Lime-Cilantro Quinoa Salad

A little while back I wrote about my Quinoa Craze and shared the sweeter side of this wonder-“grain” with my Oatmeal Quinoa Breakfast Bake! Today’s recipe lends itself to the more savory, seasoned side of quinoa and makes for an awesome side dish, or you could even throw in some shredded chicken for a convenient one-dish dinner (or easy take-to-work lunch)!

I first made this recipe for Andy’s 30th birthday party. After receiving a couple recipe requests, I made it for our Food Revolution Dinner and my Mom’s college graduation party! This is the perfect salad to make in a big batch for potlucks and parties; it can be served hot or cold, it feeds a crowd and best of all, it can be made a couple days in advance. Gotta love a salad that get better the longer it soaks up the dressing!


Lime-Cilantro Quinoa Salad



3 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup dry)

¾ cup raisins (or dried fruit of your choice)

¼ sunflower seeds, toasted

1 bell pepper of any color, diced

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup scallions, chopped


¼ cup lime juice

¼ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 t. garlic powder

Pinch of salt


  1. Combine all salad ingredients in large bowl (note: hold the cilantro and scallions until just before serving, especially if you’re letting it rest for a couple days)
  2. Whisk together dressing ingredients in seperate bowl.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix thoroughly
  4. Can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge.

Yield: 6 – 8 servings

Adapted from 100 Days of Real Food

Personal Note:

Each time I made this I doubled (or tripled) the salad recipe, but didn’t necessarily double/triple the amount of dressing. The larger the batch, the milder the flavor; which was nice as it was simply seasoned to taste with a little salt and pepper.

Apart from other changes, the original recipe called for pine nuts, which I used the first time I made it, but didn’t find them to make or break the salad. So, I swapped them out for sunflower seeds the next time and not only did it make the salad substantially cheaper, and more accessible (because I always have them on hand), but we actually preferred the sunflower seeds over the pine nuts!


Do you have a great real food potluck recipe?

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