Lemon Basil Quinoa Salad! Bring us ALL the salads, especially ones with rainbow veggies and zesty, bold dressings – YUM!
Bright, refreshing, zesty, this easy, oil-free Lemon Basil Quinoa Salad is all sunshine and a POW of flavor. It’s light, fresh and loaded with plant goodness. Garden veggies and nutty quinoa all tossed in a bold basil and lemon dressing creating this tasty and wholesome salad that is perfect for lunch, dinner, or picnics.
Whole Food Plant Based, Vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients and gluten free.
Hi there, Ameera here!
Lemon Basil Quinoa Salad is the perfect spring or summertime salad when you are looking for something light, refreshing, and satisfying.
We love lemon and basil together. They create a deliciously clean, fresh flavor combination on the palate. If you are a lemon and basil lover too, and this salad is just for you 😀
Tips for Success:
- Freshly Cooked Quinoa: If using freshly cooked quinoa, place 2 ¼ cups of cooked quinoa on a plate, spread it out to bring down the temperature. You can used slightly warm quinoa.
- Cooked and Refrigerated Quinoa: If using cooked and refrigerated quinoa that has been made and refrigerated, we suggest placing 2 ¼ cups of quinoa onto a plate for 15 to 30 minutes to allow it to slightly come to room temperature. Cold quinoa tends to stunt the flavors of this salad and you will not get the full-flavored experience.
- Al Dente Quinoa: We absolutely love what most would consider “al dente” quinoa. This is quinoa that is fully cooked but is not mushy or soggy. Some folks really struggle when it comes to cooking quinoa properly. Often individuals tend to oversaturate the quinoa with water and end up with soggy quinoa that overly wet and just not all that pleasant. A lot of people swear by cooking quinoa in a rice cooker or their instant pot. We have a method that works for us, but we suggest that you use the rule of thumb in that you cut your water in half of what you measure out for quinoa. For example, if you cook 1 cup of dry quinoa, then use ½ cup of water. Gently boil (lid on) for 15 minutes, then remove from the stove and allow to steep (lid on) for 15 minutes, then fluff. (Note: This recipe uses 2 ¼ cups of cooked quinoa).
- Fresh Basil versus Dried Basil: We kitchen tested both fresh basil and dried basil. While dried basil (1 teaspoon mixed in with the dressing) works, the flavor is superior using fresh basil. We used a 2/3 oz package of fresh basil that you typically find in the herb section of the store. You can use more or less largely dependent upon taste preferences.
- Lemon Zest: If you really love lemon, then feel free to add additional lemon zest to really boost the lemon flavor.
- Tomatoes: We used 7 seeded Campari tomatoes.
- Maple Syrup: Feel free to adjust the maple syrup to suit your preferences.
- Lemon Flavor: The lemon flavor in this salad is really the star of the show. It features a tart lemon flavor that is slightly tempered by a little sweetness of maple syrup. If you are not a total lemon lover, then this salad is not for you.
Leftovers and Freezing:
Leftovers will generally keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Store in a covered container. Reheating can be done on the stovetop, or in the microwave.
This salad does not freeze well due to using fresh vegetables.
Pantry Products Used:
- Vegetable Stock: We use Pacific Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Stock. We love this brand because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, as it does not contain MSG, has no oil, and does not contain any highly-processed ingredients.
- Miso: We used Miso Master Organic Mellow White Premium Lite Miso, Certified Gluten Free. Miso really lends itself to balancing flavors when you don’t use oil. You can also use chickpea miso for a soy free version.
Kitchen Products Used:
We certainly hope you give this deliciousness a try.
If you try these refreshing salad, we would love to know if you enjoy it as much as we do! Please leave us a review! Post a picture on Facebook or Instagram and tag us! We would love to hear from you.Print
Bright, refreshing, zesty, this easy, oil-free Lemon Basil Quinoa Salad is all sunshine and a POW of flavor.
- 2 ¼ cups cooked quinoa *
- 1 – [ 15.5 oz. can ] navy beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup seeded tomatoes, small dice *
- ¼ cup red onions, fine dice
- 1 red bell pepper, fine dice
- 2 baby cucumbers, diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- ¼ cup (2/3 oz.) fresh basil, chopped
Lemon Dressing Ingredients:
- ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (+/-)
- 2 teaspoons tahini
- 1 Tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup (+/-) *
- 2 Tablespoons low-sodium vegetable broth *
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon white miso *
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ to ¾ teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
- Lemon zest
- Fresh basil
- Place the all the Lemon Dressing Ingredients into a small bowl, whisk until smooth and emulsified, set aside.
- Prepare all the Base Ingredients and place into a large, then add the cooked quinoa. Toss to evenly distribute the salad ingredients; then drizzle with the Lemon Dressing while tossing.
- Taste test and add adjust seasonings accordingly. Serve and enjoy!
*Please reference the blog post for Tips for Success, Pantry Items Used, Storage and Freezing, and Kitchen Products Used.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Serving: 4 to 5 (makes 6 cups)
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