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Recipe: Pesto Quinoa Salad

Recipe: Pesto Quinoa Salad

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This recipe was contributed by Angela Simpson, the blogger behind Eat Spin Run Repeat. To learn more about Angela, check out her accompanying post and her bio on our Greatist Ambassador page!

Eating clean isn’t always easy, especially during the week when you’ve got work, school, family, and dozens of other commitments to worry about. However, I’m a believer that there are always ways to prepare yourself and make healthy choices more accessible. One of my favourites is big-batch meal preparation, and if you’re ever looking for me on a Sunday afternoon, chances are I’m in my kitchen doing exactly that. This zesty pesto quinoa salad is gluten-free and vegan friendly, and packs a whole load of vitamins, minerals, and plant-based protein. If you’re really prepared, you can make your own pesto, but if not, feel free to buy a jar. This salad can be stored in the fridge for up to five days, making it a perfect weekday brown bag lunch option.

Recipe: Pesto Quinoa Salad

Photo by Angela Simpson

Serves 2 to 3

What You’ll Need:

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup low sodium vegetable stock (or water!) 7 thin stalks asparagus, sliced diagonally into bite-sized pieces 1/4 cup diced red onion 1/2 cup diced sweet bell peppers (any color) 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes 5 artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and halved (or quartered if larger) 1 tablespoon chopped parsley (plus additional to garnish, if desired) 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained 1 teaspoon pesto 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

What to Do:

  1. In a small saucepan, cook the quinoa in the vegetable stock over medium heat, covered, for 15 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
  2. Immediately after removing the saucepan from the stove, add the chopped asparagus and cover. Allow the asparagus to steam lightly inside the pot with the quinoa for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare all other veggies and herbs. Toss them together in a large bowl.
  4. In a smaller bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar with pesto until smooth. Pour it into the large bowl of veggies, along with the chickpeas, quinoa, and asparagus. Stir to coat and season with sea salt and black pepper, to taste.
  5. Serve the salad warm or cold. Enjoy it immediately, or store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Need more healthy big-batch lunch ideas? Head over to Eat Spin Run Repeat and feast your eyes on these:

What's your favorite lunch to make ahead and eat throughout the week? Share your ideas in the comments below! 

READ THIS NEXT: 50 Creative Recipes to Eat More Quinoa

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