Originally posted May 2013, updated September 2017.
Boring lunches? This is the fix! This Coconut Lime Quinoa Salad is a great make-ahead big-batch recipe that will take your tastebuds to the beach on gloomy days. Gluten-free, vegan, and all-around delicious!
No matter what the time of year, I’m always into a multi-coloured, massive salad full of textures and flavour. If you’ve been hanging around here for any length of time, I’m sure you’ve probably caught on to that by now!
You know when you come back from a long trip, having eaten out a lot more than you normally would, and your body just craves being able to eat something that came out of your own fridge? Tell me I’m not the only one… right?
As a food blogger, health coach and certified Culinary Nutrition Expert, I know I probably get a lot more excited about vegetables than the average person. But seriously, this Coconut Lime Quinoa Salad is so good, I’m pretty sure it would get ANY hungry individual excited, and possibly coming back for seconds, too! It’s a mix of crunchy, crisp, sweet and savoury, and the subtle coconutty flavour reminds me of sitting under a beach umbrella with the sun beaming down and my toes in the sand.
A couple of pro tips if you’re making a big batch ahead of time (which the recipe is perfect for, by the way!):
- Let the quinoa cool before you mix it with everything else. This will ensure the other ingredients stay crisp, rather than losing their water due to the warmth from the quinoa’s steam.
- Chop everything into small pieces. Not only does it make food easier to digest (so does chewing!), but it also means you get a little bit of everything in each bite, and that’s the way I like it!
- Use the fresh herbs! Seriously, they taste a million gazillion times better than dried. You can even add more than what’s listed below if you like.
- Feel free to make a double or triple batch of the dressing. It’ll keep well in the fridge for a week and can be used as a dip for raw veggies too.
- If peaches aren’t in season or you can’t get good ones, swap in mango, pineapple or berries. Even apples work – you’re just looking for a natural sweetness to contrast the savoury flavours from the other ingredients.
Coconut Lime Quinoa Salad
- Total Time: 32 minutes
- Yield: about 11 cups 1x
Boring lunches? This is the fix! This Coconut Lime Quinoa Salad is a great make-ahead big-batch recipe that will take your tastebuds to the beach on gloomy days.
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked, + 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup finely sliced red onion
- 1 cup diced mango or peach chunks
- 3 cups cucumber, diced
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 1 ½ cups shredded purple cabbage or radicchio
- 2 cups shelled edamame, defrosted
- 1/2 cup unsweetened toasted coconut flakes
- ¼ cup roughly chopped almonds
- 2 tbsp each pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
- a few good shakes of black pepper
For the dressing:
- 2 tbsp tahini
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- Boil the quinoa in water according to package directions. This should take about 12-15 minutes, and all water should be absorbed. Remove it from the heat, fluff with a fork and allow it to cool.
- Whisk together the dressing in a small bowl and set aside.
- Prepare all remaining ingredients as indicated above and toss them together in a very large bowl. When the quinoa has cooled, add it to the mixture, along with the dressing. Stir well to coat.
- While this salad can be enjoyed right away if you like, for best results, let it sit for at least 30 minutes – or overnight if you can. The quantity of dressing used is fairly small relative to the size of the salad because the lime, fresh herbs and peaches do an amazing job at creating flavour and moisture.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 12 mins
- Category: salad
- Method: boil
Other salads you might enjoy…
- Fresh Start Superfood Salad
- Rainbow Kale Slaw with Miso Tahini Dressing
- Buckwheat Nourish Bowls with Tahini Lamon Dressing
- Summer Bliss Salad
- Balsamic Peach and Quinoa Salad
27 thoughts on “Coconut Lime Quinoa Salad”
Last night I made your shrimp roll recipe for the first time — so tasty! Definitely will be making them a lot this spring/summer!
Oh I’m so glad you enjoyed them Megan! Let me know if you come up with any more great flavour combos for the fillings!
What is the carbs, protein, calories, fat, and sugar?
This looks amazing! Do you think canned peaches can be used instead? Thanks in advance!
