Roasted Vegetable Salad With Quinoa (3 sides in 1)

Think of this healthy roasted vegetable salad as three sides in one – roasted (or grilled) vegetables, nutty quinoa and salad greens – all finished with a fabulous maple-balsamic dressing.

I like to serve it in a shallow large bowl and set it on the table as a centerpiece of sorts – so pretty! It’s perfect for company which is why I call it a party salad.

tossed roasted vegetable and quinoa salad in bowl.

With so much going on here, this vegetarian salad makes a hearty meal on its own with a side of crusty bread or soup. Or serve it as a 3-in-1 side accompaniment with your favorite protein.

Either way, it’s a versatile, delicious and hearty salad that’s packed with nutrition.

What to expect

  1. The 4-step recipe can be made well ahead: roast (or grill) the veggies, make the quinoa, make the dressing and assemble the salad.
  2. Use any veggies you like: We also have a lot of suggestions for extra add-ins.
  3. The maple balsamic dressing is delicious: It adds a deep, rich flavor with a bit of sweetness and tang. You can swap it for other dressings of course.
  4. Beautiful presentation: With the variety of veggies and the fluffy texture of the quinoa, this salad adds a gorgeous pop of color to your dinner table.

Ingredients – tailored to your taste

chopped vegetables in bowl, oil, salt, pepper, dry quinoa.
Plus salad greens and maple balsamic dressing (see pics below).

Vegetables: I use Japanese eggplant, sweet potato, red bell peppers and red onion (or sweet onion) for this veggie salad.

Quinoa: Regular or tri-colored quinoa. Or, instead, try couscous or pearl couscous (also called Israeli couscous). Toasted bread cubes would also work.

Greens: Any greens are fine – romaine, arugula, spring lettuce, baby spinach, kale – or a mixture.

Maple-balsamic dressing: Try to get the best balsamic vinegar you can – it can make a big difference. The other dressing ingredients include oil, maple syrup (or honey), lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and garlic.

Variations and substitutions:

  • Vegetable options: Use butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes. Feel free to try any of your other favorite vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms, snap peas, or asparagus. Sometimes I include grilled or uncooked corn on the cob (or defrosted frozen corn niblets) for color and crunch. Here is how to cut the kernels off the husk without a mess
  • Salad dressing options: Almost any vinaigrette will work. This honey lemon dressing would be good for example.
  • Extra add-ins: Avocado, rinsed drained chickpeas, sundried tomatoes, black beans, chopped or grilled chicken, tofu, or cooked shrimp.
  • Garnish: Add crumbled feta cheese or goat cheese, toasted nuts, pine nuts, fresh herbs, and/or chopped green onions

Step-by-step instructions

veggies laid on parchment-lined sheet pan to roast.
Toss vegetables, oil, salt and pepper and lay in an even layer on a lined sheet pan.
roasted veggies on sheet pan.
Roast vegetables until tender and slightly caramelized, about 30 minutes.
As the vegetables roast, make the quinoa and let it cool.
Add the cooked quinoa to salad greens in a shallow bowl.
maple balsamic dressing in measuring cup.
Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl or cup.
roasted veggies on top of greens and quinoa in shallow bowl.
Add roasted veggies to the greens and quinoa in the bowl. Drizzle on the dressing. Serve chilled, warm or at room temperature.
roasted vegetable quinoa salad on plate with toasted bread on the side.

Tip for grilling vs roasting vegetables

Grilling vegetables: This takes about half the time, but it requires a bit more attention for stirring a few times. You also need to clean the grill basket after grilling.

Roasting vegetables: This takes longer, but you only need to turn the veggies once so it’s more hands-off. Also, clean-up is minimal if you line your pan with parchment or foil.

End result? They are both great!

What to serve with this salad

This is such a satisfying roasted vegetable salad that you can serve on its own as a light lunch or dinner.

As a side dish, I love it with cedar planked grilled whole chickenpeanut butter chicken, homemade peri peri chicken (grilled or baked), crispy chicken burgers or herb stuffed salmon.

Quinoa FAQs

What is quinoa?

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) looks like a grain, but it is actually a seed. For nutritional purposes, however, quinoa is considered gluten-free whole grains according to Healthline. There are 3000 varieties including black, red and tri-color.

Is quinoa healthy?

Quinoa is considered a healthy, nutrient-dense food. It’s a protein-packed grain, that is a good source of all nine essential amino acids. It also provides essential minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese, along with vitamins B and E.

