This Peach Quinoa Salad tastes like summer! With nutty quinoa, juicy peaches, fresh corn, creamy avocado, peppery arugula, and candied jalapeños for a pop of heat, this is a vegan summer salad you'll love!
We are living our best vegan summer salad life today. This Peach Quinoa Salad...The textures...The flavours...It should be on the menu all season long!
Hearty enough to enjoy as a meal, and perfect as a summer side, there's a bit of everything going on...Soft and buttery, crunchy, peppery, a little spicy, with big, juicy bites of peachy sweetness. So good!
There is a lot of summer salad goodness going on here. Here's exactly what you will be needing:
And for the vinaigrette, we are just mixing together extra-virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, maple syrup, a few red chili pepper flakes, salt, and pepper:
A few ingredient notes/substitution ideas:
- Peaches - These must be fresh. Don't use canned or frozen. Nectarines or apricots would make a great substitute.
- Quinoa - Even if you're not a quinoa lover give it a chance. It works incredibly well in this recipe and is naturally gluten-free. Any other grain, or couscous, would make a great alternative.
- Arugula - These peppery leaves are just perfect with sweet peaches. Baby spinach works really well instead.
- Red onion - I really like this for its colour and flavour, but green onions or shallots would work well too.
- Basil - I LOVE fresh basil with peaches. Mint or parsley work really well instead or as well as. The fresh herbs are what really make this salad special!
- Candied jalapeños - The sweet spicy heat is something else! Pickled jalapeños are a great alternative, and diced fresh jalapeños will work too.
Other additions that would work really well include chickpeas, quick pickled red onions (see the recipe notes in this curry recipe for how to make them), chopped nuts like almonds or pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sliced radish, fresh blueberries, diced vegan chicken, cubed tofu, beans, bell peppers, or cherry tomatoes.
Prefer a simpler quinoa salad? you might enjoy my Quinoa Cranberry Salad.
How To Make Peach Quinoa Salad
Ok, let's get this delicious summer salad ready. Here's how it's done (see my recipe video for a visual):
- Cook the quinoa. This is the only cooking involved and can be done up to a day or two in advance. Let it cool then store in the fridge until needed.
- Whisk/shake the dressing ingredients together.
- Cut the corn from the cobs and prep all of the other veggies/fruits.
- Toss the cooked quinoa and everything else together in a big salad bowl, then top with optional (but recommended) crumbles of salty vegan feta cheese (homemade or store-bought). I also like to reserve a few sliced peaches and basil leaves to garnish the top.
Tips For Storage
All of the components (except the avocado and peaches) can be prepped up to a day in advance, but for maximum freshness keep everything separate until just before you are ready to serve. Store leftovers that are already mixed up in an airtight container.
This salad is best when freshly made but it's still enjoyable after 24 hours or so. I find that the peaches and the avocado hold up quite well after they get tossed with the dressing. The arugula and basil not so much, so if you’re going to save leftovers, add a few handfuls of fresh arugula and basil leaves to freshen it up a bit. Having said that, I would only serve this to guests when freshly made. Just for us leftovers are ok though.
More Vegan Summer Salad Recipes
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Peach Quinoa SaladAuthor:
For the salad
- 1 cup (170 grams) uncooked quinoa , or 3 cups of cooked quinoa
- 2 ears (1½ cups) fresh corn , cut off the cob
- ¼ of a red onion , diced
- ⅓ clam shell (45 g/ 1½ oz) arugula
- 2 big handfuls fresh basil , or mint
- 3 peaches , stoned and sliced or diced (divided)
- 1 to 2 avocados , peeled, stoned & diced
- 1 medium English cucumber , diced
- 2 tablespoons diced candied jalapeño , or pickled/fresh
- OPTIONAL Vegan feta cheese
For the dressing
- Add the uncooked quinoa to a saucepan and cover with 2 cups of water. Put the lid on and bring to a rolling boil. Turn to low and leave to gently simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the water has completely disappeared. Turn off the heat. Leave alone with lid on to steam for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork and use, or store in the fridge until needed.
- Whisk up the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar.
- Set aside ½ a sliced peach, a few nice basil leaves, and the optional feta cheese to garnish the top.
- To a large salad bowl, add the fluffed quinoa, corn, red onion, arugula, whole basil leaves, peaches, avocado, cucumber, and chopped jalapeno. Pour over the dressing and toss well.
- Garnish the top with the reserved peach slices, basil leaves, and as much crumbled vegan feta cheese as your heart desires.