Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing



I have an internship now. As a senior in college, my professors want their students to know what it feels like to be working out in the real world.  Thus, I went and spent too much money buying some business-casual clothes (as compared to my norm of oversized sweaters and cotton everything!), and got to work!

What I did not realize about having an internship from 9-2 three days a week, is that similar to high school, I had to pack a lunch. What?!

This process has been the most comedic of all, because I somehow manage to forget almost every single morning, and end up packing a bizarre assortment of random foods. For example, a few weeks ago I took those vegetarian homemade pigs in a blanket to work with fruit snacks and pretzels- real professional, I know.

This absolutely fantastic salad was made in an attempt to have something nutritious and delicious, that doesn’t make me look like I have the eating habits of an 8 year old as well. You win some, you lose some.

So here’s my advice: Whether or not you are considering making this dish for your family dinner, a potluck, or your lunch at work- Do IT! This salad is absolutely addicting. You’re welcome in advance.

Happy cooking!

Love, a rented kitchen.



Salad Ingredients

  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1-2 cups shredded red cabbage (depending on how much crunch you like! I went with 2!)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup diced green onions
  • ½ cup cashew halves or peanuts (honey-roasted is good)
  • Optional: 1 cup edamame or chickpeas
  • Fresh lime, for a bit of tang

Dressing Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup  peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 3 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon honey (use agave if vegan)
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Water to thin (if necessary)


  1. Quinoa: Prepare the quinoa by rinsing the quinoa with cold water in a mesh strainer.  Then, add 1 ½ cups water to the quinoa in a medium sized saucepan, and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover, and allow to simmer for 15- 20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Then, fluff with a fork, remove from heat, and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, while the quinoa is cooking, prepare the dressing.  Microwave the peanut butter and honey (or agave) in a microwave safe bowl for 20 seconds.
  3. Add the ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and olive oil to the peanut butter, and stir until smooth and creamy.
  4. Add the dressing to the quinoa, and then fold in the red pepper, onion, cabbage, carrots, and cilantro.
  5. Top with cashews or peanuts and green onions.
  6. Serve chilled or at room temperature with lime wedges!


Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Monique from Ambitious Kitchen
  • If you want a thinner dressing, add about teaspoon of water and/or oil to the dressing mix!
  • One perk to this recipe- the quinoa absorbs the flavors of the dressing and tastes even more flavorful after a few hours/days! So go ahead, make your dinner in advance, you over achiever.
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes from ‘a rented kitchen’! Check below for the recipes!

3 thoughts on “Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing

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