Bold and beautiful, this Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad recipe is as delicious as it is gorgeous! It’s full of healthy carrots and cabbage, protein-packed quinoa, crunchy peanuts and finished with a homemade Thai peanut salad dressing. Make this easy quinoa salad as a vegetarian dish for Meatless Monday, meal prep it for lunch, or serve with these Thai Chicken Meatballs for a full dinner!

Wooden spoons are used to serve healthy quinoa salad.

Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad Recipe

For the last few months we have started referring to our Sunday night meals as “Salad Sundays.” And this Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad recipe has been one of our favorites that we’ve made so far!

While this recipe has been on the site for a few years now, we took the best components, tweaked them, and then revamped the sauce. (This Thai Peanut Salad Dressing is the best!)

What you end up with is a light and fresh quinoa salad that’s full of colorful veggies, like crisp carrots, crunchy cabbage, salty peanuts, fresh herbs, and it all gets tossed in a kinda’ sweet and tangy delicious peanut sauce. The yin and yang of the components make your taste buds want to do a happy dance!

Another great thing about this recipe is how much food it makes! Normally we have enough left over for another 2 to 3 lunches for one medium-hungry woman and one very hungry man. (Aren’t they all?! lol) It’s delicious served cold and perfect for vegan and vegetarian meal prep.

Want to make it go even further? Serve it up with these Thai Chicken Meatballs.

Fresh veggies, quinoa, herbs, peanuts, and peanut sauce ingredients are needed to make this dish.

Ingredients

  • Quinoa. While tri-color quinoa was used, you can also use regular white or red quinoa. Nutty quinoa is the perfect base for this healthy salad.
  • Vegetables. Carrots sticks, red bell pepper, red cabbage, cilantro, and basil add color and flavor to this dish. Feel free to finely dice regular-sized carrots or choose another color of bell pepper, instead.
  • Thai peanut dressing. Such a stunning golden color with a nutty flavor. You only need soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger paste, olive oil, honey, Sriracha, and natural peanut butter.
5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

How to Make Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad

Please see the recipe card below for ingredient amounts and more detailed instructions.

1. Cook the Quinoa

Combine the quinoa, water, and salt in a medium-sized pot. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low.

Cover the pot with a lid and let the quinoa cook for 15 minutes. When the timer is up, turn off the heat but keep it covered for another 10 to 15 minutes.

Quinoa is cooked in a saucepan.

2. Make the Peanut Dressing

Mix together the creamy peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, honey, ginger paste, minced garlic, sesame oil, and Sriracha in a bowl. Save the water. Whisk until smooth.

Add the water slowly, 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix until you get your desired consistency.

The sauce ingredients are whisked together,

3. Mix the Quinoa and Dressing

When the fluffy quinoa is finished resting, add it to a large mixing bowl. Carefully stir in the carrots, bell pepper, cabbage, basil, cilantro, and peanuts. Drizzle the creamy peanut dressing over the top and mix well.

Save it for later, or serve it up with extra fresh basil, cilantro, and peanuts. Add a lime wedge for a fresh burst.

Thai peanut dressing being poured into a bowl full of quinoa salad.

FAQs

Is quinoa salad healthy? 

Yes! Quinoa salad is considered a healthy dish, just be wary of the added ingredients. Lean meats and fresh, crunchy veggies add a good bit of nutritional value, but sauces can add extra calories.

What sauce goes on this Thai quinoa salad? 

This Thai quinoa salad recipe is perfect with a homemade peanut sauce. It’s a little sweet but still savory with nutty flavors.

Recipe Tips

  • Make it work. Opt for cashews or another nut instead of peanuts and peanut butter.
  • Change it up. Choose other fresh veggies, like sugar snap peas, red onion, or even broccoli.
  • Plus it up. Chopped kale adds extra color and added nutrients.
  • Prep ahead. This hearty salad is perfect to meal prep lunches all week, so make a big batch.
  • Serve it up. Top with green onions for an added zing!

