Quinoa Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Quinoa Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

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Salads that have a grain or cereal as their main ingredient, make a good preparation ahead of the meal. Quinoa can be boiled and kept in the refrigerator to be used later, or you can also use the leftovers. This Quinoa salad with Arugula is bursting with nutrients and flavors, all to provide you with a low-calorie, healthy meal. It is great for weight loss, gluten-free and keto diets. And the best thing is the customizations! Add as many vegetables as you like, and feel free to add fish, chicken, or cheese to your bowls.

Quinoa salad also makes a great side with beef steaks, baked chicken, salmon patties, or many other main courses. It is one of the best summer potluck ideas, especially for outdoor bar-b-cue parties. The salad is loaded with Fibre, Protein, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and copper, which boost the body’s metabolism and aid in growth. So when your children simply do not to eat any meal a delicious bowl of quinoa salad will meet all their nutritional needs. 

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients for Quinoa Arugula Salad

For salad:

  • 1 cup uncooked Quinoa
  • 8 cups arugula
  • ½ cup roasted and chopped almonds

For Vinaigrette

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • One finely chopped shallot
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Ingredient Notes


Quinoa is often considered a rice-like grain, but some people also refer to it as a seed. It is either red, black, or white in color. Cooked quinoa has quite a nutty flavor which blends well with a variety of vegetables, meat, and fish. For this salad, you can use any one or a mix of all three types. Quinoa needs to be cooled down after boiling before putting in the salad, or its heat may cause the Arugula leaves to wilt. See the best quinoa side dishes.


Arugula is a cabbage-like green leafy plant, which has a slightly peppery taste. It has a crunchy texture and blends well with the flavors of lemon vinaigrette.  It makes addition to the nutrient content by providing calcium, magnesium, fiber, and a variety of vitamins. If you do not like arugula or do not have some, you can add fresh baby spinach which has a similar taste and nutritional content.


Although I have used only Quinoa and Arugula in my salad to keep it simple, you can load it with vegetables like cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, and olives to make it the best vegan potluck meal. Cherry tomatoes are a great option to add to any salad because they maintain their shape and do not get soggy. Cucumbers lend freshness and a cool taste. They also promote gut health.


Cheese makes a good addition to any salad because it raises the protein content of meals and lends a delightful flavor. If you want a low-fat option, use Feta Cheese. It has a creamy texture and salty taste and is a healthy source of B Vitamins and calcium. Cottage cheese or tofu can also make good substitutes for Feta.

Olive Oil

Always choose extra virgin olive oil to make the salad dressings. Not only it makes the dressing light and fluffy, but It is also loaded with Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids and antioxidants. It lends a great taste and makes a lightly textured vinaigrette. If you don’t have Olive oil, use canola or sunflower oil to make the dressing.

Quinoa Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette -2

Expert Tips to Make the Best Quinoa Arugula Salad

  • Boil quinoa an hour or so before you have to serve the salad so that it has ample time to cool down. It is better to boil quinoa a day ahead or use the leftover quinoa for this. However, if you have to prepare the salad quickly, spread the cooked quinoa on a baking sheet to cool down faster. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator.
  • You can add as many vegetables as you like such as asparagus, kale, baby spinach, and broccoli. This will make it more nutritious and flavorful.
  • To add to the protein content of the salad, feel free to add 1 cup of diced grilled chicken or canned tuna. You can also add red kidney beans or cannellini beans.
  • For a more flavorful salad, boil your quinoa in vegetable or chicken stock, which will make it delicious.
  • If you do not have vinegar, you can always replace it with fresh lemon juice to make a slightly different flavored dressing.
  • If you do not have quinoa, skip it and use brown rice or farro, which make good substitutes.

How to make Quinoa and Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette?

Step one: Prepare Quinoa

  • Pour raw quinoa into a mesh sieve and wash it under running cold water. This will prevent the development of any bitter aftertaste.
  • Add 1 cup of quinoa in 1 ¾ cup of water and bring it to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover, and cook until the moisture dries up and the quinoa gets fluffy.
  • Allow ample time for cooling before using it in the salad.
Cooking Quinoa for making salad

Step two: Prepare Vinaigrette

  • In a mixing bowl, add olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, honey, chopped shallots, salt, and black pepper.
  • Mix well so that the ingredients blend and form a vinaigrette.
Mixing dressing for Quinoa and Arugula Salad

Step three: Assembling

  • In a large salad bowl, pour cooled quinoa and chopped arugula. Give it a good mix.
  • Add the vinaigrette and mix well to coat all the ingredients.
Mixing Quinoa Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
  • Garnish with roasted and chopped almonds. Serve fresh.

