This chickpea Thai quinoa salad is simply made gluten free and vegan with crunchy cashews and chickpeas for more plant-based protein and fiber. It’s perfect for get togethers, meal prepping and anytime you’re wondering what to do with quinoa!
If I’m hitting any socially distant BBQ’s or back yard get togethers this summer I know I’m bringing this chickpea Thai quinoa salad! It’s easy to throw together in less than 30 minutes and packed with nutrition and flavor in every bite. Made gluten free and vegan, it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser for people following a wide variety of diets.
Perfect for summer when maybe you don’t feel like cooking a whole, huge meal or being in the kitchen for hours, it’s tangy, refreshing and nutritious to boot. Traditionally, I have seen edamame in these types of salads, however I only had chickpeas on hand and thought they’d make a perfect addition!
Sometimes I make a big batch of quinoa for the week with the intent of using it in a fun new way and then end up just putting it on top of a salad and calling it good. You too?! This quinoa salad will ensure that you never have boring quinoa again. It’s like a quinoa party with all the different colors and textures!
While this quinoa recipe doesn’t compare to any of the traditional Thai food I experienced in Thailand ( read more about that here and here), it does satisfy that craving for Asian food in a healthy way. I also linked to a few other Asian-inspired healthy recipes below!
why this salad is so good for you
Ok, so you know it tastes good, but did you know this salad actually really good for you too?! Quinoa is one of the only plant sources that is considered a complete protein. That, plus plant-based protein from the chickpeas and cashews makes this a filling and nutrition power bowl. .
Findings from the largest microbiome project found that eating more than 30 different plants per week yields optimal gut diversity for better health. This salad contains 9 different plant foods, getting you a third of the way there!
If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I talk a lot about gut health and why it’s so important. Everything from digestion, immunity and mood all have ties back to our gut, meaning the better shape our gut is in the better we’ll feel on a variety of levels.
ingredients for crunchy chickpea Thai quinoa salad
- quinoa – white or tricolor both work! You can also swap quinoa for brown rice if you prefer.
- bell peppers – yellow, red, and orange work great here
- purple cabbage
- chickpeas– don’t have chickpeas? Use edamame instead.
- pea pods
- cashews – feel free to use peanuts as well.
- fresh ginger – don’t have fresh ginger? Substitute it for 1 tsp. ground ginger.
- olive oil
- creamy, unsweetened peanut butter
- coconut aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
- sesame oil
- rice wine vinegar
- crushed red pepper flakes
- green onion
This salad is as nutritious as they get and packed with tangy flavor. You’ll love how easy it is to make and that it’s perfect for meal prepping or brining to a get together.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 3/4 cup chickpeas
- 1 1/2 cup purple cabbage, shredded
- 3/4 cup carrot, shredded
- 1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced (can use half and half)
- 1/4 avocado, cubed
- 1/4 cup cashews, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp. green onion, chopped
- 1 lime
peanut thai dressing:
- ¼ cup creamy, unsweetened peanut butter**
- 2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
- 3 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp. honey (omit or use maple syrup if vegan)
- 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- squeeze of fresh lime juice
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- Prepare the quinoa according to package directions.
- While the quinoa is cooking prepare the veggies. Combine the cabbage, pea pods, carrot, and peppers. Rinse and drain the chickpeas, add to the veggies.
- Combine all of the ingredients for the peanut Thai dressing and whisk until combined.
- Toss veggies with fluffed quinoa and top with cubed avocado.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and use tongs to toss everything together. Squeeze half of a lime over the salad.
- Top with cashews and green onion and enjoy!
I recommend leaving the dressing off if you’re planning to meal prep this salad and adding it to your individual portion when you’re about to have it.
** for a nut free version omit peanut butter and use stone ground mustard
Keywords: quinoa recipes; chickpea thai quinoa salad; crunchy thai quinoa salad
more healthy Asian-inspired recipes you’ll love
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