This quinoa chickpea salad is made with simple, wholesome ingredients that make it not only delicious but also beautiful and filling.
It is a light and easy salad that includes fresh ingredients like quinoa, chickpeas, and veggies with a tangy orange miso dressing.
Perfect for lunch, picnics, and family gatherings. I’ve taken it to a number of social functions and always come home with an empty bowl.
This salad is amazing because it’s…
- Super flavorful
- Sweet & zesty
- Simple to make
How to make quinoa chickpea salad
If you happen to have leftover quinoa hanging out in your refrigerator waiting for you to get around to it before it goes bad, you’re in luck. Having it already cooked takes out the most time-consuming step in this recipe.
Quinoa used in this salad is a highly nutritious grain that was a staple in the diet of the ancient Incas. It has a delicious flavor and a light, fluffy texture. It’s also packed with protein!
For those that need to start from scratch, cook the quinoa according to the package directions. This means first rinsing it in a rice rinsing bowl. If it isn’t rinsed well, quinoa can have a bitter taste.
Quinoa cooks on the stovetop just like rice in about 15-minutes, but I prefer to make it my rice steamer. The rice steamer simplifies everything. I just add the quinoa and water, press the button, and walk away.
You will know when quinoa is done when all the water is absorbed and the grains have turned from white to transparent.
While the quinoa is cooking, go ahead and dice up the green onions, cherry tomatoes, and cilantro. Regular tomatoes can also be used, I just like that the cherry tomatoes are round and uniform in size. They make for a beautiful salad.
If you are using canned chickpeas in this recipe, drain and rinse them in a colander to remove most of the salt and preservatives. I do this by dumping the container into a colander or strainer and running warm water over it.
Quinoa salad dressing
The dressing for this quinoa salad is one of my favorite parts. It’s an Orange Miso Asian Salad Dressing that I also use as a salad and pasta dressing. For that reason, I highly recommend making a double-batch to keep in the refrigerator to drizzle over those garden and/or kale salads.
The full ingredient list, measurements, instructions, and print button can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this page.
Assembling quinoa chickpea salad
Once the quinoa has finished cooking, place it in a large bowl and add the other ingredients–chickpeas, diced veggies, and orange miso dressing.
Mix together thoroughly to coat well. This salad can be served immediately or chilled in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Allowing it time to marinate actually enhances the flavors.
Believe me when I say that everyone is going to love this recipe. We make it in the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Food for Life classes that I teach, and participants always go crazy over this stuff.
*Originally published September 25, 2015.
Recipe from Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
Tips for making this recipe
Always rinse the quinoa before cooking, as the package directs. There is a natural film on the quinoa that can taste bitter if not rinsed off before cooking.
If you are using canned chickpeas for this recipe, remember to drain and rinse the liquid before adding it to the salad.
I highly advise to make extra dressing while you’re at it and use it on salads.
Your Questions Answered:
Q: What can I substitute for miso paste?
A: Though I haven’t tried it, probably soy sauce would make a fair substitute. However, the miso really adds to the flavor of this recipe, so I highly recommend using it instead when possible.
Q: Can I freeze this salad?
A: I would imagine it would freeze just fine. There aren’t any ingredients in it that I consider nonfreezable, so I say give it a try.
Q: Is this recipe gluten-free?
A: Yes, it is! Quinoa and chickpeas are gluten-free as well as the other ingredients.
Other great salad recipes
- 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup dry quinoa
- 1.5 cups garbanzo beans (chickpeas), cooked or canned, drained and rinsed
- 3 Tbsp fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup orange juice, (juice from 2 oranges)
- 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tsp white or yellow miso
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp ginger, grated or minced
- 2 tsp black sesame seeds
- Cook the quinoa according to the package directions. This means first rinsing it in a rice rinsing bowl. If it isn’t rinsed well, quinoa can have a bitter taste.
- While the quinoa is cooking, go ahead and dice up the green onions, cherry tomatoes, and cilantro. Regular tomatoes can also be used, I just like that the cherry tomatoes are round and uniform in size. They make for a beautiful salad.
- If you are using canned chickpeas in this recipe, drain and rinse them in a colander to remove most of the salt and preservatives. I do this by dumping the container into a colander or strainer.
- Whisk together the salad dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
- Once the quinoa has finished cooking, place it in a large bowl, and add the other ingredients–chickpeas, diced veggies, and orange miso dressing. Mix together thoroughly to coat well. This salad can be served immediately or chilled in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Allowing it time to marinate actually enhances the flavors.
Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 95Total Fat: 2gCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 4g
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