Quinoa Salad


Gluten-free; Dairy-free; Vegan; Vegetarian.

15 minutes15-20 minutes3-4

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This Quinoa salad recipe is very quick and easy to make and packed full of nutrients.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is healthier and easier to digest than other grains, such as rice and couscous (actually it isn’t technically a grain because it comes from a broad leaf plant and not grasses, as other grains do). It has a slightly nutty flavour, is gluten-free and is very easy and quick to cook.

Quinoa is high in magnesium and also contains manganese, iron, copper, phosphorous and vitamin B2. It is a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids.

It is not necessary to soak quinoa before cooking, but it is a good idea to rinse it thoroughly because it has a saponin coating on its outer hull that can be bitter.


For salt in its purest form with minerals still intact, choose Pink Himalayan Salt or sea salt. In this recipe I use sea salt by the Cornish Sea Salt Co (see below) – cornishseasalt.co.uk. For more information go to Healthier Options.


Whilst cooking, the quinoa absorbs all the water. This is why I prefer to use filtered water because it is much healthier than tap water – see Healthier Options and Brita Water Filter Review.

Quinoa Salad

15 minutes15-20 minutes3-4

115 g/5 oz quinoa

300 ml/10 fl oz boiled filtered water (see Healthier Options)

8g cashew nuts, lightly toasted

12 cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters

2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped

4 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon salt, I use Cornish Sea Salt Company Original Sea Salt 225 g (Pack of 4) or fine Pink Himalayan salt.
  1. Put quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse under cold water. Move the grains about with your hand and rub between your fingers to rinse thoroughly.
  2. Put the rinsed quinoa in a small saucepan and add the boiling water. Put the lid on and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes or until all the water has disappeared. If any water is left after this time, simmer for another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Take it off the heat and fluff up the grains with a fork. Put the lid back on the saucepan and leave in there (off the heat) for another 10 minutes. Empty the quinoa into a large bowl and leave to cool.
  4. Spread the cashew nuts on a baking sheet covered with grease-proof paper and toast lightly under the grill. They only need about 2 minutes – watch them the whole time so that they don’t burn! Give them a few minutes to cool before adding to the quinoa.
  5. Add the tomatoes and cooled cashews to the cooled quinoa and mix thoroughly
  6. Add the chives, oil and salt and mix together.

This is best stored in the fridge and will keep for up to one week.

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