Curried Quinoa Salad

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Large wood platter with Curried Quinoa Salad served with fresh vegetables and lemon slices

This salad combines all of my very favorite things at the moment: quinoa, curry paste, tahini, and all the vegetables.

It’s tangy, it’s vibrant, it’s fresh, and it’s the perfect side dish or salad main to lift you out of any winter eating rut. Let’s do this!

Pomegranate seeds, quinoa, cilantro, radishes, green onion, red bell pepper, and curry powder are featured in this photo for making Curried Quinoa Salad

The base for this 10-ingredient recipe is quinoa cooked with curry powder* until tender. Then come fresh vegetables, herbs, and an utterly delicious tahini green curry paste dressing* I’ve been putting on everything lately.

The result is a hearty, savory dish that is easy, delicious, and quite versatile (adapt to what season you’re experiencing).

*Note: This recipe draws inspiration from Indian, Thai, and Middle Eastern flavors. You can learn more about the origin of curry powder and find our DIY recipe here. And learn about green curry paste here and tahini here.

Freshness abounds in this photo of green onion, cilantro, pomegranate seeds, sliced radishes, and diced red bell pepper

For my salad “toppings,” I went with radish, bell pepper, green onion, and cilantro. Pomegranate arils are another colorful addition that adds another wave of color and texture. Swoon.

Large wooden salad bowl with Curried Quinoa Salad with vegetables
Pouring creamy curry dressing onto a big salad bowl filled with gluten-free Curried Quinoa Salad with vegetables

I hope you all LOVE this salad. It’s:

Creamy
Crunchy
Fresh
Healthy
Satisfying
Seasonally versatile
& Super tasty

This would be a great dish to bring as a side to dinner parties and to have around as a snack or entrée, and it’s especially great as leftovers. Add this atop some greens and throw on some ripe avocado for an even heartier, satisfying main.

If you’re into curry recipes, be sure to check out my Curried Lentil & Vegetable Kale Salad, my Green Curry Paste (used in the salad dressing), Curried Roasted Cashews, Yellow Pumpkin Curry, and Thai Yellow Curry with Mango!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see. Cheers, friends!

Large wood platter with Curried Quinoa Salad served with fresh vegetables and lemon slices

Curried Quinoa Salad

A savory quinoa and vegetable salad with green curry tahini dressing! Just 10 ingredients, fresh, healthy, and SO satisfying!
Author Minimalist Baker
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DELICIOUS Curried Quinoa Salad with vegetables & Creamy Curry Dressing! Flavorful, healthy, 10 ingredients required! #vegan #glutenfree #plantbased #quinoa #curry #salad #recipe-53
4.9 from 29 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Course Salad, Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Indian-Inspired, Middle Eastern-Inspired, Thai-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3 Days

Ingredients

QUINOA

  • 1 cup quinoa (well rinsed and drained)
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 3/4 cups water

DRESSING

  • 4 Tbsp green curry paste (or store-bought, though fresh is best)
  • 3 Tbsp tahini
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 pinch each salt and black pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp Olive oil (optional // if avoiding oil, sub water)
  • Water (to thin)

FOR SERVING

  • 1 large red bell pepper (diced)
  • 3 whole radishes (thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils (optional)
  • 4 stalks green onion, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp nut or seed of choice (e.g. hemp seeds or roasted cashews) (optional)
  • Fresh chopped cilantro (optional)

Instructions

  • Add quinoa to a small saucepan and toast over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, being careful not to burn. Then add salt, curry powder, and water and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Set aside off heat, uncovered, to cool – at least 15 minutes.
  • In the meantime, prepare dressing by adding curry paste, tahini, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt, pepper, and oil (optional) and whisk to combine. Then add water to thin until a pourable dressing is achieved.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more maple syrup for sweetness, lemon for acidity, salt for saltiness, or curry paste for intense curry flavor.
  • Add all ingredients (quinoa mostly cooled) to a mixing bowl and top with dressing. Then toss to combine and serve. Enjoy at room temperature or chill. Garnish with additional pomegranate, radish, green onion, or cilantro (optional).
  • Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Dressing will keep for 5 days.

