Chelsey Amer, MS, RDN, CDN, whips up a perfectly refreshing summer quinoa salad recipe featuring in-season fruits and veggies.
Don’t let pasta salad and potato salad have all the fun this summer! Make your life easy (and delicious) with this summer quinoa salad you can prep once and eat all week!
About This Summer Quinoa Salad Recipe
Unlike traditional starchy salads that are high in fat, this quinoa salad is much lighter. That said, it’s still packed with lots of flavor thanks to fresh summer produce. Plus, it’s filled with fiber to support your gut health.
Whether it’s a summer BBQ, picnic, or lunch meal prep for the week, it’s the perfect make-ahead side you’ll want to try!
As an added bonus, this quinoa salad gets better as it sits, so don’t be afraid to make it a day in advance!
Every ingredient in this summer quinoa salad was deliberately chosen for peak ripeness.
Also, did you know eating produce when in season actually provides more nutrients?
If you’ve never had quinoa, this grain-like seed has a nutty flavor and more nutrients than most grains.
Quinoa is a terrific grain to add to your diet. One cup packs:
- eight grams of protein
- five grams of fiber
- countless vitamins and minerals
- omega-3 fatty acids per cup
Plus, it’s naturally gluten-free and a complete plant-based protein with all essential amino acids your body needs.
On hot summer days, cucumbers are an excellent choice thanks to their high water content. At over 96 percent water, cucumbers are one of the most hydrating foods you can eat.
Adequate hydration is essential, among other things, to:
- keep energy levels elevated
- promote bowel regularity
- prevent headaches
In each little burst of flavor, blueberries are packed with nutrients that are also skin- and gut-friendly.
First, blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is essential to promote collagen production. Plus, blueberries are about 85 percent water, providing extra hydration for your summer skin.
Plus, blueberries contain four grams of fiber per cup to promote bowel regularity and support gut health. Most Americans don’t eat enough of the recommended 25 to 38 grams of fiber per day (for women and men, respectively). For that reason, blueberries are a delicious fruit to boost your fiber intake.
Packed with healthy fats, avocado helps make this quinoa salad filling.
Moreover, healthy fats (like those found in avocados) help to:
- hydrate dry skin
- increase skin elasticity
- reduce the appearance of wrinkles
Lastly, thanks to their high quantity of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, avocado can also help protect your skin from sun damage. (Still, make sure you remember to use SPF!)
How to Make this Quinoa Salad in advance
In just a few short steps, you’ll have a flavorful summer salad to enjoy!
One of the best parts about this summer quinoa salad is that you can easily prepare the recipe in advance and keep it in the fridge for several days.
Prep the Quinoa
First, you can prepare the quinoa a day or two in advance.
This quinoa salad is meant to be served at room temperature or even chilled, so you may want to prep the quinoa in advance to give it time to cool down.
Prep the Vinaigrette
Second, you can mix the honey lime vinaigrette recipe (see below) ahead of time. I personally like to prepare salad dressings in a small mason jar with a lid to store excess in the refrigerator for future use.
Bonus: Grain salads hold up very well when dressed, so you can also mix the salad with the dressing and enjoy it all week long.