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Vegan Thai Style Quinoa Salad in a bowl with spoon

Fresh Thai Quinoa Salad with Peanut Sauce

A colorful, crunchy Thai-inspired Quinoa Salad tossed in the most amazing garlic-ginger peanut sauce! Nourishing and great made ahead.
AuthorKaitlin - The Garden Grazer
Prep Time:30 minutes
Total Time:30 minutes
CourseMain Dish, Salad, Side Dish
CuisineGluten-Free, Oil-Free, Thai-Inspired, Vegan
Servings5 medium bowls


  • 3/4 cup white quinoa (uncooked)
  • 1 1/2 cups red cabbage
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 green onions
  • 1/3 cup fresh 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.


*To cook quinoa: I combine 3/4 cup rinsed quinoa with 1 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Then lightly simmer (covered) for about 15-20 minutes.
Storing: 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.

Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)

Calories: 361 kcal | Carbohydrates: 35 g | Protein: 14 g | Fat: 20 g | Saturated Fat: 4 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10 g | Potassium: 604 mg | Fiber: 5 g | Sugar: 10 g | Vitamin A: 3205 IU | Vitamin C: 50 mg | Calcium: 59 mg | Iron: 3 mg