water for this recipe since it has plenty of other flavor going on, but otherwise I like to use veggie broth to cook my quinoa for a nice flavor boost.)
This salad keeps well covered in the fridge for about 3-4 days, making it a great choice for take-along lunches, picnics, etc.!
For gluten-free, use tamari.
Other additions: snow peas, edamame, tofu, cucumber, broccoli, fresh Thai basil, sesame seeds, bean sprouts, shredded kale, spinach, etc.


Calories: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Potassium: 586mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3200IU | Vitamin C: 50mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 3mg