Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad is a deliciously light, fresh and healthy salad. Cooked quinoa, lots of colorful and crunchy vegetables and cashews are tossed in a simple ginger peanut dressing. This recipe serves 6.
Craving a healthy, colorful, crunchy and most importantly delicious salad?
Ive got you.
I first made this flavorful salad in 2013. Back then I was a contributor to The Pioneer Woman’s recipe sharing site Tasty Kitchen. TK is where a lot of us OG food bloggers would go to share our recipes in hopes to get featured on the TK homepage. As a contributor, I could cherrypick recipes to share and then photograph them step-by-step for the blog section of the website. It was a fun gig.
This crunchy cashew Thai quinoa salad was one of those recipes. It literally won me over the moment it graced my computer screen. Since those TK days I’ve made this salad dozens of times, and with it a few subtle (and I mean subtle) changes to this recipe.
It still remains one of my favorites to this day.
To Make This Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad You Will Need:
for the peanut dressing:
- peanut butter – Cashew butter can also be used.
- ginger – Pungent, spicy, and sweet. There’s no need to peel ginger first, simple grate on a microplane
- garlic – This adds distinct and punchy flavor.
- coconut aminos – A healthy alternative to soy sauce.
- red wine vinegar – Adds tang and acidity.
- toasted sesame oil – Lends a rich, earthy and nutty flavor.
for the salad:
- quinoa – High in fiber, plus several vitamins and minerals like magnesium, potassium, iron, fiber, and folate.
- cabbage – Lends a pop of color and delicious crunch!
- red and yellow bell pepper – Add sweetness, crunch and color.
- carrot – I like to save time and use pre-shredded but you can also grate carrot on the large holes of your box grater.
- cilantro – Lends fresh, citrusy (and to some a soapy) flavor.
- cashew pieces and halves – Adds a rich nutty flavor.
- green onions – For a mild onion flavor.
- lime – Adds citrusy notes and will enhance the flavors in the salad.
Place the quinoa in a mesh strainer and rinse under cool water. Transfer to a sauce pan and add the water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Then remove from the heat, fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.
Need a visual? Click Here for my step-by-step post for making perfectly cooke quinoa.
Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a small bowl, measure and add 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1 tablespoon honey, 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger, 1 teaspoon grated fresh garlic, 3 tablespoons coconut aminos, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar and 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil.
WHAT IS COCONUT AMINOS?
Coconut aminos is a flavorful and salty sauce made from the fermented sap of coconut palm and sea salt, yet it does not taste like coconut at all. Its consistency and deeply brown color is similar to soy sauce. It’s also happens to be soy, gluten and wheat-free too. With that said, coconut aminos is a healthy substitute for those with a restrictive diet.
Whisk well to combine. If the dressing seems to be too thick, it can be thinned out with water.
Toss half of the dressing with the quinoa.
Next add in 1 cup shredded cabbage, 1/4 cup each diced red and yellow bell pepper, 1/2 cup red onion, 1/2 cup shredded carrot, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, 1/2 cup cashew pieces and 4 sliced green onions.
Squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a lime.
And season with kosher salt to taste.
Adding more dressing as desired.
This salad is absolutely delicious served right away at room temperature. The flavors are perfect, crunchy factor is incredible and it’s healthy yet totally satisfying. I love the rainbow of veggies and the protein and fiber from the quinoa keeps me full. And the simple ginger peanut dressing is out of this world *chefs kiss*.
How long will this quinoa salad last?
If stored in a container with a tight fitting lid and stored in the refrigerator, this salad will keep for for 3 to 5 days.
For meal prep:
Store the salad and cashews separately and just toss together when ready to eat. Otherwise they tend to lose their crunch over time as they sit in the dressing.
Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad
FOR THE SALAD:
- 3/4 quinoa, uncooked
- 1½ cups water
- 1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup carrot, shredded
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup cashew halves and pieces
- 4 green onions, sliced
- ½ lime, juiced, plus wedges for serving
FOR THE DRESSING:
- 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, grated
- 3 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
MAKE THE QUINOA:
- Place the quinoa in a mesh strainer and rinse under cool water. Transfer to a sauce pan and add the water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Then remove and fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.
MAKE THE DRESSING:
- In a small bowl, measure and add peanut butter, honey, ginger, garlic, coconut aminos, vinegar and toasted sesame oil. Whiske well to combine.
MAKE THE SALAD:
- Toss half of the dressing with the quinoa. Add in the cabbage, diced bell pepper, onion, carrot, cilantro, cashew pieces and green onions.
- Season with kosher salt and squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a (juicy) lime. Toss to combine, add more dressing to taste.
- Serve topped with extra green onions, cashews and cilantro.
This recipe is lovingly and only slightly adapted from Ambitious Kitchen.
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