A fresh and flavorful spring quinoa salad with peas, asparagus and fresh herbs. It’s topped with a lemon shallot vinaigrette, pistachios and lemon zest for more flavor and texture. It’s the plant-based springtime salad and great for meal prep.As soon as the season start to shift into spring, I start craving light, fresh meals. Crunchy salads, veggie-forward grains, and really anything with fresh herbs and bright zesty flavor. This spring quinoa salad ticks all those boxes. It’s both light and refreshing while being rich in nutrients and flavor. The quinoa salad is studded with peas and asparagus, then gets mixed with fresh herbs, a lemon shallot vinaigrette, pistachios and lemon zest for more flavor and texture.
If you love prepping your lunch for the week, you’re in luck. It’s perfect for meal prep. The quinoa salad stores well soaking up the delicious lemon flavor as it sits. I’d argue it’s even better the day after you make it. While the quinoa and peas provide some protein, if you’re looking for an additional protein boost adding chickpeas or servings along with chicken or shrimp would be lovely.
Ingredients in this spring quinoa salad
Here’s what you’ll need to make this spring quinoa salad recipe:
- Quinoa – a hearty gluten-free grain that adds a boost of plant-based protein. Millet or sorghum would be a good replacement!
- Asparagus – stream or blanch until crisp, yet tender. Just make sure to remove the woody steams first.
- Peas – add a subtle sweet flavor and an additional boost of protein. I use frozen here but fresh works great too. These get steamed along with the asparagus.
- Dill + Parsley – fresh herbs add so much flavor. Dill and parsley are my favorite here but a blend of herbs like basil, mint, and chives would all be delicious.
- Lemon vinaigrette – a simple, zesty mix of lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, and a touch of honey livens up this spring salad. The flavors marry together the longer it sits and it’s so good!
- Pistachio – for added crunch and a little more protein and fat.
Notes and Substitutions
Protein – The quinoa adds some plant-based protein to this salad but you could always toss in chickpeas, lentils or chicken for additional protein. This spring quinoa salad also pairs well with shrimp, salmon, or even grass-fed steak.
Veggies – Peas and asparagus are at peak season in the spring but any seasonal veggie will work! You can also switch up the herbs, adding in basil, chives, or mint. I love pistachios in this salad but chopped almonds or pumpkin seeds would go well. If you’re looking for something a little extra, try serving with diced avocado or chopped castelvetrano olives.
Cheese – this salad is naturally dairy-free. However, feta or gats cheese would be lovely. A vegan feta would also work!
More Spring Recipes You’ll Love:
If you make this spring quinoa salad, be sure to leave a comment and rate the recipe below. I’d love to hear from you and it encourages others to make the recipe too.Print
Spring Quinoa Salad with Asparagus and Peas
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 15 min
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 bunch asparagus, chopped into pieces with woody ends removed
- 2 cups peas
- 1/2 cup fresh dill
- 1/2 cup parsley
- 1/3 cup pistachios or almonds (dry roasted or raw)
- Zest of one lemon
Lemon Shallot Vinaigrette
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp salt
- fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Rinse quinoa and prepare to package directions until fluffy and cooked.
- Steam the asparagus and peas until cooked al dente. Start by water in a pan with a lid (I use this pan that comes fitted with a steamer basket). Place the chopped asparagus in the steamer basket and cover with a lid. Steam for 3 minutes then add the peas. Steam for an additional 3 minutes. Remove from heat and blanch in cool water to finish the cooking process. You can also boil the asparagus and peas if you do not have a steamer basket.
- Chop the fresh herbs and the pistachios or almonds.
- Make the lemon shallot vinaigrette. Add the dressing ingredients to a jar with a lid. Shake vigorously to combine.
- Add the cooked quinoa and steamed veggies to a bowl. Add chopped fresh herbs, almonds, lemon shallot vinaigrette and lemon zest.
Protein – add additional protein with chickpeas or white beans or servings along side chicken, tofu, shrimp or organic grass-fed steal.
Additions – This recipe is naturally dairy-free. However, you could add feta, goat cheese or vegan feta for extra flavor. Castelvetrano olives or avocado would be delicious here.