Curry Quinoa Salad
This crunchy curry quinoa salad makes a perfect lunch, dinner side, or vibrant addition to any brunch table.
A few weeks ago I traveled to Boulder for a beautiful baby shower brunch in the Colorado mountains. The brunch spread was fresh and vibrant, full of gorgeous salads and fresh veggies. Everything on the table was delicious, but I particularly loved the curried quinoa salad. It was bright, earthy, and packed with crunchy fruits and veggies. It was also perfectly lovely served at room temperature, making it a perfect salad to make ahead and serve a crowd.
After the shower I reached out to Maihaa from The School of Natural Cookery, who catered the shower, to see if she would share the recipe. She graciously responded with a list of ingredients and cooking method, which I adapted into a recipe to share here. As a side note, if you’re interested in learning more about The School of Natural Cookery you can check out their in-person and online training options here.
Since first testing this recipe I’ve been eating it for lunch frequently, since I can make a big batch to have on hand in the fridge and to take on-the-go. If you’re a nurse, teacher, work in an office, or drive your kids all over the place during mealtimes you’ll want to add this to your on-the-go lunch arsenal. It’s packed with healthy fats from the olive oil and seeds, plus tons of fiber from the fruits, veggies and quinoa. There’s also protein in the quinoa, but you can always add chickpeas, a hard boiled egg, or grilled chicken for some extra protein to make this a substantial meal.
The Crunchy Curry Quinoa Salad can and should be make ahead of time, as it needs at least an hour to absorb the dressing. It’s best served at room temperature, so it works wonderfully as part of a brunch spread or as a potluck dish. It’s also a great option for many as it is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. It also makes a perfect summer dinner side to grilled veggies, meat or fish. My guess is that it will become a your spring and summer go-to, so grab the ingredients and make this salad today!
One more side note to this recipe: The baby for which the shower was thrown was born this week to my childhood best friend. She and her husband welcomed a perfect baby boy and we could’t be more excited. Welcome to the world little G, we can’t wait to meet you!
Crunchy Curry Quinoa Salad
- 2 cups dry quinoa
- 1 (15-oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons mild curry powder
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 small cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups English cucumber, diced, from about 1 large
- 2 cups diced green apple, from about 2 medium
- 2 cups diced red bell peppers, from about 2 large
- ¼ cup packed basil leaves, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds
- Rinse the quinoa. Combine rinsed quinoa with the curry powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 4 cups cold water in a large pot. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 18 minutes. Turn the heat off and let sit, covered, an additional 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl make the dressing by combining the olive oil, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, lemon juice, lemon zest, and garlic, whisking until well combined.
- To the dressing add the chickpeas, cucumber, apple, and peppers. Add the warm quinoa and stir until well combined. The mixture will be on the wet side. Let sit at least an hour for the dressing to absorb and flavors to develop.
- Stir in the basil and half the sunflower seeds then cover and chill for up to 3 days. When ready to serve bring to room temperature and serve with a sprinkling of the remaining sunflower seeds.