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the dressing.
*Dressing adapted from my Curry Roasted Lentil Salad.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 333 Carbohydrates: 43 g Protein: 9 g Fat: 15.1 g Saturated Fat: 1.7 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 522 mg Fiber: 5.3 g Sugar: 5 g

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  1. Margaret Goldsmith says

    Everything from MB is amazing, but this has to be one of the best. I can’t believe I hadn’t made it sooner! Delish! Thank you! X

  2. Jonelle Lilly says

    I made this tonight and it was so yummy! I did use store bought green curry and topped with mini sweet peppers and cilantro and radishes only. I also topped each portion with the dressing separately. It made a lot of dressing per the amount of quinoa in my opinion.

    My whole family ate it with no complaints! (Which made me laugh because out of a family of 5 this was literally the first thing everyone agreed they liked…I’m a solid 3 out of 5 like a food average).

    My oldest, 11, hid her face in “shame” because she said, “I can’t believe I like quinoa.”

    I put mine on a bed of romaine lettuce and added a bit of chopped rotisserie chicken.

    Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! We’re so glad everyone enjoyed it, Jonelle! Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Carol L says

    This recipe brings quinoa to a whole new level. The green curry tahini lemon dressing really rocks! I used Mae Ploy brand green curry and only used 1 Tbsp for the dressing instead of 4. To me, that is enough but I could probably use up to 2 Tb next time. Since we are sheltering-in-place, I only had Philippine mangoes as toppings and added lots of green scallion and roasted peanuts. It was perfect with the crunch from the peanuts and sweetness/tartness of the mangoes! Thank you for this recipe.

  4. Milagros Pinon says

    We made this on Saturday night, it was a hit! Used store bought green curry paste and didn’t have red pepper but it was delicious anyway. A new family favorite

  5. Jocelyn says

    I made this and it was great but it was way to spicy with 4TBSP of green curry (and I like spicy). I had to throw the first batch out. Made it again with one TBSP and it was great. Are we sure that wasn’t a typo?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jocelyn, we used our homemade green curry paste which is less concentrated, so that’s likely the issue! Reduce if using store-bought!

  6. Laura says

    I am really excited to try this. What do you think of adding apricots. Apricots, radish, pomegranates, cilantro and red pepper? Do these flavors go together? Thank you!

  7. Laura says

    This is delightful! Made extra sauce and sautéed some wild shrimp in it to add to the salad for dinner. Will definitely be making it again!

  8. Noreen Spanski says

    So delicious!! Followed the recipe, using dried cranberries & added some diced cucumber. Served the first day w/ diced chicken & then, just ate it as prepared. My company loved it, too! Next time, will make 1 1/2 recipes of dressing…. it’s sooo good. Thanks!

  9. Svet says

    Perfection.
    Thank you for this wonderful recepie!
    Used orange istead of pomegranate and addedd cauliflower rice.
    Didn’t have cashews, used almonds

  10. Monique says

    I am pretty excited about this recipe! I just made it for my weekly meal prep and snuck a small portion to try it out. YUM! The dressing is a bit sharp for me, so I added an extra teaspoon of maple syrup. Next time I’ll try just three tablespoons of the curry paste to start. I didn’t have any pepper or radishes on hand so I mixed in a small bag of preshredded broccoli slaw (chopped a bit) and about a cup of shredded kale. I also added about two ounces of sliced almonds and green onions along with the cilantro. Thanks for this one!

  11. Camivy says

    If I’m making this for someone who is allergic to sesame (and nuts) any ideas what I could substitute the tahini with?

  12. Heather says

    Super yummy! I used red quinoa and had to cook it for a little while longer but other than that, using small sweet peppers instead of a bell pepper, dried fruit instead of the fresh pom, and the addition of avocado at the end, I followed this redipe exactly (oh, and I used a store-bought curry paste). It was soooo yummy! I ate it warm-ish and man everything just goes together really nice. The perfect thing for this hot Florida evening. I never would have thought about radishes on my own! Yum!

  13. Annie says

    I am blown away by this recipe, especially the sauce. I used Thai Kitchen green curry paste, so I’m sure that it’s even tastier with the homemade curry paste recipe. I had to substitute dried cranberries for the pomegranate (still delicious) and added toasted cashews. I put the lunch leftovers in lettuce wraps and highly recommend it. Thanks for my new go-to recipe!

  14. Bartica Gyal says

    I made this including all optional ingredients. I used store bought green curry paste for the dressing (a brand which ended up being super salty, so if others use random store bought, test before making the salad dressing!) however found that the salad was wonderful without dressing even. I have made all kinds of quinoa salads and this combination of add-ins was unique – perfect blend of flavor and crunch.

  15. Christine M Stevens says

    This was amazing! I can always count on MB to have incredible recipes. For the dressing, I tasted it after putting just 1Tbs of the green curry paste and it was spicy enough for us. I forgot to buy the pomegranate aerils so I substituted dried cranberries. I added some chopped red Argentine shrimp at the end and it made it even better. Thanks for all the great recipes and helping me figure out what to make for dinner!

  16. Carrie Cook says

    This recipe is sooo good. Pomegranate added a lot, in my opinion. I used tricolor quinoa and yellow curry paste, and a little less tahini than the dressing called for (after seeing that others had problem that their tahini overpowered the salad). Definitely on my make-again list!

  17. Chelsea Hansen says

    I made this the other night and LOVED it. I added pomegranate, radish, and red bell peppers which was a great addition of crunch! I also had a lot of leftover green curry paste so I made another batch of the dressing and mixed it with some buckwheat noodles, green onions and cherry tomatoes. Another repeat recipe for sure!

  18. Alexandra Martino says

    I have a feeling it was the tahini I used – Roland Roasted Garlic Spiced Tahini was the issue here but I made the dressing (including homemade green curry past) and the recipe came out tasting entirely of tahini, totally bitter without even a hint of sweetness which made the dish almost completely inedible until I doused it with maple syrup. I made enough quinoa for a retry this week so I’ll see if it was the tahini.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm it sounds like it may have been the tahini, Alexandra! In future, try a different brand, and start with less than the recipe calls for to begin with, adding more to taste!

  19. Mara says

    hi! How much olive oil goes into the dressing? I’ve made this a few times before and never noticed that it doesn’t include the measurement. Thanks in advance!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Mara! 1 Tbsp should do, but add more or less as needed. We will look at correcting that in the recipe!

  20. Jenny says

    This recipe is SUPER delicious and very satisfying!! Everyone- do yourself a favor and make the curry paste, it really makes a difference. I have been batch making this meal for work lunches off and on the past 2 months and it is wonderful! I have tried a few kinds of veggies and other additions. I roasted all the veggies I added and it gave a wonderful flavor. I really liked roasted celeriac. I tried rutabaga in the last round and it was maybe a bit too earthy for this dish. Roasted bell peppers (red, yellow, orange, and green), plus carrots and quartered radishes were wonderful (sprinkled with a bit of curry powder, cumin, and garlic powder). I also add cubed avocado and it is delicious! I love that I can eat a cold salad on hot days and feel really full and satisfied.

    The last little experiment I did was when I found myself wanting the pomegranate flavor but not having any fruit/arils on hand. I used the mandoline and made paper thin slices of radishes the first time and marinated them in a few tablespoons of lime juice, a pinch of sugar, and pomegranate molasses and OMG was that good! I decided to try sliced mini seedless cucumbers the second time and they were wonderful as well. The ratio for the last time for 4 servings was 2 mini cucumbers, 2 tbsp of lime juice, and 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses. You could even double the amount of cucumbers and other ingredients, it is a really tasty garnish. The pop of sweet and tart against the savory-ness of the quinoa and veggies was wonderful. Thanks so much for creating such a great recipe, Dana!! I wish I could post a picture, it is extremely colorful and pretty!

