Quinoa Salad with Arugula & Orange Dressing

This simple, gluten free and plant-based salad is savory & wholesome but has a real brightness about it because of the Orange Dressing & orange zest.

Quinoa Salad with Arugula & Orange Dressing

Fresh, hearty and citrusy!

This simple, plant-based salad is savory & wholesome but has a real brightness about it because of the Orange Dressing & orange zest.

The salad itself is just 5 main ingredients— hearty quinoa, caramelized onions, dried apricots for some sweetness, roasted & salted pistachios for some crunch and arugula which all work together so well.  Paired with the citrus dressing, it is so delicious!


A little more about the orange dressing — it is really the yummiest citrus flavor!  The dressing is mostly orange flavored but with a touch of lemon, so it’s not too sweet and it’s so good!

A note about the quinoa. This recipe calls for 3 cups cooked quinoa, and I used a combination of red quinoa and traditional quinoa.  I happen to like the color of the combination in this salad but anything will work!  Also, we tend to make a big bowl of quinoa each week and use some in salads like this one and use the remainder in other dishes throughout the week so it was easy enough to use a combination.

The only other cooking involved is sauteing and browning the onions.  The rich, savory flavor adds so much to this salad and works beautifully with the other ingredients.


All together this salad is savory, citrus-y and so satisfying! Perfect on its own or alongside a protein of choice.

It stays well in the fridge for several days so it’s perfect for meal prep. If you want it to be extra fresh, you could keep the arugula separate and add in when ready to serve.

Recipe adapted from Food and Wine.

Scroll down to see the recipe and leave a comment if you try.



Quinoa with Arugula & Orange Dressing
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This simple, gluten free and plant-based salad is savory & wholesome but has a real brightness about it because of the Orange Dressing & orange zest. Recipe adapted from Food and Wine.
Recipe type: Salads, Veggies
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • 3 cups cooked & cooled quinoa (I used 2 cups cooked red quinoa: 1 cup cooked traditional quinoa -- any combination will work!)
  • ½ cup dried apricots, cut into pieces (I did thirds or quarters depending on size)
  • ½ cup roasted salted pistachios
  • 4 scallions, white and green part, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups baby arugula leaves
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablepoon olive oil, for sauteing onions
  • salt and pepper to taste for onions
Orange Dressing
  • ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1½ teaspoons finely grated orange zest + extra for topping
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
Cook quinoa if not already done so
  1. In a medium saucepan, place 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water*. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to simmer, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Once water is absorbed, turn off heat and let cool briefly. Fluff with fork before using. *Note: 1 cup uncooked quinoa will yield about 4 cups cooked quinoa. We just keep the extra quinoa in the refrigerator and use separately. For exactly 3 cups quinoa, cook ¾ cup quinoa with 1½ cups water.
  2. Set aside to cool.
Saute the onions
  1. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil until shimmering, not burning. Add the sliced onions, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes minutes.
  2. Set aside to cool.
Orange Dressing
  1. Place ingredients in a liquid measuring cup or small bowl and whisk together until well combined.
  1. In a large bowl add the quinoa, cooked onions, apricots, pistachios, arugula** and scallions. Drizzle with most the dressing (I always like to reserve some and taste it first so see if I want to add it all) and toss well. Taste and add more dressing as desired. Top with extra orange zest as desired. Serve and enjoy!
  2. **If planning to use as a meal prep option, consider leaving the arugula separate and adding in when serving to ultimate freshness.
Stores well for several days.
Great as is or paired with a protein of choice.


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