Asian Quinoa Salad with Sesame Miso Dressing


August 9, seriously?!? Summer, where have you gone??

Reality is really starting to set in over here— especially the reality that summer is almost over and I’ll be heading back to school is just a week and a half (ahhh!). Teacher emails are starting back up, school buses are out practicing their routes, school supplies are taking over Target, and I’m sitting here in my pjs with my coffee praying for just one extra week!

Don’t get me wrong, the start of the school year is always an exciting time, but I’m just loving my down time wayyyyy too much to want to give that up so soon 😉


Asian Quinoa Salad with Sesame Miso Dressing {vegan, gluten free} //


So as I begin to prepare for the reality of the school year, one thing I need to start preparing for again is a busy schedule. And fitting meals into that busy schedule. So I thought I’d throw together some easy dinners and lunches over the next few weeks to start getting myself into school mode. Starting with this tangy flavorful asian quinoa salad!

I am such a huge fan of 30 minute meals. Meals you can throw together after work when you’re starving and all you want is someone to spoon feed you a huge bowl of pasta and homemade chocolate chip cookies (and then do the dishes). The struggle is real.

Anyone else? Ok good, because you’re going to loveeee this!


Asian Quinoa Salad with Sesame Miso Dressing {vegan, gluten free} //


This quinoa salad is not only super easy and quick to throw together, but it’s also extremely healthy and versatile. Of course we all know the amazing health benefits of protein-packed quinoa and fiber rich vegetables, but this dish also stars my favorite good-for-your-gut ingredient: miso!

I’ve shared a LOT of miso recipes with you guys over the past year, ever since I’ve taken such an interest in gut health (yep, I totally just said that and I’m not ashamed at all 😉 ). Remember this Asian Kale Slaw with Miso Ginger Dressing? Or this Green Goddess Miso Noodle Soup? Seriously guys, miso is a rockstar ingredient for your gut, aids in digestion, strengthens your immune system, and is a great source of vitamin B12 (for all you vegetarians and vegans out there).

Have I sold you yet?


Asian Quinoa Salad with Sesame Miso Dressing {vegan, gluten free} //


Well, if I haven’t sold you, did I mention this salad is absolutely FABULOUS the next day? Aka it makes a perfect work or school lunch— without any extra effort at all. This salad will certainly be in the weekly rotation at my house, just for that fact alone!

I hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday! I’m off to go play tug-of-war with my crazy energetic puppy and soak up these last few weeks of SUMMER.


Asian Quinoa Salad with Sesame Miso Dressing {vegan, gluten free} //

Asian Quinoa Salad with Sesame Miso Dressing

Serves 6-8
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish


  • 1 cup white quinoa, dry
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup shelled edamame
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (plus more for garnish)

for the sesame miso dressing

  • 3 tablespoons miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chili paste
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (white or black, I used both)


Step 1
Boil 2 cups of water and 1 cup of quinoa is a medium pot. Turn down to simmer and cover for 15-20 minutes. Quinoa is cooked when water is absorbed and it's fluffy.
Step 2
While quinoa is cooking, chop red cabbage into thin slices and shred carrots. Steam edamame if frozen. Chop cilantro leaves. Place all vegetables in a large bowl.
Step 3
Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a separate bowl and set aside.
Step 4
Time to combine everything! Add cooked quinoa to the bowl of vegetables and stir to combine. Add in the sesame miso dressing and stir to coat. Top with more fresh cilantro and sesame seeds. Serve it up!

Asian Quinoa Salad with Sesame Miso Dressing {vegan, gluten free} //


Hi, I’m Liz and this is my food blog where I share my love of healthy foods and whole ingredients. You will find mostly vegetarian dishes, plenty of sweets, and lots of love from this little kitchen in Durham, North Carolina!


  1. we totally are the same person haha! too funny – the back to school struggle is real. so. real. can’t wait to add this to my rotation too for sole reason of having a quick lunch 😉 and it looks AMAZING! love all the flavors!

    • Right?!? I’m seriously convinced someone is playing a trick on us and it’s not really time to go back 😉 You will LOVE this salad! So perfect to scarf down while running to pick up the kiddos!

  2. This looks so delicious – and so colourful!

    I totally understand the back to school struggle! For us, summertime is over the Christmas/New Year break so even though I’m no longer at school, I seriously struggle with the end of summer and returning to real life after having so much time off to spend with my friends and family!

    • It’s always so hard getting back into real life! I’m just savoring my last week as much as possible 😉 Thanks so much Kristy!

  3. These colours are gorgeous! Hah, so while I was reading this I was like, ya I am totally preparing for school too and trying to budget and plan out meal prep etc, and then I remembered you are actually TEACHING school, not attending it! But still, back to school vibes are definitely creeping up on me and this looks like a super awesome dinner for a quick and healthy school night option <3

    • hahah that’s too funny! It totally is creeping up—- and I’m so not ready for reality yet :/

  4. Hi! This looks absolutely delicious and I want to make them for lunches this week! I was just curious what miso you got since there are multiple colors/types?

    • I’ve actually made this recipe with both red and white miso, so you can really use whatever miso you prefer or have on hand!

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