    • Jenny says

      Whoops – forgot to add there should be about 1.5 tsp sugar/stevia/sweetener for the pomegranate molasses marinade!

  21. Christine S says

    This was amazing!!! One question though: Do you recommend adding the other ingredients right before serving so they don’t get mushy, or do you typically add everything in with the sauce? My radish were a bit soggy after the first serving. The flavors were on point though!!! 10/10 will make again.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes, adding the other ingredients close to serving will keep them fresh and crunchy!

  22. Michele says

    Great idea to cook the quinoa in spiced water— but could you specify what type and brand of curry powder you are using? The balance and strength of the spice blends is enormous— I know that would be too much powder for my brand of Madras curry, so I would like to try your intended flavors!

      • Michele says

        oops, I saw the curry paste recipe, but I missed the link to your curry powder!! This is a big help — especially because I am deathly allergic to capsaicin… I have to satisfy my love for super spicy food more creatively with ginger, wasabi, paprika, etc., so i your curry powder — minus the red pepper— should add to my heat arsenal

  23. Kristin says

    Hi! Would this go with the noodle free pad Thai? Or is this a full meal on its own? Basically I’m asking if I should make the two together or one at a time. I don’t want to be too full. It’s for me, my mom, and my dad.

  24. Riley Marcus says

    A bit difficult for me so took me a couple of tries to pull it off properly. But, once I did get it right, loved every bite! Not only did the pomegranates add color, they brought in that extra flavor.

  25. Amelia says

    Just made this for dinner, I highly recommend it!
    The sauce itself was good enough to just eat with a spoon, but luckily I resisted eating it all and mixed in the rest of the salad ;)

    I did not add the optional pomegranate arils, but did add the green onion, and roasted cashews.

    I stuck to the recipe except I substituted the radishes for jicama because I can’t stand the taste of radish. I think the sweetness of the jicama brought out the spicy curry flavor even more!

    Anyway, thank you for a great recipe! I’m definitely making this again!

  26. Katherine says

    Eating the leftovers right now! I’ve been a reader for a long time but this is the first recipe I’ve made, and it was so delicious. Definitely a keeper! Perfect mix of texture, flavor, and super easy + healthy to boot.

  27. Manuela says

    This is my first comment, even though I’ve been following this blog and cooking recipes from it for over a year now. This recipe now one of my favorites. The dressing especially is the star of the show- it combines all of my absolute favorite ingredients: green curry paste, tahini, and lemon. The balance of sweetness, acidity, and umami is perfect. If I could put it on everything I eat for the rest of my life, I would!

    I also just wanted to say that I am continually floored by how delicious your recipes are, and how incredibly well the ingredients work together. This blog has really become my go-to when I cook dinner- you seriously know what you’re doing, and I’m thinking we probably have the same palate, because every recipe I try is tastier than the last. Thank you for your dedication to simple, flavorful, healthy, and accessible food. It has made all the difference in my development as a home cook, and it makes me happy to know that others also have the ability to create something wonderful in their own homes. Thank you!

  28. Alexis says

    This looks great. but I have to admit, I cannot stand the taste of tahini. I have tried on multiple occasions but no luck. What will be a good replacement for tahini in this recipe?

    Alexis | Simple Health Style

  29. Beth says

    I made this last week – SO GOOD and really very easy. It is going into regular rotation. I ended up turning the quinoa into a pilaf and added toasted pistachios, cilantro and the green onions to that. The pistachios looked beautiful with the yellow curried quinoa.

    Instead of doing the raw veggies and other optional items on top, I ended up roasting some veggies that I had on hand that needed to be used up – red and green bell peppers, yellow onion, sweet potatoes, 6 peeled garlic cloves and kale. I used a total of 6 cups of veggies (minus the kale) and 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil and s/p – roasted at 425 degrees for 10 minutes then added the kale for the another 8 minutes or so. Piled the roasted veggies on top of the quinoa, then topped with the dressing (which was very potent, but extremely good – we are not faint of palate in our house!).

