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Roasted Veggie Quinoa Salad with a Toasted Spice VinaigretteOkay, so who else is thinking about Thanksgiving already? It’s hard not to when you’re a food blogger and your life pretty much revolves around food, but this year in particular, my mind is swirling with new recipe ideas to share with my family.

This year we’re having Thanksgiving at my Aunt and Uncle’s house in Massachusetts. All the cousins will be there like usual (there are 10 of us), and Matt and Trevi will of course be along for the ride also. We tend to have a pretty traditional meal each year, with all the usual suspects – mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, pearled onions, cranberry sauce, pumpkin and apple pie, and of course turkey.

I think we have the same dishes every single year.

Healthy Thanksgiving Quinoa Salad Recipe with Roasted Veggies and a Toasted Spice Vinaigrette

Which is fine, but when my Aunt mentioned that she wanted to spice things up this year and have people bring something a little different, I practically jumped out of my chair. That meant…quinoa!

Since then, I’ve been dreaming up recipes to bring, testing them and having them thoroughly reviewed by my trusty testers (a.k.a my parents and younger brother, and sometimes Trevi).

So far, this has been the winner. It was everyone’s favorite and I’m pretty sure it will be making its debut at the Rimmer family Thanksgiving table this year.

Healthy Quinoa Salad Recipe perfect for Thanksgiving - with roasted vegetables and a toasted spice vinaigrette

Now I know the recipe title may seem rather long, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave out the vinaigrette because it totally makes the entire dish. It couldn’t be easier to put together either; it’s just a simple combination of olive oil, lemon juice, a hint of mustard, some white wine vinegar and toasted spices. It’s bright, it’s cheery and it gives this salad a refreshing bite that pairs nicely with the smokiness from the roasted vegetables.

I included three of my favorite vegetables to roast – cauliflower, brussel sprouts and green beans – then added in some chickpeas for protein, some goat feta for a little creaminess and toasted sunflower seeds for an extra crunch.

What I love most about this dish is that every ingredient is really highlighted. With each bite, you get something new, and yet it all comes together in one cohesive flavor profile. It’s a magical salad that I know my family is going to gobble right up.

Healthy Quinoa Salad Recipe perfect for Thanksgiving - with roasted vegetables and a toasted spice vinaigrette

Now I know that as someone who has food sensitivities, the holidays can be tough. You never know if there’s going to be something you can eat, you feel like your family is constantly making accommodations for you, and you get sad because you can’t enjoy all the things that everyone else is.

I totally get it.

I used to get kind of bummed out this time of year, always focusing what I couldn’t  have. But in the last few years, I’ve realized that this time of year isn’t about the food. Yes, the food is delicious, but it’s about spending time with your loved ones. It’s about taking a break from the everyday stresses in life and enjoying being around these people who love you. It’s about relaxing. It’s about having fun. And finally, it’s about eating great food.

So if you have your own food sensitivities, make it easy on yourself. Just bring your own dish to the party this year! Make something that’s safe for you to eat but that everyone else will also enjoy (like this roasted veggie quinoa salad…hint, hint!). Your holiday will be much more enjoyable that way :)

Roasted Veggie Quinoa Salad with Toasted Spice Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 15 - 20 servings (as a side dish)

adapted from Bon Appetite


for the salad:
3 cups uncooked quinoa 6 cups water 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets 1 lb brussel sprouts, halved 2 cups green beans, stemmed & halved 2 (15 oz) cans organic chickpeas, rinsed 6 - 8 oz goat feta 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, toasted 2 tablespoons olive oil Salt & pepper to taste
for the dressing:
2 teaspoons coriander seeds 2 teaspoons cumin seeds 2 teaspoons fennel seeds 3 tablespoons dijon mustard 1/3 cup olive oil 1/4 cup white wine vinegar Juice of two lemons Large pinch of salt & pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Toss vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast until tender, 25 - 30 mins.
  3. While veggies are roasting, cook quinoa. Add quinoa and water into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to simmer for 15 minutes. Once cooked, remove from heat and let sit, covered for 5 minutes.
  4. After cooling, transfer quinoa to a baking sheet and refrigerate until cool, about 20 mins.
  5. While quinoa is cooling and veggies are roasting, prepare the vinaigrette. Toast coriander, cumin and fennel seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 - 3 minutes. Let cool then chop or grind in a spice grinder.
  6. Whisk spices with remaining ingredients and set vinaigrette aside.
  7. When veggies are done roasting and quinoa has cooled, transfer them both to a large (like BIG) serving bowl. Add chickpeas, feta and sunflower seeds and toss to combine. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss until coated. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  8. Serve chilled or slightly reheated. And of course, please enjoy!


This dish is easily scaled down for a smaller crowd. Just half all the ingredients and it should serve a family of about 6 - 8 with some leftovers - this makes a great lunch!

Copyright © 2010-2014 by Simply Quinoa, All Rights Reserved. This recipe, and the photos associated with this recipe, are the property of Simply Quinoa. Do not duplicate this recipe without written consent by its owner.




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Simply Quinoa, Alyssa Rimmer

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I'm Alyssa, the writer and photographer behind the gluten-free website Simply Quinoa. My passion is creating wholesome, nutrient-rich recipes all with a little quinoa twist.