This fun and colorful quinoa mango salad with avocados is quite easy and simple in terms of preparation. Lots of joyous colors will entice your taste buds while also acting as a glorious feast for your eyes. Vegetarian, vegan, and, above all, nutritious.
You’ll only require a few simple ingredients to create this delish meal:
- Quinoa: This one should be a no-brainer ;). Obviously, you’ll need some quinoa for this salad. You may use the “regular” white quinoa or grab the more fun-looking tri-color quinoa. Makes the dish even more fun and interesting looking with regard to color. These days, you can easily find quinoa in any well-stocked supermarket. If you’d like to cut down even more on cooking time, grab the 90-second quinoa that comes in pouches; also readily available in most stores. Totally your call!
- Avocados: Adding avocados to your salad will not only provide another delightful layer of taste but also a nice creamy texture along with a healthy dose of beneficial fats. Make sure your avocado is ripe but still firm to the touch.
- Arugula: Arugula will add a light yet pleasant pungency to your salad that pairs wonderfully with our recipe’s flavor profile. If you’re not necessarily a fan of arugula, you may use some baby spinach or just leave it out altogether.
- Red Bell Pepper: Bell peppers pack a mighty punch in terms of vitamin C while simultaneously offering a nice crunch.
- Tomatoes: Pick whichever tomatoes float your boat, grow in your garden, or are currently on sale at your store. Any tomato will work perfectly fine for this dish.
- (English) Seedless Cucumbers: This classic salad ingredient pairs nicely with our other salad components. Typically, you will find them at the store as either English cucumbers or seedless cucumbers. Just stick with seedless cucumbers, and you’ll be just fine.
- Mangos: I love me some mango. Mangos lend the salad a great fruity taste. Opt for a riper yet still firm mango. Mangos fall into a similar category as avocados for me. You buy them being firm, turn around, unpack after grocery shopping and they’re ripe. Like, what’s happening? 😉 With that said, the riper the mango, the fruitier the salad. So, keep that in mind.
- Mint: Add some mint leaves for another layer of culinary freshness.
To top it all off, we’ll need some olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon (or lime) juice, water, salt, and black pepper for our tasty dressing.
See recipe card for quantities.
Is it crunch time again? Not to worry. Preparing this quinoa salad is really quite simple and will have you out the door in a jiff. Please find below the more detailed and comprehensive instructions for creating this scrumptious dish. You may also find the summarized recipe by scrolling further down or simply by clicking the “Jump to Recipe” button.
Cook the quinoa as per package directions. Using a strainer, thoroughly rinse and drain your quinoa before cooking. In a saucepan, combine water and quinoa (ratio 2:1), bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes. As cooking times are always subject to change depending on “make and/or model”, it is always best to perform a taste and texture test.
Don’t forget to (generously) salt your water as well.
In case you opted for the microwaveable quinoa, throw 3 pouches into the microwave for 90 seconds each. One after the other, not all at once, please. 😉
Tip: Evenly spread out your cooked quinoa on a large plate or tray. This will help speed up the cooling process along with the overall preparation time for our dish. I am all about saving time, and I believe you are as well J.
The quinoa doesn’t have to be completely cooled off; the salad will taste just as great having a bit of “warmth” to it.
And since we were just talking about saving time and being efficient…. how about we get a head start on prepping our other ingredients while our quinoa is simmering along?!
Grab your red bell pepper, wash it, cut it in half, remove the seeds and membranes along with the top stem. Then, chop it into bite-sized pieces.
Then, wash your cucumber, cut off both ends, and chop it into small chunks as well. You don’t necessarily have to peel them, especially if you’ve opted for organic cucumbers. As always, your kitchen, your call!
Now, wash your tomatoes and cut them into small pieces. If you are using cherry or cocktail tomatoes, simply halve or quarter them.
Next, slice your avocado in half lengthwise. Carefully remove the large pit and continue to separate the flesh from its skin using a spoon. Chop both halves into bite-sized chunks.
Last but not least, peel your mango and cut the flesh into small chunks as well. This process is not always the easiest, but the important thing is to cut it into small pieces. Doesn’t need to be pretty. It’ll blend right in with the rest of your salad ingredients. And I have yet to hear anyone complain about mango chunks not being chopped up properly.
Thoroughly wash and drain your arugula (remove bruised or “wet” leaves if necessary) and, depending on your preference, pluck it into smaller pieces. Or just leave it as is. Entirely up to the chef’s discretion.
Then, chop up your fresh mint leaves.
Place your cooled quinoa in a large bowl, add all the above-prepared ingredients, and incorporate well.
Let’s get started on our delicious dressing. The dressing, in my humble opinion, is the “centerpiece” of any salad. This is not a question of hit-and-miss. We’ve got to “hit” every single time J. And a delicious dressing doesn’t always have to be elaborate, since less is almost always more. It’s more about having a dressing that perfectly jibes and harmonizes with all other ingredients. Just my two cents. So, here we go.
Drizzle your olive oil over your salad, then add your freshly squeezed lemon (or lime) juice. Generously season to taste with salt and pepper, mix well, and guess what? You’re done. Another yummy recipe for the books.
Feel free to add a bit more water. This completely depends on how much liquid your cooked quinoa was holding on to, how ripe your mango was (i.e., how much of its juice got lost while preparing), or how much dressing you generally prefer. You do you!
f you weren’t strictly looking for a vegan salad, you may also opt to add some feta cheese to your dish. Feta cheese harmonizes wonderfully with our recipe’s veggies along with the mint, while also rounding out our salad by adding some additional creaminess.
To add another layer of tasty crunch to your salad, you may also add some roasted cashews to it.
Even though quinoa is the base of our recipe, if this ingredient doesn’t really “jingle your bells”, use couscous instead and turn it into a delightful couscous salad.
Storage and Shelf Life
The salad and/or any leftovers may be safely stored in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 2 days.
Due to the use of avocado and mango in the salad, I wouldn’t recommend storing it for any longer than that. By adding a bit more lemon or lime juice you can, however, counteract the browning process and slow it down.
The salad might also absorb some of its liquid after having been stored in the fridge for a while. Therefore, go ahead and add some more water, olive oil, and/or lemon juice to it and possibly also re-season to taste with salt and pepper.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Quinoa Salad with Avocado and Mango
- 1 ½ cups quinoa
- 1 avocado
- 1 red bell pepper
- ½ English seedless cucumber
- ¾ cup tomatoes
- 3 oz arugula
- ½ mango
- 10 fresh mint leaves
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
- 4 tbsp water
- salt, black pepper
- Cook the quinoa as per package directions and allow for cooling.
- Chop avocado, bell pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, and mango into bite-sized chunks.
- Wash and drain your arugula, then, if necessary, pluck into smaller pieces. Chop up mint leaves as well.
- Place cooled quinoa (ok to still be warm) along with all other ingredients into a large bowl and incorporate well.
- Drizzle olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon (or lime) juice over the salad, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Depending on how much water your quinoa has held on to and how ripe your mango was, add a bit more water than indicated by the above recipe.