The perfect Summer Quinoa Salad made with a delicious combination of sautéed veggies, black beans, corn, and fresh basil all tossed with a lemon balsamic dressing!

The perfect Summer Quinoa Salad made with a delicious combination of sautéed veggies, black beans, corn, and fresh basil all tossed with a lemon balsamic dressing!

Note: This post first appeared on June 10, 2013.  It has been updated with bright new photos, but is still the same delicious EASY recipe!

Oh how I LOVE a good summer salad and this one has all your favorite components!  I actually came up with this salad 8 years ago while on a beach trip with my girlfriends.  It was nearing the end of the week and we had all these leftover veggies that needed to be used up so I threw them all in this big salad and it was absolutely delicious!  While this salad is meant to be served cold, it also tastes great warm right after making it so feel free to serve this either way you prefer!  The perfect summer side dish to pretty much any grilling recipe or enjoy it all on its own as a main dish.  The fresh lemons and basil really brighten up this salad and the sautéed veggies add tons of flavor!

The perfect Summer Quinoa Salad made with a delicious combination of sautéed veggies, black beans, corn, and fresh basil all tossed with a lemon balsamic dressing!

Here’s what you’ll need

  • Quinoa – perfectly fluffy quinoa simmered in vegetable broth for extra flavor!  Any type of quinoa will work in this recipe and couscous would also be a great substitute
  • Veggies – I used a mixture of colorful mini sweet peppers, red onion, broccoli and corn in this, but feel free to use whatever vegetables you have on hand.  Bell peppers, squash, asparagus are all delicious options that would taste great in this salad!
  • Black beans – a great way to add even more protein and fiber while also making this dish even more filling
  • Lemons – these brighten this salad right up and add such a delicious fresh taste!
  • Balsamic vinegar – make sure to use a good, high quality balsamic vinegar to get the best flavor
  • Olive oil
  • Honey – this adds a touch of sweetness that I think tastes incredible in this salad.  If you’re vegan, feel free to use maple syrup in place of the honey
  • Fresh basil – this is a MUST and gives this salad such a fresh taste!  You could also use cilantro with these flavors to switch things up a bit or even parsley in place of the basil
  • Seasonings – kosher salt, ground black pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes for a little spice

The perfect Summer Quinoa Salad made with a delicious combination of sautéed veggies, black beans, corn, and fresh basil all tossed with a lemon balsamic dressing!

How to Make Summer Quinoa Salad

This bright and refreshing salad is super easy to throw together!  It makes a TON too so this quinoa salad is really great for your weekly meal prep.

  1. Cook quinoa.  Follow my fool-proof method for cooking quinoa (boiling it in veggie or chicken broth adds SO much flavor!) for perfectly fluffy quinoa that tastes amazing in this salad.  You can also cook the quinoa ahead of time or simply use leftover quinoa that you already have on hand.
  2. Sauté veggies.  Chop up the peppers, red onion and broccoli and sauté in a large skillet with a little olive oil until softened and onions are translucent.  This really brings out the best flavor!
  3. Make dressing.  While the quinoa cools and veggies are sautéing, whisk together lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, honey, red pepper flakes and salt/pepper.
  4. Toss together!  In a large bowl, mix together quinoa, veggies, black beans, corn, basil and dressing.  Season with additional seasonings, as needed.

The perfect Summer Quinoa Salad made with a delicious combination of sautéed veggies, black beans, corn, and fresh basil all tossed with a lemon balsamic dressing!

Prepping and Storing Quinoa Salad

This salad can be served warm, but tastes best chilled in my opinion!  Cover and store in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving and this salad will also last up to 4 to 5 days in a sealed airtight container in the fridge.

More Quinoa Recipes to Try

RECIPE

Summer Quinoa Salad

The perfect Summer Quinoa Salad made with a delicious combination of sautéed veggies, black beans, corn, and fresh basil all tossed with a lemon balsamic dressing!

Yield: 8 Servings 1x
Scale
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 78 mini sweet peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, trimmed
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinse
  • Handful fresh basil, chopped

For the Lemon Balsamic Dressing:

  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. To make quinoa, rinse and soak for about 10 minutes in warm water. Bring 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth to a boil in a small saucepan, drain quinoa and add to boiling broth. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer, cooking for about 15 minutes. Turn heat off (still covered) and allow quinoa to sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Allow quinoa to cool before adding in the rest of the salad (you can also make this a day ahead).
  2. Meanwhile in a large skillet, drizzle olive oil and sauté onion, sweet peppers and broccoli until onion is translucent and peppers are soft, about 5 minutes. Add mixture to cooled quinoa then add corn and black beans, mixing well.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, honey, olive oil, red pepper flakes and salt/pepper.  Drizzle over salad and toss well. Once salad is coated, mix in the fresh basil and serve immediately while warm or cover and let chill in the fridge for at least an hour to let the flavors marinate.  Enjoy!

Notes

*Quinoa salad will last in the fridge in a sealed airtight container for 4 to 5 days.

Nutrition Facts:

  • Serving Size: 1/8th of recipe
  • Calories: 202
  • Sugar: 5.6 g
  • Sodium: 307.5 mg
  • Fat: 2.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 34.4 g
  • Fiber: 6.5 g
  • Protein: 7.9 g

* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for most accurate results.

If you make this recipe, share a photo on Instagram and tag it #EatYourselfSkinny . I love seeing what you made!

 

The perfect Summer Quinoa Salad made with a delicious combination of sautéed veggies, black beans, corn, and fresh basil all tossed with a lemon balsamic dressing!