What to Serve with a Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad

This quinoa salad is the perfect light lunch or dinner, but you can easily serve it alongside any of these other recipes.

Add some protein, like Thai Chicken Meatballs, Easy Pineapple Chicken or Instant Pot Shredded Chicken.

Or, serve up some quick veggies, like Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts or Air Fryer Broccoli.

A fork digs into a bowl of Thai quinoa salad with peanut sauce.

More Quinoa Salad Recipes

Quinoa bowls are an easy and healthy dish, and the best way to ensure a healthy lunch all week.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 5 votes

Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad Recipe

Bold and beautiful, this Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad recipe is as delicious as it is gorgeous! It's full of healthy carrots and cabbage, protein-packed quinoa, crunchy peanuts and finished with a homemade Thai peanut salad dressing
Yield 5 servings
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 40 minutes

Ingredients 

Quinoa Salad

  • 1 ¼ cups quinoa rinsed and drained
  • 2 ¼ cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. salt to taste
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper finely diced
  • ¼ head red cabbage thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup basil finely chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro finely chopped
  • ½ cup peanuts or cashews salted, coarsely chopped

Thai Peanut Dressing

  • cup peanut butter creamy
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce or Tamari
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 1-2 Tbsp. honey or pure maple syrup, to taste
  • ½ tsp. ginger paste or finely minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tsp. garlic finely minced
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • ½-1 tsp. Sriracha sauce optional
  • ¼ cup water

Instructions 

  • Cook the Quinoa: Add quinoa, water, and salt to a medium-sized pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot with a lid and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and keep covered for another 10-15 minutes.
    1 ¼ cups quinoa, 2 ¼ cups water, 1 tsp. salt
  • Make the Peanut Sauce: Add all of the Thai Peanut Dressing ingredients to a bowl, except for the water, and whisk until smooth. Slowly add in the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until your desired consistency is reached.
    ⅓ cup peanut butter, 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar, 2 Tbsp. lime juice, 1-2 Tbsp. honey, ½ tsp. ginger paste, 1 tsp. garlic, 1 tsp. sesame oil, ½-1 tsp. Sriracha sauce, ¼ cup water
  • Stir Everything Together: In a large bowl combine cooked quinoa, carrots, bell pepper, cabbage, basil, cilantro, and peanuts. Drizzle dressing over all of it and mix well until combined.
    1 cup matchstick carrots, 1 red bell pepper, ¼ head red cabbage, ¼ cup basil, ¼ cup cilantro
  • Serve Thai quinoa salad with additional basil, cilantro and coarsely chopped peanuts. Enjoy!
    ¼ cup cilantro, ½ cup peanuts or cashews

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 5 votes

Notes

Prep-Ahead Instructions:
You can make the cooked quinoa and the dressing the day before you put everything together.
Storage Directions:
A quinoa salad will last in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days in an airtight container if stored properly between servings. You can freeze the quinoa salad for up to 2 months, but it’s best without the dressing. Allow it to thaw in the fridge before enjoying again.
Recipe Tips
  • Make it work. Opt for cashews or another nut instead of peanuts and peanut butter.
  • Change it up. Choose other fresh veggies, like sugar snap peas, red onion, or even broccoli.
  • Plus it up. Chopped kale adds extra color and added nutrients.
  • Prep ahead. This hearty salad is perfect to meal prep lunches all week, so make a big batch.
  • Serve it up. Top with green onions for an added zing!

Nutrition

Calories: 295kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Sodium: 748mg, Potassium: 529mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 4984IU, Vitamin C: 62mg, Calcium: 69mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Made this recipe?Leave a comment below!

5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

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Comments

  1. This is one of the most colorful bowls I have seen. I tend to use white quinoa more for flavor, but the red quinoa looks amazing with everything else here. Beautiful!

  2. Yet another one of your recipes calling my name. I feel healthier just looking at it – pinning for sure!