Loaded Quinoa Salad Recipe with Green Chile Dressing. Packed with veggies and kissed with a perky chile dressing!
In a random dinner conversation, a local chef recently mentioned that he thought quinoa tasted like birdseed.
After a chuckle, I thought out loud, “Well, I’ve never thought of it tasting like birdseed, but what does it taste like? It’s nutty. Earthy… But mostly it just tastes like whatever you add to it.”
Such is the reality of quinoa.
Yes, it’s a hearty superfood loaded with protein, fiber and minerals. Yet taste-wise, it mainly favors the other ingredients incorporated into the dish… And birdseed. *wink*
You can certainly coax the nutty essence to the forefront, by toasting the quinoa before boiling. Yet quinoa cooked with fresh herbs, tends to taste like fresh herbs, and quinoa cooked with spices, tastes like spices.
This shouldn’t be a reason to look down on quinoa.
In fact, I think of it as a positive quality. Quinoa is a versatile power-packed platform to build upon with a wide array of flavors, like fresh veggies, or say, an awesome delicately smoky green chile dressing.
I have so many good things to say about today’s Quinoa Salad Recipe with Green Chile Dressing.
Although if you take a long look at the photos, I’m sure you can see the appeal for yourself.
Light fluffy quinoa with a nutty aroma.
Piles of crisp cool rainbow colored vegetables.
Creamy smooth green chile dressing with a tangy-sweet note.
It’s healthy, yet filling and satisfying.
I love the contrast of the colorful blend of fresh veggies mixed with the starchy grainy quality of the quinoa.
Yet what really sets this Quinoa Salad Recipe apart is the mean green dressing that is tossed in at the end.
I used one of my favorite pantry go-to items, Old El Paso Chopped Green Chiles, as the base of this tantalizing dressing.
Green chiles are a great flavor-boosting ingredient because they offer a mildly smoking sweetness and tang to any recipe.
I poured Old El Paso Green Chiles with cilantro, garlic, lime juice, honey, and oil to make a silky dressing that offers huge perky appeal to the quinoa salad.
I mean, fire works and clashing cymbals kind of flavor.
Flavor that makes your mouth come alive.
This particular quinoa salad was basically shaking with giddy anticipation as I drizzled the green chile dressing over the top.
It was good before, but now?
Now it dazzles!
If you have resigned to believe that all quinoa dishes are boring, it’s time to give this fresh and zesty Quinoa Salad Recipe with Green Chile Dressing a try.
It’s also time to start packing your pantry with Old El Paso Green Chiles.
Quinoa Salad Recipe with Green Chile Dressing is vegan, gluten free, packed with nutrients, and makes a great make-ahead dish for parties and picnics.
You are going to love it!
Quinoa Salad Recipe with Green Chile Dressing
Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:18 minutes
Quinoa Salad Recipe with Green Chile Dressing – Simple Chopped Salad with smoky creamy vinaigrette.
For the Quinoa Salad Recipe:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups dried quinoa (white, red or a mix)
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup sliced cucumber
- 1 cup sliced radishes
- 1 cup sliced mini bell peppers
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
For the Green Chile Dressing:
- 9 ounces Old El Paso Chopped Green Chiles (mild or hot)
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 1/2 tablespoons honey (2 tablespoons agave for vegan)
- 1/2 cup grape seed oil (or another flavorless oil)
- Salt and pepper
- Place the olive oil and quinoa in a medium sauce pan. Set over medium heat. Stir to toast the quinoa for 2-3 minutes. Then pour in the vegetable broth and add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir, cover, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes. Then move the pot off the burner and allow it to steam for another 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
- Meanwhile slice all the veggies and set aside. Then add the Old El Paso Green Chiles, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, honey and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a blender. Puree the mixture until smooth. Leave the blender running. Remove the lid and slowly drizzle in the oil to emulsify. Taste the dressing, then salt and pepper to taste.
- Dump the cooked quinoa out onto a large platter, or into a big bowl. Arrange the tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, and bell peppers over the top. When ready to serve, drizzle the green chile dressing over the top and toss. Then sprinkle the extra chopped cilantro over the top and serve warm or at room temperature.
NOTE: This salad can be made up to 3 days ahead. Toss with the dressing, cover, and refrigerate. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Yield: 6-8 servings, Serving Size: 8
- Amount Per Serving:
- Calories: 222 Calories
- Total Fat: 5.2g
- Saturated Fat: 0.8g
- Sodium: 411mg
- Carbohydrates: 36.7g
- Fiber: 5g
- Sugar: 11g
- Protein: 7.8g
Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Old El Paso. All opinions are my own.
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