Summer quinoa salad is mixed with arugula, fresh berries, goat cheese, walnuts and an easy honey lime vinaigrette for a light and pretty side dish. It’s great for a brunch or dinner side and at picnics and potlucks.
Hello from Chicago!
I'm here for a food blogging conference (the very best kind of conference) and it's so good to be back in this city.
(Fun fact: I went to Northwestern University for undergrad, which is located just north of Chicago, so these are kinda my old stomping grounds. But it's been a while and I've missed it!)
We've got a full day of conference sessions today then I'm headed out to a fun, fancy dinner with a big group of friends later. Y'all know we're going to be having ALL the good eats with a bunch of food bloggers around! 🍴
So fun! But I did want to pop in and share one more new recipe with you this week.
Today’s recipe for a summer quinoa salad is one you’ll love looking at as much as eating!
It’s so purrrrty! 😍
This salad has great pops of juicy flavor from the fresh fruit, plus just the perfect edgy bite from the peppery arugula.
The creamy goat cheese, crunchy walnuts and the light citrus dressing just finish it off and bring it home!
Plus it's great ANY time of day! I love a salad that I can eat at all hours. (See my mixed greens salad with fruit for another tasty option in that category. Or browse ALL of my healthy summer salads.)
I made this for the first time last year for a late spring neighborhood party in the cul-de-sac.
I sorta threw it together and just jotted down a few notes because it looked so pretty.
Well, I was glad I did because three of my neighbor buddies texted later asking for the recipe.
And now I’m finally sharing it with you!
You’ll also love how very versatile this salad is.
It’s great at dinner or a BBQ party with burgers and hot dogs.
It’s so light and lovely that it’s also perfect for a baby shower, bridal shower or brunch party.
All the parties, all season long!
Now, I’ve got some notes and tips coming up for this recipe. Just tryin’ to be helpful.
If you want to jump on down to the recipe, simply scroll right on through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.
Notes on making summer quinoa salad with arugula:
- The quinoa for this recipe needs to be cooked and cooled, so please plan accordingly.
- (If you are in a hurry, you can pop your cooked quinoa into a large cold bowl so it’s well spread out. Then stick it in the freezer to help cool it down. Not ideal, but it’ll work in a pinch.)
- I love the peppery arugula in this recipe but you could substitute baby spinach or a spring mix if you prefer.
- Feel free to swap out the fruits for your favorites. Fresh ripe blueberries or raspberries would also work well here.
One additional optional add-in: diced avocado!
It adds even more creaminess and flavor but I generally leave it out because my husband is allergic. But you should go for it if you’re an avocado lover!
(Oh, and quick shout out to my mom, who made that amazing bowl in these photos. She does a lot of pottery, including free-hand pottery, and makes the coolest stuff! ❤️)
Want to make this ahead? Totally do-able.
I’d just recommend keeping the walnuts out of the salad and keeping the dressing separate until you’re ready to serve. That way everything stays fresh and crisp and delicious. 👍
(Soggy salad, not good eats.)
And as always, this is a super duper simple homemade vinaigrette and takes just minutes to mix up in a jar.
But if you’d like to substitute a store-bought citrusy vinaigrette, that’s fine too. You know you’ll get no judgement from me!
Also to note, this makes a pretty decent sized salad.
It would be enough as a side dish for a family of 4-5 with some leftovers for lunch. (It keeps for at least another day in the fridge before it starts to wilt too much.)
Also, this salad works great as a brunch or picnic or BBQ party dish for a bigger group (8-12) if everyone’s just taking a scoop amid a wider spread of options.
I hope you give this lovely, light summer quinoa salad a try.
P.S. Check out these other delicious quinoa salads:
- Mediterranean quinoa salad (Family Food on the Table)
- Kale quinoa salad (Family Food on the Table)
- Thai quinoa salad (Foodie Crush)
- Cucumber and tomato quinoa salad (She Wears Many Hats)
- Blueberry basil quinoa salad (Family Food on the Table)
For the salad:
- 1 cup quinoa
- 3-4 cups of baby arugula
- ⅔ cup sliced strawberries
- ⅔ cup blackberries
- 2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- Optional: 1 diced avocado
For the honey lime vinaigrette:
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Zest of 1 lime
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 ½ tablespoons honey
- 1 ½ teaspoons dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- Cook the quinoa according to package directions then set aside to cool.
- Combine the cooled quinoa, arugula, strawberries, blackberries, goat cheese and nuts in a large bowl.
- To make the vinaigrette: Combine all ingredients in a jar or container with a tight-fitting lid. Shake until the ingredients are well combined.
- When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat well. Serve and enjoy!
The quinoa for this recipe needs to be cooked and cooled, so please plan accordingly. (If you are in a hurry, you can pop your cooked quinoa into a large cold bowl so it’s well spread out. Then stick it in the freezer to help cool it down. Not ideal, but it’ll work in a pinch.)
I love the peppery arugula in this recipe but you could substitute baby spinach or a spring mix if you prefer.
Feel free to swap out the fruits for your favorites. Fresh ripe blueberries or raspberries would also work well here.
This serves about 5-6 as a dinner side dish or about 8-10 or more as a party side salad.
To prep this ahead, fix all of the ingredients but keep the walnuts and the dressing separate until you’re ready to serve. That way everything stays fresh and crisp and delicious.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 272Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 270mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 7g