This light, flavorful quinoa spinach salad with pesto and nuts makes an easy weeknight side dish or lovely vegetarian lunch!
Who else had a super fun weekend?!
Saturday we all went to a park for an Easter festival and Easter egg hunt.
It was set up by age groups so J went first with the other really little kids. He was a bit hesitant at first so I went out with him and he gathered a few eggs. Very proud of himself.
M was up next and she was SO into it. Here she is surveying the field.
They said go and she was a speedy little thing, running all around to get as many eggs as she could. The girl racked up!
And Saturday, hubby and I had the evening to ourselves. A rare treat!
The kids spent the night with my parents so we had a date night out -- with a gift card we'd had for over a year, if that tells you anything -- and it was lovely. A little time away always feels luxurious. As does sleeping in a bit on Sunday morning. ❤️
Sunday the kiddos came home and we baked and took some chocolate chip zucchini bread to our new neighbors down the street to say hello and welcome. All around a good weekend!
Now on to this delicious recipe:
Quinoa spinach salad with pesto
Are you with me that putting pesto on something automatically elevates it to a delicious new level?
Yes? Good. I thought so, too.
Quinoa, spinach and pesto - with a few extras to make it super tasty - are all you need for this divine salad. (And it's fine to use store-bought or homemade basil pesto - whatever you have available.)
Talk about a bowl full of deliciousness!
This quinoa spinach salad makes a fast dinner side dish or a lovely vegetarian and gluten-free lunch.
I prefer it warm, but the leftovers are also good cold. I just help wake up the flavors with a little bit of olive oil, lemon juice or white wine vinegar and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Yum!
Quick tips on cooking quinoa:
– It needs to be very well rinsed. (Sometimes you can buy varieties that are already triple rinsed.)
– It’s a 2:1 ratio for cooking: 2 cups of water (or liquid) for 1 cup of raw quinoa.
– Bring your quinoa and water to a boil then reduce the heat, cover the pot and cook the quinoa for 13-15 minutes.
– Quinoa is ready when it has absorbed the liquid and “popped,” meaning it’s showing what looks like a small tail that’s actually the germ of the kernel.
– If your quinoa has gotten cooked onto the bottom of the pan (because it absorbed all the liquid before you checked it), you can add a splash of water and scrape that up.
– Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork, season to taste and it’s ready to serve!
Bright, fresh, healthy and tastylicious - all the things I want come spring. (OK, I also want some sunny days so we can play outside once work is done!)
I hope you give this easy quinoa spinach salad a try and let me know what you think!
P.S. Check out some more delicious quinoa recipes:
- Spiralized beet quinoa salad
- BBQ chicken quinoa salad bowls
Quinoa spinach salad with pesto
A light, flavorful quinoa and spinach salad with basil pesto, Parmesan and nuts.
- ¾ cup dry quinoa
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons basil pesto
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh spinach leaves
- 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (fresh grated, preferably)
- 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts (see notes)
- Cook the quinoa according to the package directions. Transfer the cooked quinoa to a medium-sized bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- In the meantime, make your pesto (or open a jar - no judging!) and prep the remaining ingredients.
- Add everything to the bowl and mix well with the quinoa. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
I use walnuts here because that’s what I use in my pesto and what I always have on hand. You could substitute pine nuts or even slivered almonds, if you prefer.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 245Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 301mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 4gSugar: 0gProtein: 9g
Dawn at Girl Heart Food
This salad looks delicious! And I absolutely LOVE anything with pesto!! Sounds like you had a great weekend! Have to try this recipe soon. PINNED 🙂 Happy Easter!
Thanks Dawn! Pesto is magical, isn't it? And happy Easter to you too 🙂
Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy
Quinoa + pesto?! Gimme!!
Haha, I know - can't go wrong!!
It's crazy that I have never had quinoa before! Sadly, I cannot eat it - that being said, this looks BOMB!
Oh boo, sorry you can't have quinoa! You could definitely make this with some brown rice or whole wheat couscous -- even farro -- and it would be delicious as well.
I bet it would be good with cauliflower rice too. I just made it and it’s so delicious.
I'm so glad you enjoyed it! And yes, I bet cauliflower rice would be good here too - great idea! 😊
Annie @ The Garlic Diaries
I am loving everything about this! I mean, throw a dollop of pesto on anything and I'll eat it...!! Yum :).
Haha, thanks Annie! I feel the exact same way 😉
Julie @ Running in a Skirt
Wow! I love this recipe and think I've got everything on hand for it. Such a good one.
Thanks Julie! It's definitely an easy one to throw together with just a few basic ingredients 🙂
Lovely weekend! And lovely salad! Yes to all the pesto I can get any way I can get it. I could eat pesto on everything and I bet it's delicious with the quinoa and spinach. I'm going to serve this with some beautiful salmon 🙂
It would be awesome with salmon, Karrie! And yes, I think I could eat pesto every day on pretty much everything 😉
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
I am all about bowls full of deliciousness.. and pesto on all the things! So clearly I am LOVING this quinoa! I could totally eat this for dinner and lunch as is, but I'm sure it would be equally as delicious with some chicken on top (for Boy). My kind of meal, Kathryn! Pinned!
P.s. so glad you guys had a terrific weekend AND got in a date night! Woot woot!! Our weekend was boring, so thanks for sharing yours... at least I can live vicariously through you. 😉
Chicken alongside or on top is definitely a good choice -- or pork or fish -- it pairs well with everything! 🙂
I 100% agree- pesto always makes things better! This dish looks wonderful.
Glad you're on board with the pesto-for-everything plan 🙂
Lisa @ Chocolate Meets Strawberry
Sounds like you had a fabulous weekend indeed Kathryn 🙂 So lovely that you had some Easter-themed fun with the kids but also some quality time with hubby. Sounds wonderful! We also had a great time last weekend and even managed to have a date night too last Saturday. I completely agree that adding pesto to just about anything takes it to the next level. Not sure what this world would be like without it! I've never tried quinoa with pesto, but I need to!
Three cheers for date nights! Always a fun time. And yes, pesto on ALL the foods! 😉
Kathryn, what a lovely side, although I'd go meal option with this. Thanks for bringing this by Throwback Thursday!
Thanks Mollie! It's definitely a great lunch or light dinner on its own 🙂
Sarah @ Champagne Tastes
This looks awesome! I love quinoa, but it definitely needs flavor added. Pesto sounds perfect!
So with you on that - always looking to jazz it up a bit. And pesto is the perfect, easy answer!
This looks simply wonderful! I agree - putting pesto on things automatically makes them more awesome! I love the addition of walnuts to this salad.
Pesto and walnuts - can't go wrong in my book! 🙂
I just made a recipe just like this :), such a great combo!
Yay, aren't those flavors so good together?! And I mean, you can't go wrong with pesto anything 😉
I'm not a huge fan of quinoa, but I love all of the elements of this salad. Pesto vinaigrettes are outstanding! Great video!
Pesto definitely makes everything better 😉
Quinoa Spinach Salad looks delicious. I am surely going to try out the recipe.
Thanks! I hope you enjoy it!
We should always appreciate the hard workers. Superb recipe shared
Good Food is Happiness. Above mentioned all foods are mouthwatering. I really like your blog hope in future we will get more blogs from you.