Who’s ready for a salad packed with nutrients?! This nutty spinach and quinoa salad is the perfect side salad that is packed with yummy ingredients!
As all salads should be, this one is easy to put together and it has amazing flavor! I ate this for lunch twice in one week and oddly enough, since the dressing that goes with this salad is so light, it didn’t wilt the spinach or turn this salad to mush.
Nutty spinach and quinoa salad inspiration!
We don’t usually do anything for July 4th anymore because Winston is pretty petrified of fireworks and we feel bad leaving him at home alone. Who knows what he thinks is going on outside!
Since moving to our new house (I guess technically it’s not new anymore but I still call it our new house), we’re excited that we finally have neighbors that talk to you, haha — it’s so different moving to a single family home neighborhood vs. a bunch of townhouses. At least in this area, most people rent in townhouse/condo communities so people don’t really go out of their way to get to know each other.
That could just be our experience in our old neighborhood though.
Anyway, I digress.
The whole point of this story was to say that we went to our neighbor’s house for 4th of July this year and she made a similar salad so this is where I got the inspiration for this nutty spinach and quinoa salad!
Spinach and quinoa salad with shrimp
I love all the ingredients that are in this salad. It’s versatile too because if you don’t have dried cranberries, you can use any dried fruit.
I also love the pumpkin seeds in here.
It gives it a unique texture and I find that using pumpkin seeds is a great way to switch it up from the usual nuts that may be found in salads!
Now spinach and quinoa salad with shrimp on top would be a fun little coastal vibe. I would imagine grilling the shrimp with a blackening seasoning or maybe even butter.
Juicing some additional lemon juice on top to give it that fresh pop would enhance this spinach and quinoa salad for sure!
Adding shrimp to the salad would definitely give it a great protein boost too if you were to eat this spinach and quinoa salad on its own as a BAS (big ass salad)!
Spinach and quinoa salad dressing ideas
This salad is served with a simple and light dressing but I know there are others out there that might not like how light it is so here are some options for you in terms of dressing.
I’ve made a dijon shallot dressing before and it’s one of our all-time favorites and it pairs REALLY well with any salad, especially this one.
A creamy curry salad dressing would be a little heavier if you’re into that but it has great flavors!
If blood oranges are in season, this blood orange vinaigrette would be a flavorful and lighter option.
The classic caesar dressing would be phenomenal with this spinach and quinoa salad too.
See? There are so many dressing options! It helps that the base of this salad is so versatile!
If you love this spinach and quinoa salad, you’ll love these salad recipes:
- Quick Basic Chopped Salad
- Harvest Chopped Salad Bowl
- Summer Panzanella
- Asian Ramen Salad
- Spicy Grilled Shrimp Quinoa Salad
This easy and light spinach salad has all the right ingredients for an easy side salad!
- 5 cups chopped baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup cooked and chilled red quinoa
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 2/3 cup pumpkin seeds
- 2/3 cup chopped pecans
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons finely diced shallot
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large bowl, toss together all the ingredients for the salad until ingredients are equally distributed throughout.
Mix ingredients for dressing in a mason jar, close the lid and shake!
Pour over salad and toss to incorporate, coating all the leaves and ingredients with dressing.
Serve room temperature or slightly chilled.
If you want to make this ahead of time, toss salad ingredients together and dress it prior to serving.
This will keep up to two days in the refrigerator (dressed).