I’ve been on a quinoa kick ever since it became a super popular grain back in 2014. Almost 10 years ago?! Yep. Over the years I’ve added this delicious, protein-packed grain to chili, grain bowls, granola bars, pancakes, and also in banana bread. Call me the Harry Potter of quinoa.
I’m certainly no quinoa queen (or wizard), but obviously, my love for quinoa is the real deal. Not unlike my love for Twilight (it’s still real, guys), Jon Snow, or Pacey from the 90s.
All truths today.
This easy roasted vegetable pesto quinoa salad recipe is so good and something I ate for three nights straight when I first perfected it back in 2017. I paired with various proteins like chicken sausage, hardboiled eggs, and leftover shrimp, for an incredible meal prep dinner that became a new fav. Tony even said this pesto quinoa salad was good. And this is coming from a guy who still pronounces quinoa as KIN OH UH.
You know this is the real-deal delicious.
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Ingredients in this pesto quinoa salad
I whipped up this beautiful, super easy pesto quinoa salad with roasted veggies and chickpeas and MY GOODNESS IT WAS AMAZING. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Veggies: red onion, red bell pepper, grape tomatoes and baby bella mushrooms. Feel free to mix it up with veggies you have on hand!
- Chickpeas: for a delicious and affordable plant based protein.
- Spices: you’ll use garlic powder, dried oregano, salt and pepper to give the veggies and chickpeas the perfect flavor.
- Olive oil: you’ll need just a bit of olive oil to coat your veggies and chickpeas.
- Quinoa: the base of this amazing pesto quinoa salad. It gives the salad a wonderful nutty flavor and boost of protein.
- Homemade pesto: made with fresh basil leaves, fresh lemon juice, water, garlic, chopped cashews (or sunflower seeds), grated parmesan and a pinch of salt.
Customize this quinoa salad
The best part about this simple roasted vegetable quinoa salad recipe is that you can truly make it your own! Here are some ideas:
- Add extra protein. Chicken, shrimp, salmon, or tofu would all be delicious. Or get wild and throw an egg on it!
- Pick your veggies. Feel free to use the veggies you have on hand. Roast up different peppers, zucchini, sweet potato, and more.
- Choose your grain. Swap the quinoa for another grain like farro, couscous or even your favorite pasta noodle.
Can I make it nut free?
Absolutely! Simply swap the cashews in the pesto for pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
Roasted vegetable quinoa salad in 4 steps
- Roast your veggies & chickpeas. Start by tossing your chopped veggies and chickpeas in olive oil and seasonings on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast until the veggies are tender.
- Make the quinoa. While the veggies are roasting, cook your quinoa so that it’s nice and fluffy (see below for the BEST tips for making fluffy quinoa!) Transfer it to a bowl.
- Make the pesto. Add all of the pesto ingredients to a food processor and process until nic and smooth. Note that it will be on the thicker side.
- Toss & serve. Add your veggies to the bowl with your quinoa, pour in the pesto, toss it up and serve! This salad is delicious warm or cold.
How to cook the perfect fluffy quinoa
I have a tried and true method for making super fluffy quinoa that’s perfect for salads (like this one) and side dishes. Guaranteed to be your new go-to method. Get all of my tips & tricks for the best fluffy quinoa here!
What to serve with this salad
- Pair with these amazing pesto chicken stuffed zucchini boats (gimme all the pesto)
- Add a simple grilled chicken or salmon on top or on the side
- Side of Zucchini Mac and Cheese? YES, please.
- Nothing better than a juicy burger with a salad on the side!
Store this vegetarian pesto quinoa salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. It’s delicious eaten hot or cold, so feel free to dig in straight from the fridge or warm it up in the microwave!
More salad recipes you’ll love
- Famous Crunchy Cashew Thai-Inspired Quinoa Salad
- California Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad
- Kale, Edamame & Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
- Roasted Carrot Cauliflower Quinoa Salad with Sunshine Dressing
- Grilled Carrot Arugula Salad with Fig, Goat Cheese & Avocado
Get all of my salad recipes here!
I hope you love this roasted vegetable quinoa salad recipe! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!
Roasted Veggie, Chickpea & Pesto Quinoa Salad
Wonderful pesto quinoa salad tossed with sheet pan roasted vegetables and garlicky chickpeas. This flavorful vegetarian roasted vegetable quinoa salad recipe is packed with protein and is a great make-ahead lunch to enjoy hot or cold!
- For the roasted veggies & chickpeas:
- 1 red onion, cut into chunks
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
- 1 medium sweet potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For the quinoa:
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup water
- For the pesto:
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/3 cup roasted or raw cashews (or can sub roasted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds to make it nut free)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons water, to thin pesto as necessary
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place chopped veggies and chickpeas on parchment paper.
Cook veggies: Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over veggies, then sprinkle on garlic powder, dried oregano, salt and pepper. Gently toss with your hands then spread veggies out evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until veggies are tender and roasted, flipping over halfway through to ensure even cooking.
