Quinoa Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Quinoa Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 8 1/2 cup
  • Difficulty: easy
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Try this fast and healthy summer salad the next time you don't have a lot of time—plus, it's a great addition to any summer barbecue or get together.

Rating: 5 out of 5.


1 cup quinoa, rinsed 
½ tsp. salt
2 of each: red, yellow, and orange mini sweet peppers or 1/2 a colored bell pepper,
chopped or sliced thinly
1 red jalapeno pepper or ¼ jalapeno pepper, minced
6 to 8 scallions, both white and green parts, finely sliced
1 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup fresh mint, chopped
3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
3 tbsp. orange juice  
3 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 fresh garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1½ tbsp. raw or granulated sugar
pinch salt – optional


Bring the salt and 1 2/3 cups water to boil in a medium saucepan. Stir quinoa into boiling water, and then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, remove from heat and rest 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with fork before transferring quinoa to a medium serving bowl. Allow quinoa to cool 30 minutes then transfer covered bowl to refrigerator and chill at least an hour before adding the remaining ingredients.

Dressing: Whisk/mix all ingredients together until sugar has dissolved. Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble.

Once the quinoa is cool, add the peppers, scallions, cranberries, mint, and dressing—tossing all ingredients together gently until combined. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Before serving adjust seasonings if necessary. Salad can be made in advance and keeps well for several days in the refrigerator.


Nutrition Information: ½ cup serving 154 calories; 3g fat; 4g protein; 29g carbohydrate; 3g fiber; 0mg cholesterol; 144mg sodium.

Original Nutrition Information: 215 calories and 10g fat per ½ cup serving, 4g protein, 29g carbohydrate; 2g fiber; 0mg cholesterol; 300mg sodium

Nutritional Tips and Techniques

1. Besides the fact that this salad is full of fresh vegetables and low in fat, its main ingredient is the superfood quinoa (pronounced keen-wah). Considered a whole-grain, quinoa is actually a seed that makes a great substitute for rice and other grains because of its incredible nutrition base.

Because protein makes up 15% of quinoa, it’s considered a high-protein, low-fat and low-carbohydrate whole-grain option. It’s also naturally gluten-free and high in fiber,
vitamins, and minerals.

2. I substituted the ¼ cup of regular olive oil in the original recipe for 1 tablespoon of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, giving the vinaigrette more flavor with less fat.

3. The sugar called for in the original recipe was reduced from 3 tablespoons to 1½ tablespoons.

Credit: Chef Mary E. Ross


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