Sundried Tomato, Spinach and Quinoa Salad

This simple quinoa salad is perfect for packed lunches!

This salad couldn’t come at a better time. I’ve just returned home after a long weekend in Austin, Texas. Taco after taco, margarita after margarita. Chips and salsa in between. On the return home, I ate a scoop of Mexican vanilla ice cream for dinner. It was incredible.

quinoa and spinach

This was a girls’ trip, just for fun, and it was desperately needed. My taste buds got a break from all the cookbook recipe testing and now, I’m craving healthy home cooking once again. Please, remind me to take real vacations more often!

This mega-healthy quinoa and spinach salad was inspired by a Whole Foods buffet salad that I found in Kansas City last week. I was desperate for recipe inspiration, so I sampled a few of their salads and particularly enjoyed their spinach and quinoa salad with pine nuts and sun-dried tomatoes. The sign said the salad had basil in it, but I sure couldn’t find any.

Anyway, I tried to recreate it at home and ended up making a few changes, of course. I swapped more affordable sliced almonds for the pine nuts (they taste better, too), skipped the nonexistent basil, and whipped up a zippy lemon dressing.

This salad packs up great for lunch. It would also make a lovely, protein-rich side salad. Top it with a fried egg and call it dinner. It’s vegan as is, but you could throw in some feta if you’d like. Chickpeas might be nice, too. Arugula is a great alternative to spinach (I could hardly decide between the two).

I’ve been frustrated with my quinoa ending up mushy lately, so I tried cooking the quinoa uncovered for 15 minutes this time, and it worked beautifully. I hope it works just as well for you. Please let me know!

  • Print

    Author: Cookie and Kate

    Recipe type: Salad

    Cuisine: Mediterranean

    Prep time:

    Cook time:

    Total time:

    Serves: 4 servings



    Lemon dressing



    Recipe inspired by a quinoa salad at Whole Foods Market.
    Make it nut free: Replace the almonds with pepitas (green pumpkin seeds). Sunflower seeds might be nice, as would pine nuts if you aren’t sensitive to them (they are technically seeds).
    Storage suggestions: This quinoa will keep well, covered and refrigerated, for several days. Gently reheat or serve chilled.


    Did you make this recipe?

    Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #cookieandkate!

    Source: Cookie and Kate