Smokey and a bit spicy this chipotle quinoa salad is hearty, packed with grilled vegetables, feta cheese and crunchy pumpkin seeds. This will become your go-to summer salad. It's filling and full of good for you foods.
You will love this chipotle quinoa salad
So, you've been riding a clean eating streak for weeks. You're proud of yourself. You feel good. But you are stressed to the max about navigating all the family parties, potlucks, pool parties on your summer calendar. I know exactly how you feel. I've been there too. It makes even the fittest girl hide under a blanket in her Pjs and in front of the tv all weekend. Not that I've ever done that.
Next party or potluck bring something along that you feel good about eating.
This salad is great because it's not just a lettuce salad or veggies and dip. This will fill you up. It is full of protein and the robust and spicy flavours will make you so happy you'll pass right by the deviled eggs and the layered cream cheese nacho dip.
It's super easy too and you can make it ahead. And it's best-served room temp. This could be your go-to potluck dish! The dressing has an incredible smokey flavour that pairs so nicely with the grilled veggies. If you want a vegan salad, skip the feta, it's good without it.
Note about the chipotle vinaigrette
The chipotle pepper in adobe sauce adds a significant amount of heat and smoky flavour to this dressing. Just a warning, it can be very spicy. When it comes to dressing the final salad, you may want to add some and then taste for your liking before adding the rest.
For reference this is what you are looking for Chipotle peppers in adobe sauce . A small can usually found in near Mexican food in most supermarkets. Each can holds a few peppers and adobe sauce. If you are sensitive to heat use less. DO NOT USE THE WHOLE JAR. They can be very spicy. But the flavour is essential to this recipe.
Leftover adobe sauce and chipotle peppers from the open container can be transferred to a small glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and kept in the refrigerator for months.
More hearty summer salads
- Pasta and Tofu Summer Salad
- High Protien Carrot and Pasta Salad with Cumin
- Cannellini Bean Salad with Roasted Red Peppers
- Lemon and Herb White Bean Salad
Chipotle Quinoa Salad with Grilled Vegetables
For the salad
- 1 cup quinoa
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 2 sweet peppers one red and one yellow, quartered
- 1 zucchini cut lengthwise in ½" strips
- 1 eggplant med sized, cut lengthwise in ½" strips
- 10-12 asparagus spears trimmed
- 6 green onions cleaned and trimmed
- ½ cup feta cheese crumbled (optional, and leave out for a vegan salad)
- ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup fresh cliantro roughly chopped
For the chipotle vinaegrette
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce just one pepper, not the whole can!
- 1-2 tablespoon agave
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper
- Rinse the quinoa under cool tap water for several minutes to remove the bitter coating, drain completely.
- Toss into a hot dry stock pot and stir for a several minutes to toast the grains. Since the grains are wet, it will take a few minutes before they dry out enough to toast a bit. You will begin to smell the grains. Add the stock and the 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cover. Set timer for 15 minutes.1 cup quinoa, 1 cup water, ½ cup vegetable broth
- When the quinoa is cooked (the water should be completely evaporated and you should easily see the little germs of each seed, they kinda look like "tails") remove from the heat. Fluff with a fork and spread onto a large plate to cool.
- Prepare the dressing (see recipe below).
- Prepare the veggies. Quarter the peppers, slice the eggplant and zucchini, and trim the green onions and asparagus.
- Warm up your grill. Toss the prepared veggies with about 3 tbsps of the dressing. Massage into the veggies to coat well. You may need a bit more for the eggplant. And place on a grill over medium heat. Veggies should be slightly (but only slightly!) charred and tender. Asparagus and green onions will be done first, followed by zucchini, eggplant and peppers.2 sweet peppers, 1 zucchini, 1 eggplant, 10-12 asparagus spears, 6 green onions
- Cut veggies into bit-sized chunks and throw into a bowl. Add quinoa, remaining dressing, about half of the feta cheese, cilantro and pumpkin seeds. Toss well. Sprinkle with remaining feta on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.½ cup feta cheese, ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds, ¼ cup fresh cliantro
To make the Chipotle Vineagrette
- If you have a mini blender - Magic Bullet or something similar - throw all the ingredients in and blend well, at least 1 full minute so that the pepper is fully pureed. If doing by hand, mince the pepper very finely then whisk with the remaining ingredients.4 tablespoon olive oil, 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, 1-2 tablespoon agave, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper