Summer Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Dijon Shallot Vinaigrette


Quinoa is officially my best friend during the school year.

High in protein and fiber, completely gluten free, packed with antioxidants, and seriously SO versatile. I can turn it into a burrito bowl just by adding some black beans and sautéed zucchini (and a little salsa of course), I can make fried “rice” with some steamed veggies and a little soy sauce (and srirachi, duh), or I can just top it with some hummus and leftover roasted vegetables for a quick macro bowl. All in under 20 minutes.

Or, I can make this!


Summer Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Dijon Shallot Vinaigrette {vegan, gluten free} //


With the school year coming into full swing for teachers this week, I’m already on the lookout for quick, healthy lunches that I can throw together on busy nights. Quinoa is by far my favorite grain to cook, not only because of how tasty it is, but because it takes less than 20 minutes to cook. Sorry brown rice. #toolazy

And nothing goes better with quinoa than some fresh summer veggies. Since it’s technically still summer and all (the kids are not in school yet— so I’m holding onto it as long as I can) 😉

I don’t know about you guys, but fresh local zucchini and squash are still very abundant in my Trader Joe’s. So you know that was the first thing I added. And what else goes best with summer squash? Grape tomatoes and fresh basil, of course! Oh, and the most delicious, tangy shallot dijon dressing!


Summer Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Dijon Shallot Vinaigrette {vegan, gluten free} //


So that’s it— just a few ingredients, most of which you probably have on hand, and about 20 minutes— then you’ll be eating this deliciously addicting quinoa salad for dayssss. I like to make a big batch of this on Sunday nights and eat it through the week, making my weekday nights that much easier.

What are your favorite school / work lunches? If you’re looking for more quick, healthy lunch ideas, here are some of my favorite easily-packed recipes that can be made in under 30 minutes:


Roasted Butternut Couscous Salad

Creamy Avocado Pasta

Asian Quinoa Salad with Sesame Miso Dressing

Spicy Cauliflower Power Bowl

Balsamic Veggie Pasta Salad

Southwestern Veggie Bowl with Black Bean Hummus

Rainbow Veggie Bowls with Ginger Miso Dressing

Tomato Basil “Caprese” Couscous


Summer Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Dijon Shallot Vinaigrette {vegan, gluten free} //

A big thank you to Ancient Harvest for supplying me with quinoa for this recipe and post!


Summer Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Dijon Shallot Vinaigrette

Serves 4-6
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish


  • 1 cup quinoa, dry (I used tricolor, but feel free to use whatever you have)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced and halved
  • 1 medium yellow squash, sliced and halved
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

for the dressing

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 heaped tablespoon whole grain dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons shallot, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, as desired


Step 1
Boil 2 cups of water with 1 cup of quinoa in a medium sized pot. Turn down to a simmer and cover for 10-15 minutes, or until quinoa is fluffy and water is absorbed. Set aside.
Step 2
Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and add in diced red onion. Heat over medium high heat and cook until onion is tender. Add in chopped zucchini and squash and saute for 5-6 minutes, until all veggies are tender. Pour veggies into quinoa, along with diced tomatoes.
Step 3
Whisk up your dressing using the following ingredients: olive oil, apple cider vinegar, whole grain dijon mustard, diced shallot, maple syrup, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the quinoa and veggies and stir to coat. Sprinkle with fresh chopped basil and give it one last stir before digging in!

Summer Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Dijon Shallot Vinaigrette {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!


    • Agreed!! You’ll have to let me know what you think 😉

  1. I love this, Liz! Such a perfect school lunch meal. I hope it doesn’t get too busy too fast for you! Have a great back to school, kids free week 🙂

    • Hope so too! Hope your start of the school year isn’t too crazy either 🙂

  2. I’m with you on the quinoa – you can’t beat the cook time! Th salad looks perfect! That dressing!!

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