Storage Instructions

  • What I suggest about salads is, never to store them. East them right away when they are fresh.
  • If you have some leftovers, place them in an air-tight container and keep them in a refrigerator. The salad will remain good for 3 to 5 days.
  • You can also store quinoa and arugula salad in the freezer. Just put it in an airtight container and freeze it where it can last for almost 2 months.
  • Leftover quinoa salad can also be eaten straight out of the refrigerator as a cold salad. However, check for obvious signs of spoilage such as bad odor, mold, or the appearance of fungus.
  • If you do not like your salads cold, you can reheat quinoa salad in a microwave for a few seconds. Since quinoa is considered both a cereal and a grain, it reheats well without losing its texture.
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Recipe Variations:

Since this Quinoa and Arugula salad is just a basic recipe, you can try many variations according to specific ingredients. Here are some of the tasty variations to try.

Blueberry Quinoa Arugula salad With Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Just a bit of fresh blueberries and sliced avocados can give the quinoa and arugula salad a punch of taste. It is loaded with antioxidants and proteins, which are good for growing children. The honey lemon Vinaigrette gives it a deliciously sweet and sour taste. This salad makes the best potluck side dish for a hot summer afternoon.

Arugula Salad with Parmesan and Lemon Vinaigrette

Skip the quinoa and add loads of Parmesan along with Arugula to create a new salad. Use the usual lemon vinaigrette with olive oil as a dressing. Add baby spinach or kale as extra vegetables for added flavor and crunch.

Chicken Quinoa Salad with Arugula

For this salad, add basil to your usual lemon vinaigrette for a cool and refreshing flavor. Its taste goes well with chicken and makes a good variation to the otherwise vegan potluck salad. If you want to make it more hearty, add in some mayonnaise, yogurt, or sour cream.

Other options you may also like:

Related Salad Recipes:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Quinoa gluten-free?

Yes, Quinoa is gluten-free but there is always a risk of cross-contamination during food processing. So when you buy packaged quinoa, be sure to check the “gluten-free” label on the product. Otherwise, this Quinoa and Arugula salad is perfect if you have Gluten intolerance or other allergies.

Is quinoa salad vegan?

The recipe I have shared in my blog is completely vegan. But if you are talking about the variation which has Feta Cheese, chicken, or tuna in it, it is not vegan-friendly. You can use tofu as a substitute for feta cheese, which too will make the salad vegan. Quinoa with arugula salad is a great way to fuel yourself when you are on a weight loss diet and are eating clean.

How to store Quinoa Salad?

Quinoa salad should be consumed when it is fresh to get the best nutritional value. However, any leftovers can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

What goes best with Quinoa and Arugula salad?

Although it is almost a complete meal, Quinoa Salad goes well with a variety of main courses. It is an ideal side to serve with meat steak, fried salmon, stuffed sweet potatoes, air fryer baked potatoes, beef burgers, etc.

Quinoa Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Quinoa Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Adalynn Ward
When you want a low-calorie but nutrient-dense meal in a very short time, Quinoa and Arugula Salad with LemonVinaigrette is one of the best salads! Plus, it makes a gluten-free meal sothat everyone at the table can enjoy
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Salad
Servings 5 persons


For salad:

  • 1 cup uncooked Quinoa
  • 8 cups arugula
  • ½ cup roasted and chopped almonds

For Vinaigrette:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 finely chopped shallot
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

How to Make?

  • Boil quinoa as per package instructions and allow it to cool.
  • Chop arugula as required.
  • In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Mix well. Throw in the boiled quinoa and arugula. Mix well and add chopped almonds as garnish.


Serving: 1dishCalories: 379kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 13gFat: 21gSodium: 169mgFiber: 7gSugar: 9g
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Hello!! My name is Adalynn I love to eat, travel, and eat some more! I am married to the man of my dreams and have a beautiful little girl whose smiles can brighten anyone’s day!