This summer peach and quinoa salad is fresh, easy to make, refreshing and gluten free. This vegan salad recipe is healthy and perfect for a summer picnic, barbecue, appetizer or meal prep lunch!
Why you’ll love this salad
It’s salad season! Ok to be honest I love salads all year round, especially my edamame crunch salad, but this vegan salad is perfect for summer. There are so many types of salads in the world, but this is one of my favorite!
It has all the necessary components of a good salad.
Crunch from the cucumber, sweetness from the peach and corn, protein from the chickpeas, healthy fats from the avocado, and a simple dressing with a little bit of tang from the lemon.
It’s perfect to meal prep for lunch, bring to a summer barbecue or beach trip. It’s completely vegan and gluten free, ready in under 30 minutes (10 if you prep the quinoa in advance!) and even picky eater approved.
Arugula. Arugula is definitely my favorite green leafy vegetable. You can use any kind of green here such as spinach or a spring mix, but the flavor of arugula pairs really well with the rest of the salad.
Quinoa. The quinoa helps bulk up the salad a bit and make it more hearty and filling. You can sub for any other grain you like or even use pasta for a vegan pasta salad.
Peaches. You can use either peaches or nectarines here, whichever you prefer. Make sure they’re ripe so they are nice and juicy and sweet.
Avocado. The avocado adds some healthy fats and creaminess to the salad. The creaminess of the avocado pairs really well with the crunch from the cucumber.
Chickpeas. Just one can of chickpeas adds some protein to the salad. I also love using butter beans or another white bean if that’s what I have on hand.
Corn. I like using sweet white corn, but any kind of corn will work! You can use fresh or frozen.
Lemon vinaigrette. The dressing for this vegan salad is made from a base of olive oil, lemon juice, honey, garlic, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper. This would also be delicious with my basil pesto vinaigrette!
How to make a vegan summer salad
Cook quinoa. I used to always follow the instructions on the quinoa package, but I felt like it lead to really mushy quinoa, so follow this guide instead so it’s nice and fluffy.
Prep the veggies. I like to dice everything really small, especially the onion and cucumber. Once everything is prepped, add to a large mixing bowl.
Make the dressing. Just whisk all of the ingredients together and taste. You may want more salt, honey for sweetness or lemon for tang. A pinch of red pepper flakes is also delicious for some spice!
Combine. Toss the salad with the dressing once everything is ready and serve!
Make it a meal!
This vegan salad does have some quality protein from the quinoa and chickpeas, healthy fats from the avocado and dressing, so it can definitely be a light lunch on it’s own.
Frequently asked questions
Does it keep?
Yes! But I do recommend storing the dressing and salad separately. Unlike a kale salad, arugula can wilt pretty easily if the dressing is left on for too long.
For best results, keep everything separate and add the dressing just when you’re ready to serve.
Can I add other veggies?
Definitely! Salads of all kind are generally very versatile, so feel free to sub in or out any ingredients you like.
You can try green onion instead of red, tomato instead of cucumber, or toss in some blueberries or finely chopped broccoli. Anything goes, so feel free to get creative!
Can I make the dressing oil free?
I don’t recommend it since the olive oil is such a main component of the dressing. If you want an oil free option, I’d recommend this dressing from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken.
Try these vegan salads next!
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Vegan Peach & Quinoa Summer Salad
by: claire cary
- 3 cups arugula
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 diced peaches or nectarines
- ½ avocado
- 1 15 ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- ¾ cup sweet corn
- ½ diced cucumber
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- ¼ cup fresh chopped basil
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey or more, to taste
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt or more, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons minced garlic
- Cook the quinoa according to these instructions.
- Once the quinoa is done, let cool for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add all salad ingredients to a bowl. Add in the quinoa once cooled. You don't want to add it when it's hot or it will wilt the arugula too much.
- Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing. Give it a quick taste and add more salt or honey if desired. I also like a pinch of red pepper flakes for some spice, but totally optional! Pour on top of the salad, adding as much or as little as you like.
- Toss to combine and enjoy!