Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial DayI want to take a moment to thank and acknowledge all the men and women who have given their lives protecting our country. The United States military dedicates their lives everyday to give us the opportunity to “celebrate” holidays such as this. Please make sure that while you are with your friends and families, at cookouts or the beach or wherever you choose to spend your day off from work, that you take a moment to remember what Memorial Day is really all about and to thank the veterans and current military members in your life! I know I couldn’t do what they do!

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad
So since I am hoping this weekend will also include a gathering of friends and family for you, or maybe just a nice day at home, I wanted to share this amazingly refreshing summer salad recipe with you! It is the perfect healthy dish to bring to a cookout or to serve as a side dish with a nice white fish or shrimp. You cold even add some leafy greens and make tacos with this as the filling! Or use it as a dip with gluten free corn chips! I love the Late July brand! They have so many yummy flavors… all gluten free!!

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad
This whole recipe takes about 30 minutes! I am even gunna give you a step by step for making this WHILE you get ready for your party! If you are a guy, just totally ignore the hair and makeup parts. In fact you probably only take 20 minutes to get ready so just go make this for your girlfriend while she is getting ready!! Sooo rinse your quinoa super well to avoid that nasty soapy flavor it might have if you don’t rinse it! Prepare quinoa according to package or the directions below. Once removed from the heat, jump in the shower. When you are so fresh and so clean come back and fluff the quinoa and place in a large bowl in the fridge. Chop your apple, onion, pepper and mandarin oranges and place in a medium bowl. Mince the garlic, cilantro and jalapeno and place in another medium bowl. Go dry your hair!

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

While your straightener/curler is heating up come back and whip together the dressing following the directions below.

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

Go do your make up and hair and put your party dress on! 🙂

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

Ok now that you are all pretty and ready for your party, gently toss the veggies and fruit with half of the dressing and fold mixture into the chilled quinoa. Drizzle the second half of the dressing onto salad and gently until flavors are thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with the remaining cilantro.

Enjoy your salad and your party and remember to thank the troops… today and everyday!

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 cups

Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories per serving: 147; Fiber 2.6 grams

Fat per serving: 4.8, Protein: 3.8 grams

Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad


  • 1 c organic quinoa (I used Arrowhead Mills Organic Quinoa, I usually buy Bob's Red Mill products but this one is significantly cheaper)
  • 1 large gala apple, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 2 small mandarin oranges, diced
  • 1/2 large bell pepper, diced (I used an orange one... I like the sweetness in them better)
  • Dressing:
  • Juice of 3 limes (about 1/3 cup) - use fresh... the bottled just isn't the same
  • 1 T local honey (agave nectar will work as well)
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (use less if you don't like spice!)
  • 1-2 minced garlic cloves (use fresh not jarred!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 T POMPEIAN OlivExtra Original Canola & Extra Virgin Olive Oil Blend (can use canola oil or olive oil, or a combo of both... I like this brand for dressings!)
  • 3/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • Kosher salt
  • Black Pepper


  1. Rinse the quinoa in a strainer several times with cold water (Don't skip this step! You will be left with a "soapy" tasting bowl of what could have been delicious quinoa!).
  2. Bring 2 cups water to boil in a covered medium pot.
  3. Add quinoa, cover and simmer until the water is fully absorbed (approx 15 minutes).
  4. Remove from heat and let stand, undisturbed, for 10 minutes.
  5. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl to let cool. (Place in fridge, uncovered to speed this process up if necessary)
  6. Dice your apple, red onion, bell pepper and mandarin oranges (peeled of course).
  7. Place the diced fruits and veggies in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
  8. Dressing:
  9. Combine the lime juice, honey, diced jalapeno, minced garlic and cumin in a glass mixing bowl, whisking briskly.
  10. Slowly add the oil while whisking to combine evenly.
  11. Once the vinaigrette is smooth, whisk in chopped cilantro (MINUS 1 heaping tablespoon) as well as the lime zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  12. Combine:
  13. Pour in about half of the honey cilantro lime vinaigrette into the bowl of chopped fruits and veggies, gently toss to combine.
  14. Fold this mixture into the quinoa and drizzle in the remaining vinaigrette. Again, gently toss to combine thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.
  15. Transfer the quinoa salad to a large serving bowl, garnish with remaining cilantro and serve immediately (or cover and keep in refrigerator for up to two days).
  16. ENJOY!


NOTE: The longer this sits in the dressing the more garlicky it will taste. Be aware of this if you plan to make ahead of time. I recommend dressing directly before serving.

Inspired by: Food Network


Spicy Quinoa Citrus Salad

Reader Feedback:

  • What are your holiday plans?
  • What is your favorite quinoa recipe?
  • What are you bringing to your holiday party… or are you brave enough to be the host!?

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