Quinoa Salad with honey toasted (lightly roasted) pine nuts and leeks – A simple yet healthy quinoa salad recipe that is perfect for meal prep, holiday side dish, or a wholesome vegetarian meal! This salad makes is naturally gluten free, rich in plant based protein, and vegan friendly. A Spring Vegetable dish that’s ready to eat in 30 minutes.
Just letting you know this Spring quinoa salad recipe was originally published in 2015. I retested, rephotographed, updated content and URL. Now I am republishing it for you today! I hope you enjoy. Thank you for following Cotter Crunch Y’all!.
I recently read a great article about successful people who live to create. Create stories (writers), food (chefs), recipes, products, whatever. They said their main focus was to create great content. No matter how PRETTY or how ENTICING this content looked, it was all about the value and purpose of that content. That was KEY to making it last and making it noticeable. I’d like to think that’s my process when it comes to recipe development and recipe sharing. Okay yes, I realize I’m getting all sentimental about a quinoa salad here, but still…. this is me. I value the “why” behind the recipe, and I hope you do too. Otherwise it’s just another quinoa salad and Lord knows we have plenty of those on pinterest already. Am I right?
The best Quinoa Salad Recipe – I may be bias.
The main reason I CREATE is to express my love for REAL FOOD. The nourishment, the simplicity, the flavor combination, the appreciation of a good gluten free go -to recipe that everyone can enjoy. I know I know, corny as it may seem, it’s the truth. There is nothing I like more than to make a good meal or dish and share it with others. So my friends, today, I have what I call, a LOVE dish. Toasted pine nuts and leek quinoa salad recipe (say that 3 times fast)!
A love dish is CREATED with love. Honey toasted (lightly roasted) pine nuts and leeks to be exact. And mixed in a zesty lemon quinoa salad .
Ingredients to make a Healthy Spring Quinoa Salad!
Suitable to serve for ANY OCCASION!
- Quinoa (plant based protein, gluten free whole grains)
- Leeks – excellent source of vitamin K and can help fight disease! Total superfood ya’ll.
- Honey or maple syrup (for those who are vegan) – Unrefined sugar for the win!
- Pine Nuts – Rich in healthy fats, phytochemicals, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals.
- Lemon and Olive oil
- Garlic, Salt, Pepper
What do leeks taste like? Glad you asked!
They are slightly garlicky but mellow out when cooked (the green top portion is great for stocks!). The bottom portion, the white part we used in this recipe, has more of an onion flavor. Just not as strong/potent. Another reason why I sliced them think and tossed in honey. The taste is so similar to caramelized onion!
Side note –> You can use the bottom, white portion of a leek anywhere you’d use an onion.
Do you see my key CONTENT of this recipe yet? –> FLAVOR COMBO and PLANT BASED POWER!
This gluten free Spring vegetable quinoa salad is IDEAL to serve around the table alongside a Sunday dinner together, Easter, etc.. Don’t you just love family style sides and salads?
Maybe it’s just me, but taking time to make a dish (sweet or savory) that you can share with others is similar to that of a thank you card or Valentine’s day card. And to be honest, I’m not the best at keeping up with thank you cards or any type of writing for that matter. I am, on the other hand, much better at making (creating and sharing) food or sending chocolate cookie dough to show I care. Haha, go figure.
Now, that being said, you can totally make this quinoa salad recipe JUST FOR YOU! It’s light and refreshingly sweet it is. It pairs well with so many main ingredients too; chicken, fish, beef, or even vegan friendly (pair with roasted chickpeas an omit the honey).
It is probably the only “salad” that you can actually freeze for meal prep. And bonus; quinoa is a plant based complete protein and pine nuts are a tasty source of healthy fats, which makes this one balanced and wholesome lunch. In other words…
There is EVERYTHING TO LOVE ABOUT THIS QUINOA SALAD!
Now that I’ve talked your ear off about corny content. How about I get to the recipe?
Toasted Pine Nut and Leek Quinoa Salad Recipe. Easy to make, gluten free, vegetarian, dairy free.
- 3/4 cup to 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- water or broth
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt (divided)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2/3 cup thinly diced/chopped leeks (root portion)
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped shallot or onion
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 2 tsp honey (use agave nectar for vegan options)
- cracked pepper (to taste)
- 2–3 tbsp olive oil (divided)
- 1/4 tsp minced garlic
- 1 lemon (1-2 tbsp juice)
- First rinse your quinoa. Add 1 cup quinoa, 1/4 tsp salt, and you need about 2 cups liquid. Bring liquid to a boil with quinoa, then reduce heat to medium low and cover for 20 minutes or until fluffy. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400F. In a small bowl, combine your chopped leeks (the roots), onion, pine nuts, honey, salt, pepper, and 1- 2 tbsp olive oil. Toss and then lay it flat on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread evenly across paper.
- Roast/toast for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove, toss the pine nuts and then return to oven for another 4 -5 minutes or a total of 10 -12 minutes.
- Remove from oven and combine (in a large bowl) cooked quinoa with honey toasted mixture.
- Mix in your minced garlic, cracked pepper, 1/2 tbsp more olive oil, and 1- 2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice.
- Season with flaked sea salt or coarse sea salt and serve.
- Store in airtight container in fridge for up to 4 -5 days.
- For vegan option, omit honey.
- To boost protein or serve as a main meal, pair quinoa salad with chicken breast, fish, or plant based protein of choice.
- Category: side
- Method: roast/bake
- Cuisine: american
Keywords: quinoa, vegetarian, salad, gluten free, healthy, salad, dairy free
So tell me, if you could make anything for your family or loved ones, what would it be? Quinoa salad, family style, right?
MORE EASY GLUTEN FREE EASTER RECIPES HERE!
This recipe is part of our Easy Gluten Free Easter Recipes collection. Check it out!