Thanks Aisha! I think you could certainly use canned peaches, although I’d suggest ensuring that the ones you use aren’t canned in syrup as this will add quite a bit of sugar to the recipe – and peaches are already lovely and sweet on their own! I like that idea though, especially when peaches aren’t in season. Let me know how it turns out!
I made it today. And it turned out amazing! Canned peaches definitely worked. Thank you!
So happy to hear it, Aisha! You are so welcome. I hope you had a lovely weekend!
Is the yield of this recipe really 11 cups?
Hi Dawn! Yes, when I made it, that’s how many I counted. Note however that if you leave it in the fridge for a while, the volume will condense a bit as the ingredients soften. (The cabbage and cucumber take up quite a bit of space!)
This recipe looks so good and I’m looking forward to trying it! I notice that the yield is 11 cups, however, I’m wondering what you consider a serving- 1 cup, 2 cups??? Thanks for posting such a yummy recipe!
Hi Emily, great question! I’d say a serving is about 2-3 cups, but it really depends on how hungry you are! A lot of the volume comes from water-dense veggies (cucumber, for example), so I’d say a serving is ~3 cups. I hope you enjoy this! 🙂
Do you have nutrition information per serving?
Hi Clare, I haven’t worked out the nutrition stats but you can easily do so by plugging the recipe into a tool like MyFitnessPal and setting the servings to 11. That should give you the stats per cup, so you can decide from there how many you’d like to consider a serving. Hope that helps!
1/2 cup of water for the dressing? It’s quite watery and and not very tastey. Did I miss something?
After making the salad and leaving it in the fridge over night, I sampled it. So delicious! I highly recommend! Thanks for sharing this recipe.
So happy to hear it Jodi! I agree – this one is SO good the day after and definitely worth the wait! 🙂
Hi Jodi! Yes, I know it sounds a bit excessive and I was quite surprised myself that it needed 1/2 cup after making the dressing several times. I found that with less liquid, the tahini made it really thick – especially if you make the dressing ahead and keep it in the fridge as it tends to thicken up. However, if you’re making the salad right away and don’t have time to leave everything in the fridge, you could probably cut the water to 1/4 cup. Tahini can vary in consistency and the jar I used to make this was quite thick. Some of the more traditional/ethnic brands have really nice runny tahini (sounds so weird to read that aloud!) and in that case, less water would be needed. Hope that helps!
I am ready to add the dressing but I’m nervous because it is so tart and sour! Is this normal? Does my unfiltered apple cider vinegar have something to do with this? Thanks!
Hi Emily! Hmm… no, the type of apple cider vinegar shouldn’t affect the taste too much. The tartness is less strong once mixed with the other ingredients – especially the sweeter ones. However, if you really don’t like the tartness, you can certainly swap 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar out for a bit more tahini and about 2 tsp water. The tahini will bring the tartness down a lot, but the extra water would be needed to maintain the same consistency. Hope that helps – let me know how you get on!
For anyone interested in the nutrition of this salad, I put it into myfitnesspal and excluded the dressing…
Servings 11 (Serving size 1 cup)
Fat: 6 g
Carbs: 21 g
Protein: 7 g
Thanks for sharing, Shane!
Thanks for the nutritional information Shane.
This sounds so yummy! Body is not a fan of edamame. Wondering if you could swap out mung beans or black beans and still keep the same nutrition and flavor!
Hi Lisa! Yes, you absolutely could swap in another bean! Mung beans are definitely your highest in protein of the 3 by a few grams, and both black beans and mung beans are a bit higher in carbohydrate but all 3 are great sources of plant-based nutrition and would work well here. I’m not sure if chickpeas are an option for you, but those would be great too!
With what can you replace coconut flakes if they are not avaliable?
Hi Rashi! You could leave them out entirely if you can’t get any – obviously that would remove the coconut part of the recipe title, but I don’t think I’d advise using dried desiccated coconut instead because (in my opinion) it doesn’t really create the same effect. Don’t worry though – there are still plenty of other healthy fats in the recipe and lots of textures, so I think you’ll still enjoy it!