This Thai quinoa salad is full of colorful veggies like purple cabbage and and bell peppers, and has so much flavor! It's topped with a sweet and savory dressing made from almond butter, soy sauce, and sesame, making for a refreshing and satisfying meal.
Ever since I made this Peanut Pad Thai, I have been completely obsessed, making it almost every week. I love the combination of sweet and savory, plus the rich nutty flavor that the sauce has. And you can't forget all the colorful veggies!
I've also been loving nourish/grain bowls lately (like this Vegan Peanut Buddha Bowl) because of how refreshing and nourishing they are. And although this recipe is called a salad, it still reminds me of a nourish bowl when I'm eating it.
I decided to combine the addicting Thai flavors with the fresh, nourish bowl-inspired ingredients to make this Vegan Thai Quinoa Salad and I am SO happy with how it turned out.
Although both this and my Pad Thai recipe are healthy options, I have to say this is probably more nutritious. Instead of rice noodles, the base carb is quinoa, which has more fiber and protein. There's also less sugar in the sauce--only 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup!
This Thai quinoa salad recipe is SO easy to make, and it's ready in under 30 minutes! As written, it yields 2-3 servings but can easily be doubled, tripled, or halved to feed as many people as you need. 🙂
Ingredients in Vegan Thai Quinoa Salad
Only minimal ingredients are needed for this recipe, and you can swap and substitute based on your needs!
Almond Butter Sauce
As I mentioned before, the sauce of this recipe was inspired by my favorite Peanut Pad Thai, but with some adjustments.
You can probably tell from the name that I used almond butter instead of peanut butter (for no particular reason, I love both), but feel free to use peanut or cashew butter instead here!
Then there of course is the soy sauce for it's savory flavor--but low sodium so it's not too salty! You can try liquid aminos if you're gluten free, but I haven't tried and can't say for sure it will work.
I added maple syrup for some natural sweetness (there's no added sugar in this recipe!), but you'll only need 1-2 tablespoons for the entire thing! I use 2 because I like everything sweet, but you can adjust it to your liking 🙂
Lime juice adds some tang and sourness, and sesame oil adds a delicious touch. You can also put sriracha if you want it spicy, but it's completely optional. And that's it for the sauce!
Obviously, we start with the base of quinoa. I always use white quinoa but you can use the multi-colored variety--there really is no difference in taste or nutritional value.
I always cook my quinoa in vegetable broth for maximum flavor, but I actually forgot and used water when making this. 🙈 I just added a teaspoon of salt and it turned out delicious! Although I still recommend broth, it's totally okay to use water + salt if you don't have any or forget like I did😂
Next we have all the colorful veggies like purple cabbage, carrots, green onions, and bell peppers. Feel free to swap or add other vegetables too--bean sprouts, snow peas, edamame, red onion, etc.
The vegetables will be lightly cooked in a little olive or sesame oil. If you like them crunchy, cook according to the directions (or even keep them raw!), but if you want softer veggies, cook for longer.
Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, then combine with the quinoa. Pour the dressing over (or pour on individual servings) and enjoy your fresh and flavorful Thai quinoa salad!
I really hope you like this recipe! If you decide to make it, be sure to post a picture/story (or dm me!) and tag me @nutritiousdelights on Instagram--I'd love to see!💗
More recipes you might love:
Vegan Thai Quinoa Salad
- 2 tablespoons almond butter natural
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon sriracha optional
- 1 cup dry quinoa or 3 cups cooked
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt divided
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive or sesame oil
- 3 cups purple cabbage
- 1 ½ cups bell peppers small slices
- 1 cup matchstick carrots
- ½ cup green onion sliced
- Start by making the dressing--In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients and set aside.
- Cook the quinoa according to package directions, with 1 teaspoon salt (or cook in broth and skip the salt). Skip this step if your quinoa is already cooked.
- In a medium or large nonstick pan, heat up the oil and add the cabbage, carrots, and peppers. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the green onions. Mix in the remaining salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute (or longer if you want them softer). Add the cooked quinoa and mix. Mix in the dressing or pour over individual servings.