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Low-Key Curried Quinoa Lunch Salad

Low-Key Curried Quinoa Lunch Salad | The Full Helping

This low-key curried quinoa lunch salad isn’t new. It’s an amalgam of different curried quinoa recipes I’ve played around with over the years, some hot and some cold, some more elaborate than others, and all employing a random mixture of ingredients that I happen to have at home.

I’m posting it for the first time because:

  1. This is an easy, no-stress recipe, perfect for back-to-school lunch planning, or simply for carrying one through a particularly hectic week (which this one has been, for me),
  2. It’s a pretty great, last-minute option if you’re attending a Labor Day get together, and
  3. After all of the iterations of the dish I’ve tried, I think this one is finally my favorite, and the one I’ll keep coming back to consistently

Low-Key Curried Quinoa Lunch Salad | The Full Helping

In spite of how much I enjoy it, I can’t think of a recipe I’d encourage you more to modify based on what you have. The veggies in this salad—broccoli, peas, jarred, roasted red bell peppers, and carrots—are ones that I nearly always have at home. Corn, cauliflower, cucumbers, and a ton of other vegetables would work beautifully, too. So would a different type of dried fruit, or the addition of nuts or seeds.

Low-Key Curried Quinoa Lunch Salad | The Full Helping

The recipe serves a crowd (six comfortable portions), and I’ll cut it in half if I’m only in the mood for 3 days of leftovers. This week has left me feeling drained, and it’s been a relief to have six portions of a dish I really love, which I’ve been making for years for a reason. It’s nice to share it, finally.


  • 1 cup dry quinoa rinsed through a fine sieve
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas blanched
  • 1 1/2 cups bite-sized broccoli florets steamed or boiled till tender, then drained
  • 3/4 cup chopped roasted red bell pepper (jarred or homemade; about 3 peppers)
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas 1 can, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion tops
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup or agave optional, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Combine the quinoa with 2 cups water in a medium sized saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 13 minutes. Remove the quinoa from heat, fluff with a fork, re-cover, and allow it to rest for 20 minutes, or until warm but not still piping hot.
  • Combine the quinoa in a large mixing bowl with the peas, broccoli, roasted bell pepper, carrot, chickpeas, raisins, and green onion.
  • Whisk together the oil, vinegar, curry, turmeric, salt, maple syrup or agave, and black pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Taste; adjust salt, vinegar, and pepper to taste. Serve!


Low-Key Curried Quinoa Lunch Salad | The Full Helping

The salad is very refreshing on its own, but it’s also nice piled over fresh greens and other cool vegetables, like sliced cucumber or shredded green or purple cabbage. That’s how I’ve been enjoying it this week, sometimes with a drizzle of olive oil or lime juice or a dressing that’s sitting in my fridge and waiting to be used up.

Low-Key Curried Quinoa Lunch Salad | The Full Helping

I’m wishing you all a lovely Labor Day weekend, whether it’s a long one for you or not. I’ll be back for weekend reads on Sunday or Monday, depending on how things go as I continue to get ready for my DI to start next week. Till then, happy Friday!

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