This curried quinoa salad is deliciously flavorful, and it’s packed with vegetables! Fluffy curried quinoa is tossed with crunchy cabbage and celery, then topped with salty cashews and fresh cilantro for a veggie-packed side dish!

Curried Quinoa Salad

I love making quinoa salads like this because they can be made in advance and they’re actually better after they’ve had a few hours in the fridge. It’s a perfect make-ahead recipe! I based the flavors of this one off of my curried chickpea salad and I love how this version turned out. Quinoa is a superfood, so I love finding new ways to use it. It contains all the essential amino acids and it’s a good source of protein and fiber.

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Quinoa– Quinoa is the base of the salad, providing a nutty and slightly earthy flavor. It’s also a good source of protein and fiber, making the salad more filling. If you don’t have quinoa, you can use brown rice instead.
  • Curry Powder– Curry powder adds a distinctive and bold flavor to the salad. It’s a blend of various spices like turmeric, coriander, cumin, and others, which gives the dish a warm and aromatic profile. You can adjust the amount to your preference for spiciness. Be sure to use a flavorful curry powder for this recipe.
  • Olive Oil– Olive oil is used to coat the quinoa and helps to distribute the curry flavor evenly.
  • Lemon Juice– Lemon juice provides a tangy and refreshing element to the salad, balancing the richness of the curry and olive oil. It also enhances the overall flavor and brightens the dish.
  • Celery– Celery has a neutral flavor but it adds a crunchy texture to the salad that I love.
  • Cabbage– Shredded cabbage offers a crisp and slightly sweet component to the salad. It’s a great way to add extra freshness and color. I used red cabbage but you can substitute with green cabbage.
  • Cashews– Cashews provide a delightful crunch and a creamy, nutty flavor to the salad. They also add protein and healthy fats, making the dish more satisfying. I prefer roasted salted cashews.
  • Cilantro– Fresh cilantro imparts a hint of citrus-like flavor to the salad. If you don’t like cilantro, you can leave it out.

How to Make Curried Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad Variations

Feel free to add additional vegetables to the salad such as chopped bell peppers or shredded carrots. You may need to add a little extra dressing if you add more vegetables. Just combine 2 parts olive oil and one part curry powder with a pinch of salt. Stir to combine then drizzle over any additional vegetables.

How to Make Quinoa

These are my favorite basic methods to prepare quinoa. Don’t forget to rinse it before cooking it!

  • How to Make Quinoa In a Rice Cooker– I love making quinoa in the rice cooker because I can set it and forget it! It cooks perfect quinoa every time.
  • How to Cook Quinoa on the Stovetop– Just like rice, you can prepare quinoa on the stovetop. Use a two-to-one ratio of water to quinoa. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Then fluff with a fork!
  • How to Make Quinoa in an Instant Pot– Yep, you can make quinoa in an Instant Pot! This is a quick, fool-proof method for perfect quinoa!

Other Quinoa Salad Recipes

If you enjoy this recipe, be sure to check out my quinoa and edamame salad, which is loaded with vegetables and plant-based protein. This southwestern quinoa salad is also a great way to add a rainbow of vegetables to your plate. And this butternut squash and quinoa salad is perfect for fall.

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Curried Quinoa Salad

Curried Quinoa Salad

  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 ninutes
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This curried quinoa salad is deliciously flavorful, and it’s packed with vegetables! Fluffly curried quinoa is tossed with crunchy cabbage and celery, then topped with salty cashews and fresh cilantro for a veggie packed side dish!


Units Scale
  • 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup roasted cashews
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • Additional salt to taste


  1. Add the quinoa, 2 cups of water, olive oil, curry powder, and salt to a saucepan and cook according to package directions (or cook in a rice cooker)
  2. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and allow it cool.
  3. Toss with cabbage, celery, cashews, and cilantro.
  4. Add additional salt to taste, if desired.
  5. Let chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours, if possible.

Keywords: Curried Quinoa Salad