    Thanks again for yet another really, REALLY good recipe that come together very fast!!

  30. Susan says

    I made this tonight. Added red pepper, celery, carrots, green onions, radishes, roasted cashews and cilantro. It was delicious!! Thank you for the recipe.

  31. Rowena says

    This tasted like I thought it would with the dressing ingredients, like a thai quinoa curry! It’s good warmed up but wasn’t really a fan of it cold. I omitted the pomegranate.

  32. Emily says

    Here’s a dumb question ? how do you count your ingredients? Even excluding water and salt there’s more than 10, right?

  33. Karen Mack says

    I made this salad last night, and OMG, it was delicious! I first made your green curry paste, which was worth the effort–so good!! Glad there’s leftovers of that. In the salad I used mixed spicy sprouts instead of radish, and 2 jalapenos instead of serranos, and even my husband, who always says he dislikes quinoa, loved this salad! Diced cucumbers might also be good in it…will try that soon.Very glad I added the pomegranate seeds–good call having those in the recipe!
    Dana, I LOVE your recipes, and I don’t write comments often (sorry!) but I just want to say a HUGE thank-you for these fabulous recipes. They have made life as a gluten-free vegan fun, instead of just bearable! (Incidentally, the ingredients you use in your recipes are very similar to the ones that Anthony Williams, the Medical Medium, and all -around amazing author says to use for healing of the thyroid.) Finding recipes that not only taste fabulous, but also help me heal has been life-changing. Thank you, Dana! I am an ardent admirer!
    Sincerely,
    Karen Mack

  34. Tye says

    Tremendous. Delicious. Satisfying. FIlling. Easy (if using store bought green curry ?). Very versatile—any leftover veggies easily go into this, and therefore, into me belly!

  35. Sandy Brown Jensen says

    Yes, I just made this! I think that if you had said when you posted the Rich Red Curry w Roasted Veg a few days ago that we would soon also be needing green curry that we could have purchased them at the same time?. I didn’t have green, so I used the leftover red—no problem! Still yummy. Used red pepper, cucumber, green onions and peanuts. I had pomegranate left over from Christmas, so I was thrilled to be able to use it along with avocado slices on top.
    Your recipes are so reliable and we like the same flavors. ❤️❤️❤️??

  36. Marni says

    Just made this, had to sub for red curry paste but it is still SO DELICIOUS!!! Thanks for the amazing recipe and the continuous inspiration to make yummy food!

  37. Wendy says

    This looks fabulous, as all your recipes do!
    Do you think the maple syrup is a key ingredient? Trying to decide wether or not? Maybe a pinch of stevia?

  38. Mara says

    This recipe looks amazing. Can’t wait to try it. One question about nutrition. Does the nutrition information include the optional tbsp of olive oil?

  39. Kathy says

    Just made this! The green curry made it a little spicier than I expected. It came together so quickly and is delicious. I love the cilantro and the crunchy radishes in there! Thank you for another great recipe.

    • toni says

      This looks delicious!! I would like to use red curry paste too. I’m addicted to it. How about raisins instead of pomegranate seeds?

      • Jessica says

        I agree, raisins – especially golden raisins – would be delicious in this recipe. So would chopped dried apricots.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Red curry for green: Yes, it will just take on a different flavor and be spicier.

      Raisins or Apricots for Pomegranates: Yes!

    • Kathryn says

      Sometimes if recipes call for quinoa but I’m out, I substitute millet since the grains are sort of similar in shape and size. I bet that rice would make a fine substitute, too.

  40. Jessie says

    When adding water to tahini sauces, mine tends to split and ‘curdle’. Have you had this problem? Do you have any tips on how to avoid it?

    • Hardy says

      Jessie, when that happens in my tahini sauces I just need to keep whisking away, they will become smooth eventually after a minute or two.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

          Yes! thanks for sharing, ladies. You just keep going, keep whisking, and add water until a sauce is made! Starting with a good quality tahini is best. I like Artisana or Alexis.