This vegan rainbow salad is healthy, fresh, AND colorful. It's so much fun to eat. Clean out your fridge AND make a healthy meal...doesn't get better!
This super simple rainbow salad is perfect for detoxing after a long weekend or vacay. It's light with enough substance to keep you going!
Looking for another salad? This butternut squash couscous salad is amazing. For extra protein, try this bean salad.
- quinoa or other grain
- arugula or other greens
- grape or cherry tomatoes
- olive oil
- dijon mustard (optional)
OR use this creamy peanut sauce OR lemon tahini dressing.
See recipe card for quantities.
First, prepare quinoa according to package instructions. Don't forget to rinse quinoa in a mesh strainer.
While quinoa is cooking, prepare vegetables. Peel and discard outside of carrots. Then peel into ribbons and set aside.
Half or quarter tomatoes. Then thinly slice cucumbers and radishes. Drain and rinse chickpeas.
Pro tip: refrigerate the chickpea liquid (aka aquafaba) for cookies if desired. It's good for a week or two.
Now make dressing. Combine oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, dijon mustard, and water into mason jar or small bowl. Shake or whisk until combined.
Finally, build salad. Start with a scoop of lukewarm or cooled quinoa. Then add a layer of greens. Finally, place other toppings onto salad. Toss with a tablespoon or two of dressing in a mixing bowl.
Hint: use whatever dressing or toppings you like! This doesn't have to be fancy, we just want to hit our main salad pillars: carbs, greens, protein, and crunch.
This salad is naturally vegan, dairy-free and gluten free.
- Bean or legume free - substitute for another plant-based protein, or add extra quinoa
- Oil-free - use an oil-free salad dressing, or top with an oil-free hummus (like this one - use water instead of oil)
Make this salad whatever you want. Stick with the rainbow theme, or go monochromatic, based on what's in your fridge. Focus on colorful food!
- Extra protein - add hummus or baba ganoush
- Different beans - no chickpeas? No problem. Try white beans instead.
- Monochromatic - sub chickpeas for edamame, and use yellow baby tomatoes instead of red. Nix the radishes.
- Heartier - add some roasted butternut squash or sweet potatoes (white, yellow, or purple!)
- Grains - try rice, bulgar, lentils, or couscous instead of quinoa
- Buddha bowl - use this creamy peanut sauce instead of a vinaigrette.
Looking for a fall or winter salad? See this butternut squash salad. Looking for something else with chickpeas? Try this chickpea salad.
For this recipe, you'll need:
- Small saucepan for quinoa. If using a stainless pot, use slightly lower heat then prescribed (e.g. instead of low, try simmer instead)
- Cutting board, knife, and vegetable peeler
Store each ingredient separately in the refrigerator until ready to assemble. Dress salad before serving.
These ingredients don't stand up well to freezing.
Frequently asked questions
Absolutely! These ingredients are minimally processed, and are mostly fruits and vegetables. Use organic produce when possible and practical.
Focus on whole foods, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains like rice and quinoa.
For a lower calorie salad, limit dressing to one tablespoon, and focus on oil-based dressings like a vinaigrette instead of a creamy dressing.
For a satisfying AND healthy salad, add plenty of plant-based protein like beans, tofu, or tempeh.
Eat the rainbow! Pick whatever produce looks great, and run with it. This salad works with just about everything.Print
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 2 salads 1x
- Category: Salads
- Method: Simmering
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
This vegan rainbow salad is healthy, fresh, AND colorful. It's so much fun to eat. Clean out your fridge AND make a healthy meal.
- ½ cup dry quinoa
- 1 cup arugula or other greens
- 1-2 medium carrots
- 1 small cucumber
- ¼ cup grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1-2 radishes
- 2 Tbsp chickpeas
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp vinegar
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 tsp dijon mustard (optional)
Alternative dressing: spicy peanut sauce or lemon tahini dressing
See post for substitutions and variations
1. Prepare quinoa according to package instructions. Don't forget to rinse quinoa in a mesh strainer.
2. Prepare vegetables while quinoa is cooking. Peel and discard outside of carrots. Then peel into ribbons and set aside. Half or quarter tomatoes. Then thinly slice cucumbers and radishes. Drain and rinse chickpeas.
3. Make dressing: Combine oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, dijon mustard, and water into mason jar or small bowl. Shake or whisk until combined.
4. Build salad. Start with a scoop of quinoa. Then add a layer of greens. Finally, place other toppings onto salad. Toss with a tablespoon or two of dressing in a mixing bowl.
Keywords: rainbow salad, vegan salad, vegan rainbow salad, vegan spring salad, colorful salad,
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
The Hangry Chickpea
Super simple, perfect for a healthy lunch.