Shortcuts

  • Instead of making homemade dressing, you can use a store-bought dressing of your choice.
  • Buy packages of precut veggies from the produce section at the grocery store.

Make Ahead 

All the components for this vegetable quinoa salad recipe can be made a day or hours ahead. You can even assemble the salad (undressed) 1-2 hours before serving. Drizzle on the dressing up to 10 minutes before serving and toss at the table. Leftovers are great the next day!

tossed roasted vegetable and quinoa salad in bowl.

Other quinoa salad recipes you might like

Or check out our summer Sunday dinner ideas

If you like this recipe, please leave a 5 star rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟with a comment in the recipe card below. Thanks so much!

tossed roasted vegetable and quinoa salad in bowl.
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4.83 from 23 votes

Roasted Vegetable Salad With Quinoa (3 sides in 1)

Think of this healthy roasted vegetable salad as three sides in one colorful dish – roasted or grilled vegetables, nutty quinoa and salad greens – all finished with a fabulous maple-balsamic dressing.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 8 sides (or 4 mains)

Equipment

  • Grill basket IF grilling vegetables (otherwise use oven)

Ingredients

Quinoa

  • 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

for roasted vegetables

  • 6 cups greens
  • 2 peppers, cored and cut into 1 inch/2.5 cm pieces
  • 2 japanese eggplants, cut into 1 inch/2.5 cm pieces
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced small 1/2 inch/1.3 cm cubes (or 2 smaller sweet potatoes)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, Italian or Catalina dressing
  • kosher salt and black pepper

Extra add-ins (optional)

  • corn niblets, black beans, chickpeas, tofu, cooked chicken or shrimp.

Maple-balsamic Dressing

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon good quality Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup oil or a bit more if you like the flavors less intense
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Garnish (optional)

  • chopped green onions, toasted nuts, goat cheese, feta cheese

Instructions

  • HEAT OVEN to 425F/218C (or heat grill to medium high heat if grilling veggies)
  • PREPARE & ROAST VEGETABLES: Toss diced vegetables in a large bowl with oil, salt and pepper. Lay in single layer on cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy clean up. Don't overcrowd pan. If needed, used two pans. Bake for about 30 minutes, turning halfway through, until tender and slightly caramelized. Note 1 to grill veggies instead.
  • MAKE QUINOA: While veggies are roasting or grilling, place rinsed quinoa in medium pot with water and salt. Bring to a boil. Set heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, covered. Let sit for 5 minutes covered, then fluff with a fork. Cool.
  • MAKE DRESSING: In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the first 5 dressing ingredients. Slowly add the oil while whisking until smoothly blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Alternatively, place all dressing ingredients in a sealed container and shake well until combined.
  • ASSEMBLE SALAD AND SERVE: In large shallow serving bowl, place greens and quinoa and mix together. Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of the dressing on. Add roasted or grilled vegetables on top including any add-ins you like. Drizzle more dressing on the salad (you may not need all the dressing) and toss to combine all ingredients. Add garnishes as desired. Serve.

Recipe Notes

  1. To grill vegetables: Spray grill basket with oil. Add vegetables. Drizzle on oil, salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Place grill basket on grill and grill vegetables for 8-15 minutes (depending on size of pieces) until slightly charred and tender. 
  2. Variations:
      • Substitutions: Instead of quinoa, try couscous of pearl couscous. Try butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes. 
      • Greens: spring mix, romaine, arugula, baby spinach or a mixture of greens.
      • Other vegetable options: zucchini, mushrooms, snap peas or asparagus. 
      • Corn on the cob: If using fresh corn, here is how to cut the kernels off the husk without a messShortcut: use defrosted frozen corn niblets.
      • Salad dressing options: Almost any vinaigrette will work. This honey lemon dressing would be good for example.
  3. To make ahead: All the components for this salad can be made a day or hours ahead. You can even assemble the salad (undressed) 1-2 hours before serving. Drizzle on the dressing up to 10 minutes before serving and toss at the table. Next day leftovers are delicious for lunch.
 
Nutrition value estimates are for 1/8 of the recipe as a side dish, not including add-ins or garnish. Values will be higher if using the recipe as a main dish using twice as much of the salad. 

Nutrition

Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 241mg | Potassium: 477mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 5297IU | Vitamin C: 48mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?We’d love you to rate it above under ‘rate this recipe’ or in the comment section below. Thanks!
4.83 from 23 votes (20 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve made this party quinoa salad several times now. For company or just home. I always make extra. I keep each part separate and enjoy a fresh salad for at least 3c days. Beautiful and delicious.