Sweet and Spiced Quinoa Salad

This ridiculously healthy Sweet and Spiced Quinoa Salad is nourishing, easy to make ahead, and keeps well in the fridge.  What I’m uber happy about, though, is that I finally learned how to get quinoa to absorb flavors – and it’s so easy that I feel silly writing about it… but more on that a bit later.

Sweet and Spiced Quinoa Salad I’ll take any excuse to go all OCD on things…I ♥ my cone.

This quinoa salad is another of my deli-style concoctions.  In my last post , I told you that I made a great copycat version of an expensive pasta salad sold at my local whole foods market.  I was very happy about it, because trying to replicate something you already tried and liked gives a whole new dimension to cooking – it’s very different than imagining what things will taste like when reading cookbooks, or blogs.  It’s also very empowering, I love that I can just make something at home for a fraction of the price.

Anyway, I filled my quinoa salad it with chickpeas, dried currants, red peppers and a touch of agave nectar.  Turmeric and curry powder add the yellow color and a mixture of flavors – it’s a whole lot of quinoa, but it’s not bland by any means.  The secret is to let is sit in the fridge overnight and allow the spices and the sweetness of agave and dried currants to permeate through the quinoa seeds. It’s twice as good on the second day, which is logic I use to only apply to stews.

You can enjoy this salad warmed up, or cold, which makes it convenient for taking along for work lunches.  Feel free to add your choice of protein – I added some poached and diced turkey breast when I reheated the salad today, although there’s plenty of nutrients and protein in quinoa already.

Sweet and Spiced Quinoa Salad Feel free to substituite raisins in place of currants, I simply like how small and pretty the currants are.  The sweetness and flavor will be very similar to raisins, though.  I bought my currants in the bulk section at my local supermarket, just to give a hint where you can look for them.

Say hi in the comments below if you enjoyed this post, you can also follow me on Pinterest to see my latest recipe ideas. 

Easy Quinoa Salad
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 6
  • 1 cup quinoa (uncooked) cooked yield is 3 cups
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • ½ large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • ¼ cup dried currants
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1 tbs agave nectar
  • 1 tbs white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbs curry powder (a mild version used here)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • salt, to taste
  1. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly using a fine mesh strainer. To cook, place 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water in a coking pot, and bring to boil. Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium skillet, and add the onions, red pepper, and chopped celery. Saute until translucent and remove from heat, then pour into a salad bowl.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, mixing well. For best results, wrap tightly and refrigerate overnight before eating for the flavors to absorb.



  1. SweetB

    Thank you for posting this! Using this as a guideline I was able to recreate my favorite deli’s quinoa salad. You’ve saved me a ton of money!

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