While the veggies are roasting, make the quinoa: add quinoa and water to a medium pot and place over high heat; bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, then remove from heat, fluff quinoa with a fork and transfer quinoa to a large bowl.
Make the pesto: In the bowl of a food processor, add basil, cashews, oil, lemon juice, garlic clove and salt. Process until smooth, about 1 minute, adding a tablespoon or two of water to thin pesto, if necessary. Pesto should be on the thicker side.
Once veggies are done, add them to the bowl with the quinoa. Then fold in the pesto. Serve warm or cold. Makes 4 servings.
To make nut free: use pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds instead of cashews.
This recipe is delicious on its own, but also wonderful with grilled or roasted chicken or with my honey lemon salmon recipe.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats
I am so excited I have everything for this! Can’t wait to try it, looks like it would be great for work day lunches.
So so good for work lunches!
Question on this recipe! Should I use raw cashews or roasted cashews? Thanks!
I typically use raw but either will work!
if you aren’t a quinoa witch (is that the female form of wizard? I think yes but I need to reread harry potter to make sure), i don’t know who is! and i’m convinced that anything with pesto and roasted veggies is delicious (:
As soon as I finish my Green Goddess…this is next! Keep them coming.-Laurel Bledsoe
Thank you Laurel!
This looks so yummy and I definitely want to try it!
On another note, you made reference to Tony pronouncing quinoa all funny and it made me think of my relationship and how my boyfriend knows how to say meat and potatoes and it ends there. From following your blog, Tony seems to be the typical athletic guy’s guy… do you ever find it challenging to find healthier meals that aren’t the typical “man meal” that will please both him and what you’re looking to eat? My boyfriend will eat what I make, but it’s not always without mockery of saying “ohh it’s quinoa again.” Haha he’s a pest! Do you have any suggestions?? Thanks 🙂
Tony will try anything (and usually love it) but I definitely let him have whatever he wants 1-2 nights per week, even if that means eating separate meals. Grilling has been great because we can both choose our own meals too!
This looks great, can’t wait to try it. I’m not a big fan of mushrooms or red onion. Are there any other veggies you would recommend including? Thanks!
Asparagus and more bell pepper would be lovely. Red onion turns sweet when roasted though 🙂
SO excited to try this yummy recipe!
Am I missing the nutritional info? Thank you!! Just made the tuna salad and it was AMAZING!! Can’t wait to try this!
I usually have all of these things on hand and TOTALLY agree that having foods prepped ahead of time is super smart. Like you, I end up with an avocado veggie sandwich every day if not!
If I use store bought pesto instead of making my own, how much should I add? Please let me know, because can’t wait to try this!!!!!
Prepped the veg last night, made the quinoa and thawed some of last summer’s pesto that I had in the freezer…can’t wait to put it all together after work for a delicious, clean-eating Thursday night dinner!!! My husband is a trooper too–everything we make these days has a base of either quinoa or riced cauliflower.
pesto ANYTHING, I think this just might make me fall back in love with quinoa. Yummmmm.
What do you suggest if you can’t add parmesan cheese to the pesto sauce? I’m diary-free. Thanks!
Ohhh my goodness this has changed my pantry dinner game in ways I couldn’t have imagined! I knew this would be good, because I love all the different parts, but WOW it blew my socks off. I went a little rogue on the veggies with whatever I had on hand, so I used carrots, red onion, leftover brussel sprouts, red bell pepper and the chickpeas (the roasted chickpeas were SO YUM), but mixed it all up with the pesto and quinoa and topped it with some crispy fried tofu – thanks for the inspo! I’m a happy lady right now! And as I usually have the basics of this on hand, I am so sure I will be making this incredibly regularly.
Pantry dinners = the best dinners! Your additions sound delish 🙂
How much pesto should I use if I am using pre-made pesto?
This is some good shit. I used fresh minced garlic and I always add a little butter to the quinoa with s/p. I also threw in some zucchini that needed to be used. Ace recipe!!!
Just made this. It was awesome! I cooked the quinoa in chicken broth and used pecorino instead of parm. Can’t wait to make it again! Maybe I’ll add in some broccoli next time 😊
Amazing! And broccoli would be a delicious addition 🙂
This was very good. I used green beans, cauliflower and cherry tomatoes. I didn’t have cashews so I used pistachios when making the pesto. Great recipe!
Delicious! The recipe is perfect for adding any veggies you have on-hand 🙂
Hey I’m making this now and just wondering if you know how long it’ll keep in the fridge? I won’t be able to eat all of it and would like to have it through out the week but find mushrooms can go a bit funny! Thanks it smells delicious so far 😋
Hi Chloe! This salad should stay good for about 3 days 🙂
Just sent this to my brother!
This is DELICIOUS. Even my husband who doesn’t love quinoa, deemed it “Awesome!” Thanks for the recipe.
Amazing! I’m so happy that you both enjoyed it 🙂
What are the measurements in ml and grams ? I’ve tried to look online but it gives me all different info please help
Hi Nikki! When I made the recipe I didn’t measure in ml and grams, so if you find any consistency online I would opt for those measurements!
