This tasty quinoa salad with asparagus, zucchini and a tangy mustard vinaigrette is perfect for a side dish or light lunch.
Come spring, I'm ready for fresh, I'm ready for healthy, I'm ready to brush off the cobwebs of dreary weather and embrace some sunshine and outdoor time.
Who's with me?
This quinoa salad with asparagus and zucchini is perfectly light but full of crisp-tender veggies and a super-duper easy mustard vinaigrette that gives it just enough kick to keep you coming back for another forkful. And another, and another...
I love this little salad for a light lunch or as a side dish with grilled fish, chicken or pork. It's also perfect for picnics and potluck parties because you can serve it at room temperature.
(Check out my kale quinoa salad for another favorite light and healthy side dish!)
And a built-in bonus: It's gluten-free and vegan (just sub maple syrup for the honey in the vinaigrette), so everyone can saddle up to this salad! And so you don't have to worry about friends and family with myriad diet restrictions. 🙂
It comes together quickly, too.
While the quinoa is cooking, you can get your asparagus and zucchini chopped and lightly sautéed and mix up the mustard vinaigrette.
I always add my dressing ingredients to a small container or jar and shake it up. Fast and fuss-free.
Once the quinoa is cooked, mix everything together and voila, quinoa salad on your table in under 20 minutes.
Fast, easy sides make me oh so happy! Particularly when they are this fresh and bright.
If you’re making this ahead, I recommend you wait to add the dressing until right before you serve it, so that the flavors are still full and bright.
The quinoa will continue to absorb the dressing as it sits, but leftovers are good through the next day - hello, lunch!
Welcome spring with open arms!
For the salad:
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise and then into half moons, about ¼-inch thick
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed then cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
For the vinaigrette:
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey (or maple syrup)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Cook the quinoa according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat.
- Add zucchini and asparagus and saute for 5 minutes, or until tender (but not mushy). Season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. Add all of the ingredients to a small jar or container with a lid. Then cover and shake it up.
- To assemble, combine quinoa and veggies in a large bowl. Add vinaigrette and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.
If you are making this salad ahead, keep the dressing separate and add just before serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 484mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 7g