Filled with fresh spinach, healthy quinoa, and loads of summer veggies, this unique Grilled Summer Veggie Quinoa Salad is a delicious and unexpected grilled summer salad that’s perfect for cookouts this year.
This Grilled Summer Veggie and Quinoa Salad comes together in a few different steps. We’ll make the veggies on the grill and the quinoa on the stove and, with a few minutes of prep at the beginning, it will all come together with perfect timing.
First, put a grill pan on your grates and preheat the grill. While the grill preheats, prep your veggies and rinse your quinoa. Next, get the quinoa going on the stove. Once it’s reduced to simmering, it won’t need your attention for 15 minutes or so, which gives you the perfect amount of time to grill the veggies. While the quinoa is cooking and your veggies are grilling, take a minute to whip up the lemon vinaigrette and plate handfuls of spinach on your serving platter.
Once everything is finished cooking, layer the quinoa over the spinach, and drizzle with a little of your lemon vinaigrette. Top the quinoa and spinach with your pile of grilled vegetables and serve it all with the reserved lemon vinaigrette.
If you are making this for a big backyard cookout, save yourself a little trouble and make the quinoa a day or two before and plate the spinach and quinoa before your guests come over. You could also make the entire dish beforehand and serve it cold or at room temperature – it’s equally delicious that way!
Look at this salad as more of an inspiration than a recipe and use the veggies you have on hand – a great way to clear out that produce drawer! My favorites are okra (a southern summer favorite!), squash, zucchini, and sweet peppers, but you can use whatever is looking good at the produce stand. Asparagus, mushrooms, corn, onions, and tomatoes would all be delicious additions.
We love grilling veggies all summer long because it makes them sweeter and they get that great smoky grill flavor. Plus it is just so easy! A pinch of salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil is all fresh vegetables need to taste delicious on the grill.
This Grilled Summer Veggie Quinoa Salad is also perfect to make on a Sunday for lunches throughout the week. We made this last weekend and served it alongside grilled shrimp and I’ve been enjoying the leftovers all week. A big batch will last you several days in the fridge, but I would recommend holding off on the vinaigrette until you are ready to eat so you don’t wilt the spinach too quickly.
Summer is the perfect season for inviting friends and family over for simple and delicious backyard gatherings. I’m always looking for new side dishes that shake things up a bit and get me out of the slaw, baked beans, fruit salad, and chips rut. This summer salad would be the perfect side for just about any backyard cookout menu. Fire up your grill and enjoy!
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1½ cup water
- pinch of salt
- 2 squash
- 2 zucchini
- 8 peppers
- ½ lb okra
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 cups spinach
- 1 lemon
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- QUINOA: Start by making the quinoa. Rinse quinoa and toast in a saucepan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and the water and allow water to come to a boil. Place lid on pot and lower temperature to simmer until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and remove from heat. Note: You can also cook the quinoa a day or two ahead of time.
- GRILLED VEGGIES: Wash all the vegetables and cut the squash and zucchini into large chunks. Place veggies in a bowl and season liberally with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Grill the veggies for 5-10 minutes on each side, until they reach the desired tenderness.
- LEMON VINAIGRETTE: In a small jar, combine juice of one lemon, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Shake well and set aside.
- PLATING: On a large platter or individual serving dishes, start with a layer of spinach and then top with cooked quinoa. Drizzle half of the lemon vinaigrette over the quinoa and spinach. Top with grilled veggies. Serve with grilled lemon (see notes) and extra lemon vinaigrette.
Leftovers will hold up well in the fridge for a few days and make perfect lunches!
We hope you love this Grilled Summer Veggie Quinoa Salad recipe from SoFabFood Contributor, Jessica from JessicaNWood.com, as much as we do. If you enjoyed this delicious recipe, be sure to visit our Grilling Section for more like it. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter so that you never miss a single recipe. For daily recipe inspiration, like us on Facebook, follow us on Pinterest, and stop by our Google+ Community to see all of the amazing recipes our community members are sharing. Enjoy!