Awesome combination used in the salad. Chickpeas and Quinoa make such healthy combination in the salad. Thank you for sharing. Love it truely.
Agreed! So much goodness. Glad you love it!
Tried it last night, loved it! Even better with a balsamic reduction drizzled on top. Thanks for the recipe!
Truly delicious and easy! Will definitely make it again. Thank you.
Absolutely! Glad you enjoyed!
Delish!! I added lentils! Super yummy!
Perfect! Glad you enjoyed.
If using store bought pesto about how much should I use?
I would say 1/4 cup
Your husbands pronunciation of Quinoa is correct
Made this for lunch today. It was so yummy!
Love this one for lunch – glad you enjoyed!
Love this delicious and healthy salad for lunchtime.
Excellent, easy and super delicious filling meal! Yummy!!!!!!!I used broccoli instead of bell pepper and it was GOOD! I will make this again and again!! Husband likes a lot too! I
Perfect! Love the idea of broccoli in here 🙂 glad you enjoyed!
this is a very tasty salad and easy to do, Love the blend of flavors of the garlicky chickpeas and roasted veggies and the pesto, I used my instant pot for the quinoa and also used prepared pesto. Otherwise followed to the recipe. I will definitely be making this again (and again and again!) It’slight and filing at the same time. Five stars!
Perfect! So happy you loved it!
We loved this salad! I substituted zucchini for the tomatoes, because that’s what I had on hand and used jarred pesto since I didn’t have fresh basil. It was quick and easy and delicious! 😊
Perfect! So glad you enjoyed 🙂
So yummy! We grilled instead of roasting because it was hot, and turned out great! The timing was perfect—there was the perfect amount of time while the veggies were grilling to make quinoa and the delicious pesto! My picky boyfriend even loved it!
Perfect! Love that idea. Such a great lunch or dinner!
This was soo tasty! I had some store bought pesto so used 2 Tbl of that instead of making my own. My husband and I kept raving how yummy this was! Thanks so much for a terrific recipe!
Perfect! Such a great dinner 🙂
I do not care for the cherry tomatoes in this recipe, but otherwise it is a wonderful quinoa salad. I like to serve it with a bit of grilled chicken.
We absolutely loved it! I made a big batch and we had it three days in a row and felt sad when we finished it. Thanks!
Super easy and delicious! I thought I had chickpeas but it turns out they were cannelloni beans. Dumped them in at the end instead and it was delicious. Will still try with chickpeas at another time but this worked well too
Perfect! Great idea to use those beans.
Added some shredded chicken thighs and some spinach, and it turned out great. The pesto sauce is incredible!
Great idea! Love this one.
This was sooooo delicious! I added some ground turkey for some extra protein. I also used store bought pesto cause I don’t have a food processor but it was still amazinggggg
Love it! Easy and delicious 🙂
Would you think parsley pesto is okay over basil? I have a giant batch of parsley in my garden…
I bet it would be delicious!
This was so easy and delicious! I loved the pesto and was amazed it had no oil. In fact I doubled the pesto, not sure if I would use it all, but I did!! We might have had a few extra veggies. We also roasted veggies in air fryer to save heating up the house. It worked wonderfully.
This recipe was delicious. Did not have mushrooms or chickpeas so i only used a red bell pepper, tomatoes and a red onion for the roasted vegetables. I also added sun dried tomato paste as well and added a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. Yum!
So glad you loved it, Sashi! LOVE the idea of adding sundried tomato paste–so yummy!
This was absolutely delicious! I cheated on the pesto and used a 7 oz container of Trader Joe’s Genova pesto (with a splash of lemon juice added). I also threw in some sauteed baby spinach. I think I prefer it slightly warm. Will definitely be making this again — and soon.
Such a good idea to use store-bought pesto–I do that often! Glad you enjoyed it, Suzanne 🙂
A meal prep fave! So delicious.
Love, love, love this! So perfect for meal prep! I added in chicken sausage and zucchini because I had both on hand and it’s all so delicious! I love AK for quick and easy meal prep ideas!
This was so delicious & definitely reheats well. I made a batch & reheated for lunch all week and it was sooo tasty every time!
Can’t wait to make it again!!!
Awesome, such a good one for meal prepping! Thanks for the review!
Delicious! I subbed zucchini and carrots for the mushrooms and tomatoes! I also used the Kirkland Pesto to make it even easier!
That sounds delicious! And store-bought pesto is a great shortcut 🙌 Thanks for the review!
Yum yum yum! I threw this together when I had some mushrooms that were on their last legs. I roasted veggies exactly as suggested and they turned our perfect. I also used up some pesto we had frozen from last summer’s basil harvest and tossed with barley. I was worried that barley would be too dense but it was the perfect vessel for the veggies and pesto! This sort of meal would be perfect as a side dish or topped with some grilled chicken! Thanks again for yet another stellar recipe!
My family really loves to eat it.