Welcome to my favorite summer salad of 2020. I cannot stop thinking about it, making it and eating it all over again.
I first started making this quinoa salad when Sidney was around 3 months old; I wanted a healthy meal prep lunch that was flavorful, healthy and nutritious but most importantly, I wanted a salad that would last for days in the fridge without getting weird. AND DAMN DOES THIS SALAD DELIVER.
I have a few other quinoa based salads on the blog that are fabulous, but this one really takes the cake. It’s bright, bold and full of flavor thanks to the nutritious quinoa that’s infused with fresh grated ginger, curry powder, garlic powder and earthy ground turmeric.
Oh, and let’s not forget about the beautiful veggies, fruits & herbs including red bell pepper, carrots, peas, red onion, dried cherries, cilantro and parsley. Once you take a bite, I promise you won’t be able to stop. Especially after you try my spicy maple glazed cashews!
Ingredients in curry cashew chickpea quinoa salad
This delicious vegan curry chickpea quinoa salad is loaded with a rainbow of veggies and an incredible blend of spices. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Quinoa: I love using regular, white quinoa, but tri color quinoa will work just as well.
- Water: for cooking the quinoa. You can also use vegetarian broth.
- Chickpeas: to add a delicious boost of plant-based protein. Feel free to use cooked chicken instead if you’re not vegan or vegetarian!
- Frozen green peas: I love the addition of peas in this recipe, but you can omit if you don’t have any.
- Sesame oil: a bit of sesame oil will help flavor the quinoa and infuse the spices. Feel free to sub olive oil.
- Fresh ginger: I highly recommend using freshly grated ginger in this recipe for incredible flavor.
- Curry powder: for that delicious, cozy curry kick. Feel free to add more than the recipe calls for if you love curry as much as I do.
- Turmeric: the ground turmeric really deepens the flavor in here and adds some amazing anti-inflammatory properties.
- Garlic powder: garlic powder adds a wonderful savory flavor to the salad.
- Salt & pepper: for the perfect amount of seasoning.
- For the add-ins: this quinoa salad calls for crunchy red bell pepper, shredded carrots, dried cherries, red onion, cilantro and parsley. The blend of veggies and herbs gives it a nice crunchy texture paired with fresh, bold flavor.
- Raw cashews: I love the crunch that the cashews give this salad. Feel free to omit if you want this to be nut free.
- Pure maple syrup: a tiny punch of sweetness from maple syrup goes a long way when you toast your cashews up.
- Cayenne pepper & sea salt: add just a bit of heat from cayenne, or just go for the sea salt if you’re sensitive to spice.
How to cook the perfect fluffy quinoa
- Use a 1:2 ratio for quinoa to liquid. In this recipe you’ll cook 3/4 cup quinoa in 1 2/3 cups water. I like to add a tiny bit more water to ensure the quinoa is super fluffy after you’re done cooking and it continues to steam in the pot.
- Add in quinoa and water to a medium pot and bring mixture to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and cook for exactly 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, remove from heat and fluff quinoa with a fork.
- Finally, replace lid and allow quinoa to steam for 10 more minutes.
Customize this curry cashew chickpea quinoa salad
- Switch up your protein. If you’re not vegan or vegetarian I think grilled chicken would be delicious in here. Try this marinade, too!
- Use the veggies you have on-hand. Shredded red cabbage, snap peas, green onion or even roasted broccoli or cauliflower would be delicious in this salad.
- Choose your sweetness. I love this salad with dried cherries, but feel free to use dried cranberries, raisins, golden raisins or chopped dates for little bites of sweetness throughout.
- Switch up your nuts. I recommend using already roasted nuts if you want to sub. Honey roasted peanuts, cashews or pistachios would be great options.
How to store quinoa salad
This delicious vegan curry cashew chickpea quinoa salad gets even better over the course of a few days as it marinates in the spices. Store it in an airtight container (or a few meal prep containers like these) for up to 5 days and enjoy all week long. It’s perfect for meal prep as a side dish or a main dish, and you can easily make it the night before.
More quinoa recipes to try
I hope you love this vibrant curry cashew chickpea quinoa salad. If you make it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe — I really appreciate it! xo.
Vibrant Curry Cashew Chickpea Quinoa Salad
Vibrant curry cashew chickpea quinoa salad packed with veggies and delicious flavor from curry powder, fresh ginger, turmeric and sweet and spicy maple glazed cashews. This wonderful vegan curry chickpea quinoa salad is easy to make for the perfect main meal or healthy side dish!
- For the quinoa:
- ¾ cup quinoa
- 1 2/3 cup water
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- ¾ cup frozen green peas, thawed
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil (or sub olive oil)
- ½ tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon curry powder, plus more if you want a really big curry punch!
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For the mix-ins:
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- ½ cup shredded carrots (from 1 large carrot)
- ½ cup dried cherries (or dried cranberries)
- ¼ cup finely diced red onion
- 1/3 cup finely diced cilantro
- 1/3 cup finely diced flat leaf parsley
- For the maple cayenne toasted cashews:
- 3/4 cup raw cashews
- ½ tablespoon pure maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Add in quinoa and water to a medium pot and bring mixture to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and cook for exactly 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from heat and fluff quinoa with a fork, then replace lid and allow quinoa to steam for 5-10 more minutes. While quinoa is cooking you can chop all your veggies.
Once quinoa is done cooking, stir in chickpeas, peas, sesame oil, ginger, curry powder, turmeric, garlic powder, salt and black pepper.
- Next stir in red bell pepper, shredded carrots, dried cherries, red onion, cilantro and parsley.
- Finally make your maple cayenne toasted cashews: place cashews in a skillet over medium heat. Toast cashews for 4-6 minutes, stirring frequently until they turn slightly golden brown and fragrant, then turn off heat and immediately add in maple syrup, cayenne pepper and sea salt. Stir for 30 more seconds to coat cashews, then transfer to a plate or piece of parchment paper to cool for a few minutes. Cashews may stick together so try to spread them in an even layer when they are cooling.
- Top quinoa with cashews and serve! Serves 4 for a main meal or 6 as a side. I suggest waiting to add cashews until you are ready to serve so they stay nice and crunchy.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats