This quinoa mandarin salad is my family’s new favorite salad!  I have made it a couple times a week for the past few weeks and I’m still not sick of it.  I’m so happy to have found a new family favorite that is healthy.  The dressing is light, tangy, and fat free and makes this whole salad just amazing.

Quinoa Mandarin Salad, vegan, oil free, Gluten free

I re-discovered this recipe a few weeks back while my little one was sick.  I was pinned to the couch with his head in my lap so I decided to look through some of my old vegetarian cookbooks.  I figured maybe I could veganize some of the old recipes I used to like.  The funny thing is, my tastes have changed so much since going vegan that I the recipes that used to look gross now looked yummy.

The original recipe for this salad was already vegan but was very high in oil and had some gross ingredients, so as usual I changed things up.

quinoa mandarin salad

Toasted almonds are the key ingredient to this salad

quinoa mandarin salad

SERIOUSLY YUMMMMyyy

Products I use in this Recipe
The following list provides products that I use to prepare this recipe at home.  This list contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission, at no additional cost to you.  Some of the prices are great bargains while others are not.  I share these links with you so you to help you choose products that you might be unfamiliar with.  Shop around because most of these products are available at Walmart or your local health food store.    See my disclosure for details on affiliate links.   

  • If you have never heard of or tried quinoa this link provides good deals for larger purchase options.  There are several good deals but you can also get it at almost every grocery store.
  •  Thai’s brand of Sweet Chili Sauce is found at most grocery stores and does not have a bunch of questionable ingredients in it.
  • When buying the mandarin oranges make sure they are packed in water and not in fructose syrup.  Several of these brands of mandarin oranges are easily found at your local grocery store but buying bulk makes them a better deal.

Print Recipe
Quinoa Mandarin Salad
This is my family's new favorite salad!  I have made it a couple times a week for the past few weeks and I'm still not sick of it.  I'm so happy to have found a new family favorite that is healthy.  The dressing is light, tangy, and fat free and makes this whole salad just amazing.  
Quinoa Mandarin Salad
Cuisine Salad, Side
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 20 Minutes
Passive Time 30-60 Minutes
Servings
People
Ingredients
Salad
Dressing
Cuisine Salad, Side
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 20 Minutes
Passive Time 30-60 Minutes
Servings
People
Ingredients
Salad
Dressing
Quinoa Mandarin Salad
Instructions
Cooking Quinoa
  1. Drain the mandarin oranges, reserving the liquid. Add enough water to the reserved mandarin orange liquid to make it 2 full cups.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa and orange/water liquid mixture. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low; cover and simmer about 15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let it cool completely with the lid off.
Cooking Snow Pea Pods
  1. While quinoa is cooking steam the pea pods in a couple of Tablespoons of water for about 5 minutes to desired crispness. Drain water off and set aside.
Prepare Dressing
  1. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a container with a lid, shake well and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Cool Quinoa
  1. Once the quinoa has cooled for at least 15 minutes place it in the refrigerator and cool for another 30-45 minutes until light and fluffy.
Serving the Salad
  1. Place the lettuce on 4 plates, pour a small amount of dressing over the salad to gently coat. Spoon quinoa over the lettuce, sprinkle with desired amount of pea pods, orange slices, green onions and toasted seeds or almonds.  Add more dressing if desired.  ENJOY!
Recipe Notes

PLEASE NOTE: this is a make ahead salad that takes only about 30 minutes to make but should be cooled for 30 minutes to an hour so the quinoa is not sticky.