Instant Pot Quinoa Salad. How to make a delicious fast quinoa salad using the instant pot pressure cooker. Loaded with an extra virgin olive oil, honey and mustard dressing and perfect for side dishes and potlucks.
Instant Pot Quinoa Salad
My first thought after showing you how to make quinoa in the instant pot yesterday, was quinoa in the instant pot is perfect for a yummy summer healthy salad.
I always think of salads as that potluck dish that you take to a summer barbecue.
In my teens and in my early 20’s my dad would host a summer barbecue for his friends at the local gentleman club.
It would be a huge event in early August attended by many local business owners, bank managers, accountants, dentists, doctors etc and their families.
My dad would collect clearance meat in the run up to the barbecue and then plan some summer side dishes to be on the buffet as well.
The summer salads were always a big hit, especially Dominic’s.
He was still working as a chef back then and my parents loved his salad with what looked like spiralized tomatoes and cucumbers, just he did it by hand with a sharp knife.
Everybody would talk about the fancy looking salad, that tasted delicious too and dive in.
Every year since, for many years Dominic would get asked to make the same garden salad.
It reminds me of the Instant Pot Quinoa Salad that I am showing you how to make today.
That salad that tastes good. That salad that is easy to make. That salad that is healthy.
In fact, this instant pot quinoa salad ticks all the boxes and OMG I can’t believe how fast it is.
So, this summer and beyond when you are in charge of a potluck dish for that barbecue or family gathering, make this and your family and friends will be talking about you and showing interest when you mention what a godsend the instant pot is to making tasty healthy salads.
Are Quinoa Salads Healthy?
Yes quinoa salads are healthy. But like anything you can have extra hidden calories in your food, when you don’t prepare it yourself.
For example, there are often quinoa salads with a high calorie salad dressing or that have used a lot of extra virgin olive oil during cooking.
Quinoa salads are perfect for a healthy lifestyle though. They are loaded with instant pot quinoa, seasonal salad produce, a light extra virgin olive oil dressing and some extra seasonings.
Over the border from us in Spain, they credit extra virgin olive oil as the staple for a healthy lifestyle and this is a taste of Mediterranean cooking at its best.
Also, if you follow a diet note the following:
- Is Quinoa Salad Gluten Free? Absolutely! Quinoa is a popular gluten free alternative for those that have gluten intolerances. Many people that suffer with gluten issues tend to get their carb and fibre fix with quinoa and brown rice.
- Is Quinoa Salad Vegan? Yes it is. In some cases, honey is used in the salad dressing, but you can easily swap honey for maple syrup.
- Quinoa Salad Without Onion? I like to make my quinoa salad without onion, because many people don’t like raw onion in their salads. You can instead add crunch to your salad with celery instead.
- Quinoa Salad Without Tomatoes? I like to leave out tomatoes from salads that are going to be sat around for a while. The tomatoes can often make the salad over watery and ruin its appeal, especially if used as a potluck dish.
Can Quinoa Salad Be Made Ahead?
Yes, quinoa salad is perfect for make ahead meal planning. I like to load up the instant pot quinoa salad and store it in the fridge until I want it.
If you are using quinoa salad for either work lunches or barbecues make it the night before and then portion it up the next door.
How Long Can Quinoa Salad Last In The Fridge?
This instant pot quinoa salad will last up to 4 days in the fridge. BUT I would recommend eating it within 2 days.
This is because salad can end up soggy and will not be as nice as it would be in those first couple of days since it was made.
Whenever I make salad, I make it the night before and eat it the next day.
Cooking Quinoa Salad In The Instant Pot
Cooking quinoa in the instant pot is so EASY. You load the quinoa into the instant pot with the liquid, stir and while it cooks you can be preparing the rest of your salad.
Remember quinoa expands when it cooks so those 2 cups of quinoa will make a good size salad to feed people at your potluck event.
Or if you are making a quick instant pot quinoa salad for your family, you can reduce it down to 1 cup of dried quinoa.
How To Prepare Quinoa Salad?
As soon as the instant pot lid is on and its going to pressure ready for the cooking the quinoa I crack on with the rest of the salad.
- I prep cucumber, celery and peppers and load them into a mixing bowl.
- I make a quick salad dressing of honey, mustard and extra virgin olive oil. Subbing honey for maple syrup if I am feeding a vegan.
- I mix it together and wait for the quinoa to be done.
- Once the quinoa is done I add it to the salad bowl, mix and I have perfect instant pot quinoa salad.
Note that it is fast, easy and healthy and anyone can make a quick Instant Pot Quinoa Salad.
- What To Put In Quinoa Salad? I like to add celery, cucumber and mixed peppers. But you can mix and match with your favourite salad items. Radishes, red onion, spring onions, avocado, pineapple and carrots work well. Though avoid tomatoes as they make this salad too mushy.
- What To Season Quinoa Salad With? I like to use a homemade dressing made with extra virgin olive oil, honey and mustard. I also add seasoning to the quinoa before it cooks to make the quinoa salad taste even better.
- What Goes With Quinoa Salad? I love to serve my quinoa salad as a side dish for summer barbecues and parties. It also works well with our Filipino Chicken Barbecue or our Air Fryer Pork Belly.
What Dressing For Quinoa Salad?
I am obsessed with a Mediterranean dressing on my salads. It mixes together extra virgin olive oil, honey and mustard.
But there are more to salads than my favourite dressing. In fact, here are some more quinoa salad dressing ideas:
- Shop Bought – Grab your favourite supermarket salad dressing and add a tablespoon to your salad (or two).
- Make Basic Better – I love to grab a basic salad dressing and then add to it for what I am using it for. Add lemon and dill to a salad dressing for a Greek flavour or even use a basic salad dressing and transform it into a spicy Mexican version.
- Make It Diet – Follow a low calorie diet? Then go basic and add lemon juice and dried herbs to your salad instead.
Instant Pot Quinoa Salad
Instant Pot Quinoa Recipe Ingredients:
- Rinse your quinoa under a cold tap.
- Load your quinoa into the instant pot.
- Pour in liquid and seasoning.
- Stir and place the lid on the instant pot and set the valve to sealing.
- Cook for 1 minute on manual/pressure cook then allow for 12 minutes natural pressure release before manually releasing pressure.
- While your quinoa is cooking in the instant pot, prep your salad. You’re your celery and deseed your peppers. Thinly dice cucumber, mixed peppers and celery. Load into a bowl.
- In a mixing bowl or jug add your honey, mustard and olive oil. Mix with a fork and pour over your chopped salad. Mix well and put to one side.
- When its finished remove the lid and fluff up your quinoa with a fork.
- Transfer the quinoa to the salad bowl, mix with a fork and serve.
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