Fresh & Colorful Quinoa Salad

My last few posts have focused on some of the difficulties that come with having celiac disease.  Today I thought it would be a good idea to turn my attention to the delicious side of gluten-free eating.  You already know that I enjoy cooking for my family, and now that my kitchen is safely free of gluten, I can keep the tasty meals coming.

The switch to gluten-free cooking hasn’t been too hard.  I was already in love with quinoa, fresh fruits and vegetables, and simply prepared proteins before my diagnosis.  I just had to learn to ditch the bread.

The only challenge comes in checking and double-checking labels when I shop for groceries.  I don’t buy much packaged food, but things like condiments, dried beans, even coffee and tomato sauce have to be scrutinized.

I’m slowly learning my favorite brands though, and these days if you came to my house for dinner, you might not even realize that you are eating a gluten-free meal.  You would hopefully just pat your belly and tell me it was delicious.

This fresh salad is perfect for summer.  Throw it together and eat it all week.  Pack it for lunch, serve it with dinner, take it on a picnic.  It’s packed with protein, fiber, and vitamins to keep you going.

And oh yeah, it’s gluten-free.

Cold & Colorful Quinoa Salad

This colorful salad is perfect as a side dish at a summer potluck, but it is also hearty enough to star on it's own as the main dish!
4 from 1 vote


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 13/4 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth make sure to check for gluten-free label if celiac, and use vegetable broth if you need this dish to be vegan or vegetarian
  • 1 can Eden Organic navy beans drained and rinsed well
  • 1/2 english cucumber diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
  • 4 green onions diced
  • 1/4 cup red cabbage diced
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper diced
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper


  • In a medium saucepan, heat broth until boiling. Add quinoa (be sure to rinse quinoa as directed on package), stir, place lid on pot and turn heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with fork.
  • In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add quinoa and mix.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate to serve as a cold salad.

  • Kat @ Balance & Spice May 17, 2012 at 1:22 am

    That looks totally delicious. I love using quinoa in salads – such a yummy source of carbs and protein! I’ll have to try this one soon.

    • inspiredrd May 18, 2012 at 1:02 pm

      Thanks Kat, hope you like it!

  • Jess @ Floptimism May 17, 2012 at 6:55 am

    This sounds like such a delicious meal! And I agree – the best gluten-free foods are those that don’t have a big label across the package announcing them as such (they’re the foods that don’t have much in the way of packaging at all).

    • inspiredrd May 17, 2012 at 8:41 pm

      So true!

  • Maria May 17, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    I could eat this every day!

    • inspiredrd May 17, 2012 at 8:41 pm

      Oh boy, me too Maria. I also love your quinoa salad with avocado and mango. Yummmm.

  • Lexie @ This Aussie Eats May 17, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    This looks delicious Alysa! Perfect for these hot days we’re having, and it’s only the beginning. I love your photography for this recipe too 🙂

    • inspiredrd May 18, 2012 at 1:02 pm

      Thank you Lexie! This is my favorite type of dish for our hot and never-ending summer weather.

  • The Easiest Ever BBQ Chicken May 23, 2012 at 7:20 am

    […] like drumsticks which the kids enjoyed.  Alongside, I served fresh fruit and some leftover quinoa salad.  The second night, we ate leftovers rolled up in corn tortillas, topped with purple cabbage, […]

  • Laura B September 17, 2012 at 9:39 am

    4 stars
    I made this for my daughter’s birthday party as a side dish. It’s delicious and not too difficult to put together. I used chickpeas instead of navy beans and increased the amount of quinoa used. I found the dressing a little too lemony but my skeptical husband liked it, so I can’t complain.

  • FoodPlay Productions - FoodPlay Friday: Summer Fitness April 15, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    […] my recent favorites from the blogosphere include these Rainbow Wraps from Super Healthy Kids, this Fresh Quinoa Salad from Inspired RD, this Grilled Tilapia with Mango Salsa from The Jolly Tomato, and this Fruity […]