Thai-Style Quinoa with Salad

Cooks’ notes:  I had a craving for this dish and pulled together several different recipes to make it. My goal was a peanut dressing that wasn’t loaded with sugar. Quinoa is a great vehicle for sauce and vegetables. This quinoa dish is not authentically Thai, but it is delicious either warm or cold. You can also add sautéed yellow squash and zucchini, shelled edamame, or cilantro and diced peanuts (cilantro tastes soapy to me, so I omit it).


Make a green salad. Top each serving of salad with a scoop of the dressed quinoa.

  • 1/2 cup quinoa with peanut sauce
  • 2 cups green salad: combine 3 cups green lettuce, 1 cup shredded coleslaw mix, and 1 small English cucumber (diced). Lightly drizzle additional peanut sauce on the salad, if desired.
  • 3 to 4 oz. Add cooked shrimp or chicken, if desired.
  • Drizzle with fresh lime juice.


Make the Quinoa

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
2 cups chicken broth

1 cup shredded carrots
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green onion, diced

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 Tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice, from one lime
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt


Quinoa: The quinoa takes about 20 minutes to cook: you can dry toast it first (details). Combine broth and rinsed quinoa in a saucepan, and bring to a  boil over medium-high heat. Cover the saucepan, and drop heat to the lowest setting. Cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Remove the saucepan from the stove. Let the quinoa stand for 5 minutes, covered. Remove the lid, and gently stir the quinoa with a fork to fluff it.

Vegetables: While the quinoa cooks, cook the vegetables. Sauté the carrots, red pepper, and garlic in a little olive oil over medium high heat for about two minutes until they start to soften. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.

Dressing: Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and process until completely smooth.

Assemble: Combine the quinoa and sautéed veggies in a large bowl. Slowly pour some of the dressing into the bowl, starting with just a little bit. You will have leftover dressing. Add more dressing to taste. You want the quinoa to be flavorful but not soaked in dressing.



Adapted from recipes on these sites: How Sweet It Is (chicken quinoa bowl), Once Upon a Chef, and The Usual Bliss