Quinoa Salad With Roasted Tomatoes
With Christmas and the holidays right around the corner, it is a good time to share this roasted tomato quinoa salad recipe. Packed with vibrant colors and flavors, wholesome ingredients, and a burst of goodness, this salad is a visually appealing feast for the taste buds!
Combining hearty quinoa, juicy tomatoes, crisp vegetables, and a zesty dressing creates a perfect harmony of textures and tastes.
Honestly, the addition of roasted sweet and juicy tomatoes elevates this salad. It only takes about thirty minutes to roast the tomatoes, yet it appears as though you put significantly more effort.
To add additional plant-based goodness, I combined the tomatoes with quinoa, cucumbers, and bell peppers. It’s light, hearty, flavorful, and easy to prepare.
The quinoa salad would be a great addition to any picnic or BBQ party. It’s so tasty and hearty that it could easily be served as the main course as well. Serve this dish with meat, fish, or chicken (depending on your preferences). You’re in luck if you have leftovers as well! The next day, it made a fantastic lunch on its own.
This quinoa salad stores well, making it an ideal recipe for meal prep to make nutritious sandwiches throughout the week.
Why You’ll Like This Recipe?
- Easy to Prepare: The ease of preparation makes this dish convenient and time-efficient for a quick meal.
- Multitasking: You can easily multitask while making this dish. You may cook the quinoa and prepare the dressing while the tomatoes bake in the oven.
- Texture Variety: This delicious recipe has different flavors in every bite. With quinoa, roasted tomatoes, cucumbers, and other ingredients, it offers a delightful blend of salty and savory flavors and satisfyingly soft and crisp textures.
- Perfect for Parties and Meal Prep: It won’t wilt since it’s made with quinoa instead of lettuce. That’s why it works well for parties and potlucks, where you need to feed many people. It’s also a great recipe for meal planning, such as making lunches for the workweek.
- Meal Versatility: You may serve this dish as a side or main course. Include lettuce-free salads in your recipe rotation because you can enjoy them in many ways. Serve it cold, room temperature, or warm.
- Protein Boost: Adding grilled chicken, shrimp, or chickpeas can make it more filling for an extra protein boost.
This recipe requires a few simple ingredients. For exact measurements, please look at the recipe card below.
For the salad:
- Quinoa: It works with any quinoa variety. I’ve used tricolor here.
- Stock: You can make your own vegetable broth with vegetable peelings or use any stock you have on hand. You can enhance the flavor using chicken stock or beef broth if you’re not vegan.
- Cucumber: Any variety will do, but my favorites are Persian or Lebanese cucumbers. There is no need to peel!
- Red bell pepper: They add a beautiful color.
- Cherry tomatoes: Choose ripe but firm, bright red tomatoes. You can use grape tomatoes.
- Italian herb: The dried herb blend known as Italian seasoning adds flavor and aroma.
- Olive oil: Choose a good extra virgin olive oil.
- Salt and pepper
- Cilantro or coriander leaves, chopped: You can also use fresh thyme for greater flavor.
- Chicken (see the note)
- Olive oil: The base of the dressing. You can substitute avocado oil if needed.
- Tahini: Tahini paste to give it a creamy taste.
- Lemon juice: Add some fresh lime juice to give it a zing.
- Light soy sauce: This will impart an “umami” and salty flavor. If you need a gluten-free choice, you can use tamari instead.
- Red pepper flakes: To impart a spicy flavor.
- Honey: For some sweetness.
How to Make Quinoa Salad With Roasted Tomatoes
I start by placing the tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzling one tablespoon of olive oil. I grind salt and black pepper over the tomatoes and sprinkle a pinch of Italian herbs. Using my hands, I toss the tomatoes to ensure each is coated with the oil, seasoning, and herbs.
Next, I roast the tomatoes in a preheated oven at gas 5/374°F/190°C for 25–30 minutes until fully roasted. Alternatively, you can use an air fryer or instant pot at the same temperature for about 20 minutes.
While roasting the tomatoes, I wash and rinse the quinoa and set it aside. In a saucepan, I bring the stock to a boil and place the quinoa in the boiling stock. I let it cook and simmer for 10 minutes until the liquid evaporates and the quinoa plumps up. Then, I fluff the quinoa with a fork.
I use any cooked chicken leftovers and cut them into small pieces for the chicken.
Next, I put all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk them together using a fork, a whisk, or a blender until I have a smooth sauce.
Next, I assemble it by arranging the fluffy quinoa, roasted cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, and chopped cilantro or coriander leaves in a large bowl. Finally, I drizzle the dressing sauce over the salad, and it’s ready to enjoy.
Here are some tips to help you make this recipe the tastiest dish you’ve ever had.
- Roast tomatoes until they burst and their skins are lightly brown for maximum flavor. This enhances cherry tomatoes, bringing out their inherent qualities. As skins caramelize, moisture decreases, flesh concentrates, and sweetness increases.
- You can also include some chopped greens, like spinach or kale, for an additional nutritional boost.
- Add red onion, mushrooms, zucchini, kalamata olives, and eggplant to make it more nutritious and filling.
