Delicious and satisfying Roasted Asparagus Quinoa Salad is a combination of roasted asparagus, cooked quinoa, chickpeas, and tangy feta cheese; tossed in a simple lemon vinaigrette. This easy gluten-free, vegetarian dish is packed with plant-based protein and is perfect as a side or a light meal.
So many delicious textures and health benefits in this easy-to-make Quinoa Asparagus Salad!
Quinoa has steadily grown in popularity over the past ten years, and it’s quickly become one of our favorite pantry staples. It’s a high protein, quick-cooking seed that is light, and fluffy and works in pretty much any recipe where you would normally use rice or a small pasta.
If you’ve never cooked quinoa, my step-by-step “how to cook quinoa” guide will get you started. And then you’ll definitely want to try some of our other quinoa recipes; like this Greek Quinoa Salad and this Asian Quinoa Salad.
Reasons to make this recipe
- Light, yet satisfying and delicious: The bright, vibrant flavors and fabulous textures in this Quinoa Asparagus Salad recipe will have you making it on repeat. And it’s one of those recipes that pairs well with just about anything or enjoy it as a vegetarian main dish.
- Filled with nutrients: With vegetable goodness, plant-based protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats, this is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that you can feel good about enjoying.
- Great to make ahead: This dish is fabulous served chilled or at room temperature, making it a wonderful option for packed lunches all week long. And as the flavors develop, it tastes even better over time!
- Quinoa: The base of the salad is quinoa, which is inexpensive and easy to make. It’s also packed with protein and fiber, and naturally gluten free.
- Asparagus: Use fresh asparagus for this recipe. Frozen asparagus will not retain its texture for the salad. Choose stalks that are plump and firm with bright green color.
- Extra virgin olive oil: For roasting the asparagus and also adding to the vinaigrette.
- Chickpeas: Also called garbanzo beans, they add bulk and plant-based protein to this salad.
- Scallions: For a sharp, somewhat-spicy, peppery flavor.
- Feta cheese: Adds a nice, creamy tanginess that compliments the other flavors of the salad.
- For the vinaigrette: We’re dressing this salad with a simple mix of olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, garlic, sea salt and pepper.
- Fresh herbs: To add even more color and freshness, garnish with fresh mint, parsley or cilantro.
How to make this recipe
- Prep the asparagus: Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Place the asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Roast: Pop in the oven and bake for 7-15 minutes or until tender. Cool and cut into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
- Rinse the quinoa: In a fine-meshed strainer, rinse the quinoa under cold water for 30 seconds. Drain well.
- Cook the quinoa: In a small saucepan combine quinoa with 2 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then decrease the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, uncovered, until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water, about 15 minutes. Cover, and set aside.
- Whisk the dressing: In a large bowl, combine the rest of the olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, and whisk together.
- Assemble the salad: Add the cooked quinoa, chickpeas, scallions, and asparagus to the bowl with the dressing and gently toss everything together. Transfer into a serving bowl and top with crumbled feta cheese and fresh herbs if using. Adjust seasonings and enjoy.
QUINOA SALAD RECIPE VIDEO
Want to see how I make this recipe, step-by-step? Watch the video below!
- Quinoa is great to make ahead of time. We like to make a batch or two of quinoa to add to recipes throughout the week. If the quinoa is already cooked, this salad will be super quick to make.
- The cook time for the asparagus will vary depending on the thickness. If it’s thinner, start checking it at about 7 minutes and if it’s thick, it may take up to 15 minutes.
- We recommend using a block of feta cheese and crumbling it yourself, rather than using tubs of store-bought crumbled feta. The flavor is better and there aren’t any preservatives or anti-caking agents involved.
- To make this salad vegan-friendly, simply omit the feta cheese or use your favorite brand of vegan feta.
Frequently asked questions
While this Quinoa Asparagus Salad is fabulous on its own as a light vegetarian meal, we especially love it as a side dish with lemon chicken or baked salmon. It pairs well with so many main course entrees and is also a great dish to bring to picnics, potlucks and barbecues.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It tastes great chilled or at room temperature. Refresh the salad with a good stir, a squeeze of lemon juice, and more salt and pepper as needed.
30-Minute Roasted Asparagus Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 pound asparagus trimmed
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1-15 ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions (about 3 scallions)
- 2.5 ounces feta cheese crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh mint, parsley or cilantro optional for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Place the asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Pop in the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes or until tender. The thickness of your asparagus will determine how long it needs to cook.
- Cool and cut into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
- In a fine-meshed strainer, rinse the quinoa under cold water for 30 seconds. Drain well.
- In a small saucepan combine quinoa with 2 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then decrease the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, uncovered, until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water, about 15 minutes. Cover, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the rest of the olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and whisk together.
- Add the cooked quinoa, chickpeas, scallions, and asparagus to the bowl with the dressing and gently toss everything together.
- Transfer into a serving bowl and top with crumbled feta cheese and fresh herbs if using. Adjust seasonings and enjoy.