Quinoa Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

I developed this recipe when I was looking for something to serve as a side dish with grilled fish.  I didn’t feel like eating the traditional starches or a basic salad, but wanted something filling and fresh, which is almost a dichotomy.  Unlike most grains, quinoa serves as both a carb and a protein, which make this an ideal dish for vegans and vegetarians, and the combination of the subtle heat of the Dijon mustard and the unexpected bursts of sweet from the grated apples make this salad a party in your mouth.  It was originally served with grilled fish with mango salsa, and it was the perfect accompaniment. It can be served warm or chilled.


Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 12 ½-cup servings



  • 3 cups cooked Quinoa
  • ½ English Cucumber, in a small dice
  • 2 Carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 Celery stalks, in a small dice
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 large Royal Gala Apple, peeled and grated
  • 2-3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Poppy Seed Dressing



  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine quinoa, cucumber, carrots, celery, red pepper, apple, and green onions.  Pour Poppyseed Dressing over everything and mix well.



  • Add toasted slivered almonds for crunch and additional flavour.  
  • This makes a great vegan/vegetarian dish because of the protein in the quinoa.  If you want to up the protein quotient, add a can of rinsed and drained chickpeas. It also makes a great side dish with grilled chicken, fish, or seafood.
  • Leftovers keep up to 3 days in the fridge.
  • Because there is mayonnaise in the dressing, make sure it is kept cool if you’re bringing it to a party.  If the food is being served outdoors, use a small serving dish that can be refilled regularly and keep the reserves in the fridge.
  • The Poppy Seed Dressing recipe makes the perfect amount for this as a lightly dressed salad.  It adds flavour without making it wet. If you prefer your salad more heavily dressed, increase the dressing ingredients proportionately to suit your tastes.

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