Vegan Buffalo Quinoa Salad! Quinoa, friends, quinoa! This spicy and fun dish is sure to brighten up your salad game.
This delicious, healthy, and oil free Vegan Buffalo Quinoa Salad will rock all Buffalo-flavor lovers socks off. If you are digging that spicy heat from Buffalo hot sauce, then this quinoa salad is just for you. Hearty quinoa, red onions, carrots, celery, and tomatoes are drenched in a full-on flavor explosion of Buffalo sauce that is sure to have you writing home to mom about.
Whole Food Plant Based, Vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients and gluten free.
Hi there, Ameera here!
Mom thinks I am addicted to Frank’s Hot Sauce. It’s true, I love that stuff. And I was super excited to use some Frank’s when making this delicious Vegan Buffalo Quinoa Salad. I totally fell in love with it.
One thing to note about this salad is that initially, the flavor is super vibrant, then as it sits and the quinoa soaks in the sauce, it mellows a tad. However, please note that the flavor builds on the palate. In other words, you need to take 3 bites before making a judgement as the flavor builds after each bite. Funny how that works.
When we were little, Mom always made us take 3 bites of anything before declaring it good or bad because she was very aware that flavor can build on the palate. Both in good ways, and it can also happen in bad ways. She taught me that early on when I started cooking at a young age.
This salad is a ‘flavor builder’. Especially after it sits because the quinoa is thirsty and will suck it in, neutralizing some of the flavor.
Quinoa is a funny thing. I readily admit, I am a quinoa snob. It has to be cooked just right. If not, you get that goopy, soggy quinoa that just isn’t any fun. I use a 1:1 ratio when cooking quinoa. One cup of water to one cup of quinoa. I know most people use a 2:1 ratio, but I have found that this can often make for a soggy quinoa. You want light, fluffy, individual kernels of perfectly tender and delightful quinoa.
You gotta give this one a try!
Tips for Success:
- Quinoa: One cup of dry quinoa makes approximately 3 cups of cooked quinoa.
- Pre-rinsed Quinoa: If using a pre-rinsed quinoa, then just do a quick rinse to moisten the quinoa.
- Ratio of Quinoa to Water: We generally use a 1:1 ratio of quinoa to water. This ensures a beautifully fluffy quinoa. We do not recommend using a greater ratio for quinoa because it typically results in a soggy quinoa. Feel free to use whatever method of cooking quinoa works for you as long as you end up with a light and fluffy cooked quinoa.
- Red Onions: We enjoy red onions. If you have concerns, start low and build from there. If you have an especially sharp-tasting red onion, you may wish to consider chopping the red onion, then placing it in a small bowl and cover the chopped red onions with some warm tap water for 7 minutes. This will take some of the sharpness out of the onion. Drain well, shake off any excess water, then use in the salad.
- Dill Weed and Celery Seeds: If you are not a fan of dill weed or celery seed, feel free to leave them out. If you are unsure, make the salad, then sprinkle a little in, stir it up and test taste.
- Diced Avocadoes: We had family members completed divided over the diced avocadoes, some really enjoyed the avocadoes in the salad as it added a creamy element. Others felt that the avocadoes distracted from the flavor overall. If uncertain, leave it out or add on individual servings.
- Sea Salt: We had family members divided over the amount of sea salt needed in this salad. If using the diced avocadoes, you may find a need to add a little into the salad. Our suggestion is to not add any, then taste test and add as needed at the very end.
Leftovers and Freezing:
Leftovers will generally keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Store in a covered container.
This dish does not freeze well.
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.
- Hot Sauce: We used Frank’s RedHot Original Hot Sauce.
Kitchen Products Used:
- Small sauce pan
- Box grater (to grate carrot)
We certainly hope you give this deliciousness a try.Print
This delicious, healthy, and oil free Vegan Buffalo Quinoa Salad will rock all Buffalo-flavor lovers socks off.
- 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed *
- 1 cup water
- Pinch sea salt
- ½ cup red onions, fine dice *
- ½ cup grated carrots
- ½ cup celery, diced
- 25 grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 avocado, diced (optional)
- ¼ cup hot sauce *
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons tahini
- 1 Tablespoon low-sodium vegetable broth *
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons water
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon dill weed (optional) *
- Pinch to 1/8 teaspoon celery seed (optional) *
- sea salt (to taste)
- Place the dry quinoa in a fine mesh colander and rinse really well with cold tap water for several minutes, then place in a small stockpot with one cup of water and a sprinkle of sea salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover the stockpot with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from the stove and allow to rest for 15 minutes covered. After 15 minutes, fluff and allow to cool to slightly warm.
- In the meantime, place all the Sauce Ingredients into a small bowl, whisk well, set aside.
- Place all the Salad Ingredients and cooked quinoa into a large bowl, mix well to evenly distribute the ingredients. Then pour the Buffalo Sauce over top, mix well to combine. Allow to sit for 3 to 5 minutes to let the flavors marinate. Serve room temperature.
*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 6
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