Juicy orange and peppery arugula fill this quinoa avocado salad with so much flavor and texture. Perfect as a side dish or a filling lunch.
Even though salads are usually kept for the summer days, I can't think of a better hearty salad to enjoy on a cold winter day than this one.
It is bursting with juicy and zesty orange flavors and packed with filling and nourishing ingredients that will make you feel good.
And it is a easy salad to prepare. Once you have juiced the oranges and cooked the quinoa, then simply combine the ingredients together.
Why you will love this quinoa avocado salad
- Healthy. This salad combines only wholesome ingredients!
- Delicious combination of texture and flavors.
- Filling. Thanks to the quinoa and chickpeas.
- Easy to make.
- A salad for everyone. It's gluten-free, dairy-free, oil-free. You can also easily make it nut-free by omitting the walnuts or swap them for pumpkin seeds.
How to make this quinoa avocado salad
- Cook the quinoa. This will take about 15 minutes, which gives you enough time to prepare the rest of the salad.
- Make the dressing. Juice fresh oranges, then combine with apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, shallots and salt. I love using a very simple glass citrus juicer to juice the fruit, but you can simply squeeze the juice out by cutting the fruit in half and pressing on it.
- Combine. Simply combine the cooked quinoa, oranges, avocado, arugula, chickpeas and walnut. Then gently add the dressing and stir.
Tips when making this recipe
- It is best to let the quinoa cool down slightly before adding the other ingredients, so the arugula does not wilt when in contact with the grain.
- You could use unsweetened store bought orange juice instead of juicing your own orange, but taking the time to juice the fresh fruits yourself will make a difference for this recipe.
Transform this quinoa avocado salad into a Christmas dish
Anticipating all the heavy large meals during the Holidays? This salad will make for a perfect side dish to lighten up all the indulgent meals.
How to make this meal a perfect Christmas side dish:
- Add pomegranate seeds to add a extra color and the little pods of tangy juice would work great in this dish.
- When cooking the quinoa, add about a heaping teaspoon of fresh and finely chopped rosemary to the pot.
- Add halved and cooked brussel sprouts to the salad.
- A sprinkle of dried cranberries would add a delicious tartness to this dish.
Yes, you can. If preparing the salad ahead, then I recommend to add the avocado just when serving (avocado can turn brown when in contact with ambient air)
This salad is best when eaten fresh, but you can store the leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 days.
If you anticipate having leftovers or want to bring the salad to work for lunch, then simply top it with sliced avocado on the individual portions when ready to eat instead of mixing cubes in the whole salad.
To cook the quinoa and make the dressing (you will need a total of ¾ cup of orange juice), try to use Navel oranges for their sweet and juicy flesh.
You will also have to add about 2 oranges in bite size to the salad. Try blood orange, cara cara or even clementine. You can also make this salad with cubed grapefruit!
Other healthy salads you might like
I hope you will love this quinoa avocado salad as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe with a star rating to let us know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Quinoa avocado salad with orange
- ¾ cup quinoa
- ½ cup orange juice - see note
- 2 oranges - diced
- 1 large avocado - diced
- 15 oz canned chickpea - rinsed and drained
- 2 large handfuls fresh arugula
- ⅔ cup walnut
To make the dressing:
- ¼ cup orange juice - see note
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp small shallot - finely diced
- 1 large pinch salt - or to taste
Start by cooking the quinoa:
- Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander.
- In a small pot, combine the quinoa, the orange juice (½ cup) and ¾ cup of water.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Keep covered and cook for 15 minutes on a gentle simmer, or until all the liquid is absorbed. The quinoa is cooked when the center of the seeds all turn translucent (no white dots anymore). If not done after 15 minutes, then keep the pot covered and set aside away from the heat for 5 more minutes. Then, fluff with a fork, but do not overmix to keep the quinoa from getting mushy. Transfer the quinoa in the fridge until ready to assembly the salad.
Make the dressing:
- In a small bowl, combine the orange juice (¼ cup), apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, diced shallots and salt. Whisk and set aside.
Make the salad:
- In a large pan, roast the walnut on medium heat until fragrant while shaking the pan regularly. Watch carefully so the nuts don't burn. This should take about 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, cubed oranges, avocado, chickpeas, arugula and roasted walnuts. Add the dressing and combine everything together.
- Serve at room temperature or chilled. Enjoy!
- Freshly squeezed orange juice is best, but store bought works too (unsweetened and not coming from concentrated). I like using a simple glass citrus juicer to do this, but you can also simply slice the oranges in half and squeeze the juice out with your hands.
- If making the salad ahead, then simply omit the cubed avocado and serve sliced avocado on top of the individual portions just at serving (the avocado will brown while sitting in the fridge otherwise).
- Navel oranges are best when juicing (you will need a total of ¾ cup of orange juice), but you can choose any kind of oranges you like when adding cubes of the fruit to the salad (bloody orange, cara cara, clementine or even grapefruit!).
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.