Dive into this nutritious explosion of flavors in our Quinoa Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing.  Whether you are looking for something a little different for a light meal, or as a scrumptious side dish, prepare to be amazed!

Made with fluffy quinoa, fresh crunchy vegetables, and a creamy peanut-based dressing, this super salad is sure to please everyone and great for lunches too.

And did you know that the humble little quinoa is a powerhouse ancient grain. Bursting with an abundance of nutrients – think protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, and B vitamins!



Quinoa Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing (5)


If you love quinoa recipes then you’ll probably also like our Easy Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad, Pumpkin Quinoa Patties, and our Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Salad.


The reasons why I’m head over heels for this Quinoa Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing are endless!


  • Nutritious  with a plethora of super fresh and crunchy veggies that I can’t resist.
  • It’s awesomely colourful and a great crowd pleaser at picnics, family dinners and BBQ’s
  • Easy to make ahead – just chop and store
  • Great for lunches and meal prep
  • Serve alongside leftover chicken from the previous nights dinner
  • Easy to customize to include your fave veggies

WARNING!! This makes a big salad! 😝!


The tantalizing ingredients of this Thai-inspired quinoa salad.

I’ve been looking for ages for the perfect quinoa salad with a dressing that’s super duper scrumptious.  It’s taken a while to find it, and after some tweaking I think this is a perfect combination of fresh veggies and ingredients.


Quinoa Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing (1)


Quinoa: 1 cup of uncooked (and 1 3/4 cups water) which makes about 3 cups of cooked quinoa

Crunchy Cabbage: purple cabbage really makes this a visual eye catching salad

Shallots or green onions: 3 little ones are perfect

Red capsicum: or red bell pepper

Carrots: finely diced. Hand grated may make this salad a little mushy

Cucumber: we love Lebanese cucumbers but ones with little or hardly any seeds like telegraph are perfect

Coriander: the perfect match to any Thai inspired meal (or fresh cilantro for our US friends)

Nuts: raw peanuts or cashews -these are optional but add that texture and crunch



Ingredients for the creamy Peanut Dressing


Quinoa Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing


Peanut butter: creamy peanut butter or nut butter if you prefer

Fresh Ginger: finely grated give it that beautiful zest

Fresh limes: one or two limes squeezed to add that real freshness.

Soy sauce: choose whatever brand you like.  Low sodium soy sauce, or tamari for gluten free options

Honey: just enough sweetness, or maple syrup for vegans

Rice vinegar: mild and not to sharp

Sesame oil: always a Thai favourite and gives that nuttiness’ flavour

Olive oil: just 1 tablespoon

Water: to thin if you like ( I personally like it on the thinner side as it mixes really easily into the quinoa and veggies

Mix all together in a bowl with a whisk and voila you’ve got dressing.  


Quinoa Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing (3)




What Can You Serve With This Quinoa Salad?

This Quinoa Salad with Thai peanut dressing is a delicious and nutritious meal perfect for lunch or dinner. There are a variety of side dishes that would work well. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Roasted veggies such as carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, and cauliflower
  • Steamed green beans or snap peas
  • Roasted chicken and kebabs, steak, seafood.

Or just makes the perfect side dish too!



How Do You Make This Quinoa Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing?

STEP 1. (This is a quick step by step version but the full instructions are in the recipe card below). Cook your quinoa first.  Be sure to wash your quinoa using a fine mesh colander to prevent it tasting bitter. I usually cook my quinoa in the old style rice cooker but with slightly different water ratio.  Instead of 1 cup of uncooked quinoa to 2 cups of water I use a little less water and make it only 13/4 cups of water.  After cooking, remove from the heat and allow to cool.  When cold fluff up your quinoa.


how to cook quinoa


STEP 2. Chop all your veggies and pop into a large mixing bowl..


crunchy thai quinoa salad


STEP 3. Prepare your dressing and set aside.

STEP 4. Combine the quinoa with the chopped veggies and drizzle with the Thai Peanut Dressing and gently mix through.  Serve in a large serving bowl with lime wedges and sprinkle with chopped roasted peanuts if you like to give that added crunch.


Additions and Substitutions

The best part is that this quinoa salad can be modified by substituting salad ingredients with whatever you fancy.

Colorful Veggies – feel free to add other vegetables like snow peas, green cabbage, red onion and other fresh herbs

Coconut milk – added to the peanut dressing will make it runnier.

Chili / red pepper flakes – add more zing with the addition of chili to make this more of a spicy peanut dressing

Sesame seeds – give it more of an Asian inspired salad.

Rotisserie Chicken – make this more of a hearty salad by adding extra protein.

How to Store

If you are making this healthy quinoa salad recipe for meal prep and lunches, store the veggies and quinoa separately in an airtight container.  Dress just before serving.


Recipe Card

5 from 2 votes
Quinoa Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing (2) (1)
Quinoa Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
15 mins

This Thai quinoa salad is packed with delicious flavors and vibrant veggies. It's easy to customize with your favorite vegetables. Great for meal prep, picnics, or parties. 

Course: Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Keyword: Quinoa salad, Thai peanut dressing
Servings: 8
Calories: 210 kcal
  • 1 cup quinoa rinsed well
  • cups water
  • 1 cucumber Lebanese or telegraph
  • 1 cup carrots diced
  • 1 red capsicum diced
  • 3 shallots thinly sliced
  • ¼ red cabbage finely sliced
  • ½ cup corriander chopped roughly
Dressing Ingredients
  • 2 limes freshly juiced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ cup peanut butter or nut butter
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • water to thin if necessary
  1. Rinse your quinoa really well in cold water. (super important). Pop into a medium sized pot and add the 1¾ cups of water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off and remove from heat and fluff the grains with a fork and allow to rest for another 10 minutes.

    Allow to cool thorougly before adding to the salad bowl.

  1. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Add more lime juice and water to thin out according to your taste. *see notes

  1. Into a large bow add all the chopped veggies, cooled quinoa and mix really well. Drizzle the dressing over and toss through gently.

Recipe Notes

It's important to wash your quinoa well to avoid that bitter taste.

Allow the quinoa to cool to room temperature before adding to your salad.

When making the dressing fee free to add a little water to thin if necessary or additional lime juice (adds that little bit of zingy-ness) if your prefer.  

Meal Prep: Store salad and dressing separately in the fridge and dress right before serving to avoid it becoming soggy.

Nutrition Facts
Quinoa Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing
Amount Per Serving
Calories 210 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Sodium 185mg8%
Potassium 420mg12%
Carbohydrates 28g9%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 3470IU69%
Vitamin C 42mg51%
Calcium 49mg5%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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About Sonya

Quinoa Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing 1Helloooo, I'm Sonya and I'm one of those late starter's in the exercise department. (but you know you're never too late to start). A retired beauty therapist who likes geeking out in the online world, loves 4-legged fury friends, baking and gardening.