- I recommend using as many fresh veggies as possible for the best flavor.
- Add some extra flavor by drizzling tahini or hummus on top of the bowls.
- You can serve it immediately, but it tastes best a few hours later.
- You can prepare this bowl of quinoa in advance. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge and up to a month in the freezer.
Variations And Suggestions
You can easily change things up in this recipe if you become bored or don’t have an ingredient you want to use. You could:
- Switch the grain: Feel free to swap the quinoa for other grains like brown rice, amaranth, or farro. You can also mix these ingredients to make a grain bowl.
- For extra protein: Add cooked lentils, black beans, or chickpeas to the vegetable mixture to boost the dish’s protein content. You can add some feta cheese or goat cheese.
- Add toasted nuts or seeds: Pumpkin, sesame, walnuts, pine nuts, cashews, or almonds will add a crunchier texture.
- For freshness: To enhance the taste and freshness, you can also incorporate some fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, or parsley.
- Swap the dressing: Change this dressing with a lemon vinaigrette or Greek dressing.
These are merely suggestions; you can customize this recipe with different ingredient combinations.
You can prepare the dressing, cook quinoa, and roast the tomatoes up to three days in advance. Refrigerate them all separately in airtight containers. I prefer to use a mason jar to store the dressing. After that, leave them out for fifteen minutes at room temperature before putting the salad together. If the dressing gets stiff in the refrigerator, allow it to become liquid again at room temperature before using.
What Is the Best Way to Store This Dish?
Because it keeps well in the refrigerator, this tasty recipe is an excellent choice for meal preparation. Do not store any remaining food in an airtight container until it has cooled to room temperature. They will spoil if you don’t. To properly store, there are two options:
- Place it in the fridge for four or five days.
- Freeze for one month.
How Do You Serve This Salad?
This dish is quite versatile; it works great as a side dish, an appetizer, or even a nutritious snack option. If you need inspiration, this chicken kebab, Chicken pilau, Chicken Karahi, Chicken Tikka, or popcorn chicken.
How does quinoa taste?
Quinoa has a slightly nutty flavor and a firm, chewy texture. This grain is similar to barley and rice.
Is store-bought Italian vinaigrette a suitable substitute?
Homemade dressings always taste better as they don’t contain unnecessary ingredients or preservatives. However, you can use it if you want.
Is it necessary to rinse quinoa?
Be sure to rinse the quinoa well before cooking it since it contains saponin in the outer layer and can cause it to taste bitter.
A Favorite Quinoa Salad Recipe!
Although I’ve posted many salad recipes on this blog, this quinoa salad with roasted tomatoes is my favorite. It’s full of fresh flavor thanks to fresh veggies and herbs and brightened with a simple tahini dressing. I hope you’ll like it too!
If you try this recipe, please let me know in the comments.
Roasted Tomato Quinoa Salad
- Chopping board
- Kitchen knife
- Saucepan with lid
- Baking tray
- Mixing bowl
For the salad:
- 1 cup raw quinoa I used tricolor quinoa.
- 2 cups stock see the note.
- ½ cucumber diced.
- 1 red bell pepper deseeded and chopped.
- 8.8 ounces cherry tomatoes.
- A pinch of Italian herbs.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Salt and black pepper.
- 2 handfuls handfuls cilantro/ coriander leaves chopped.
- 2 cup cooked chicken see the note.
For the dressing:
- ¼ cup olive oil.
- 2 tablespoons tahini.
- Juice of 1 lemon.
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce.
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes.
- 1 teaspoon honey.
- Put the tomatoes on a roasting tray and drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil over the tomatoes.
- Grind the salt and black pepper over the tomatoes. Sprinkle a pinch of Italian herbs. You can toss the tomatoes using your hands to ensure every tomato gets the oil, seasoning, and herbs.
- Roast the tomatoes in a preheated oven at gas 5/ 374°F/ 190°C for 25-30 minutes until the fruits are fully roasted. You can do it in an air fryer or Instant Pot at the same temperature for about 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, wash and rinse the quinoa. Set aside.
- Bring the stock to a boil in a saucepan and place the quinoa in the boiling stock. Let it cook and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the liquid evaporates and the quinoa plumps up. Fork it off so it will be fluffy.
- For the chicken, you can use any cooked chicken left over and just cut it into small pieces.
- In a small bowl, put all the dressing ingredients and whisk it all using a fork, a salad whisk, or a blender. Mix until you have a smooth sauce.
- Prepare your large salad bowl.
- Arrange the fluffy quinoa, roasted tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, chopped cilantro/ coriander leaves in the salad bowl.
- Drizzle the dressing sauce over and enjoy.
- You can use any small tomatoes that you like. I often use cherry or plum tomatoes.
- Any cooked chicken leftover will work fine for the salad. My favorite leftovers are chicken tikka or chicken popcorn.
- Feel free to change the veggies to any of your favorites. Use the suggested choices here as an idea.
Nutritional info in this recipe is only estimate using online calculator. You should refer to it as a guide only. Please verify with your own data if you seek an accurate info.