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Best Quinoa Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

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You’ll find yourself making this cold quinoa arugula salad over and over again! Not only is this quinoa and arugula salad incredibly flavorful with it’s bright lemon vinaigrette, but it’s also ready in just 15 minutes prep. Each serving of this vegan quinoa salad has a whopping 19 grams of plant based protein making it a great make-ahead lunch or dinner side. One bite and I think you’ll agree, it’s the best quinoa salad!

If you’re anything like me, the idea of quinoa is good…but plain quinoa is not. But when we add some flavor, color, and crunch? It’s a whole different story. And this quinoa and arugula salad will show exactly what I mean.

Bowl of quinoa and arugula salad with almonds

This quinoa arugula salad recipe was originally posted in April 2014 and updated in June 2021 to include step-by-step instructions, FAQs, and more.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

What You’ll Love About Quinoa Arugula Salad

  • Fresh and bright
  • An interesting mix of textures
  • Satisfying, it has 20 grams of plant-based protein
  • Easy-to-make
  • Can be meal prepped ahead

Ingredients to Make Quinoa Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

This amazing quinoa salad is made with just 7 ingredients, plus salt and pepper:

  • Quinoa: Ahhhh, the star of this quinoa arugula salad! Make a big batch and freeze it for later. You can easily prep this ahead 2-3 days.
  • Arugula: This peppery green is perfect in salads. It adds great flavor bite and a gorgeous deep green shade. If arugula is a little too much for you, you could also use torn butter/bibb lettuce or red leaf lettuce. These greens don’t hold up quite as well once dressed, so dress them right before you eat the salad.
  • Lemon Vinaigrette: I added lemon juice and zest to the vinaigrette to give it that light lemon flavor that I love in salads this time of year.
  • Chopped Almonds: I added chopped almonds for some extra staying power and a necessary crunch.
Ingredients to make best quinoa salad

How to Make Quinoa and Arugula Salad

This amazing quinoa salad is ready with just 15 minutes prep! Here’s how to make it:

  • Cook quinoa. Cook quinoa according to package instructions.
  • Make lemon vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, honey, minced shallots, sea salt, and black pepper.
  • Assemble quinoa and arugula salad. Toss together quinoa, arugula, and dressing until combined. Top with chopped almonds.

Cold Quinoa Salad FAQs

What is quinoa salad made of?

It depends on the salad, but many quinoa salads are made with a base of quinoa, some vegetables, some protein (beans, cheese, protein), and a dressing to bring it all together.

This cold quinoa salad is made with quinoa, arugula, a lemon vinaigrette, and almonds.

Is quinoa salad served hot or cold?

It depends on the salad! Many can be served either way but the beauty of a salad like this is that it tastes great cold or at room temperature.

Is quinoa arugula salad vegan?

It will vary based on the recipe and ingredients. This vegan quinoa salad is both vegetarian and vegan.

What to add to quinoa salad?

A general rule of thumb is to include the grain, some veggies for texture, some cheese or protein to make it filling, a dressing to bring it together, and some cheese or nuts for extra crunch and flavor.

Can I add a protein to this salad?

If you want a really filling salad, I recommend topping it with some garbanzo beans, chopped hard boiled eggs or grilled chicken or salmon.

Cold quinoa salad recipe in a bowl with ingredient shot

How to Store Leftover Vegan Quinoa Salad

Store this leftover healthy quinoa salad in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. For best results, store all of the components separately so that the arugula doesn’t get soggy.

When you’re ready to serve, take the dressing out of the fridge to come to room temperature (if you forget, run the jar under warm water) and assemble salad, dress, and toss together. Sprinkle with roasted almonds.

More Quinoa Recipes

If you like this arugula quinoa salad recipe, you might also like some of these other quinoa-based recipes:

Helpful Tools to Make the Best Quinoa Salad

  • Microplane Zester – Use this to get ALL of the zest off your citrus. I also love to grate garlic with this tool as well.
  • Citrus Juicer – This juicer will help you get all the juice out of citrus, no matter if you’re making the best quinoa salad or margaritas. πŸ˜‰
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The BEST Quinoa Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Author: Emily Dingmann of myeverydaytable.com
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian
  • Diet: Gluten Free
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The BEST quinoa and arugula salad recipe is bright, fresh, + flavorful. The perfect side to a grilled dinner or easy lunch. Ready in just 20 minutes.Β 



For the Salad:

  • 1 cup raw quinoa
  • 8 cups arugula, washed
  • 1/2 cup almonds, roasted and chopped

For the Vinaigrette:

  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice (about one lemon)
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 3 Tbsp. minced shallots (about one)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper


  1. Prepare quinoa as directed and let cool.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Toss quinoa, arugula, and dressing together. Sprinkle with chopped almonds.Β 


  • This salad is best made ahead of time to let the flavors deepen, and it’s great the next day.

Keywords: quinoa arugula salad, quinoa and arugula salad, cold quinoa salad, vegan quinoa salad, best quinoa salad

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Recipe rating


  1. Eileen

    Simple, light, healthy and packed with protein. Love it! I love adding quinoa to my salad as well. In fact, I’ve done quinoa, kale and blueberries.

  2. Brigitte Bilodeau

    I Made this last week with lemon marinated grilled chicken ….I didn’t add the almonds because I had meat,
    I could have added toasted walnuts …anyway I never make a recipe twice unless I really love it and this one is easy and so tasty ..the dressing is super good I added more lemon juice because I like it tangy…but it is super good and simple …I grow arugula so it’s from my garden so fresh and good I added spinach to…

  3. Gia

    LOVEd this recipe! Added a fried egg on top and sliced avocado as a protein-pick-me-up and fell in love. So simple yet so delicious!

  4. Phil

    This sounds delicious, I’m definitely gonna try this one!
    One thing though: You say that this salad is vegan, even though it contains honey, which is an animal product. The description should be updated to classify it as vegetarian. A good alternative could be maple syrup.

    • Emily

      You are so right! I thought there was a note in there explaining that, but it may have been missed when I updated the post. Thanks for letting me know, I’ll update. πŸ™‚