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End of Summer Quinoa Salad with Sweet Curry Vinaigrette

Bright, beautiful and super tasty, this End of Summer Quinoa Salad with Sweet Curry Vinaigrette is loaded with fresh seasonal veggies and topped with a warm, exotic curry vinaigrette. Enjoy as a meal or side dish!

A bowl of end of summer quinoa salad with curry vinaigrette

An Easy Summer Salad

If I’m being honest, it took me a few tries to officially hop on the quinoa bandwagon. I tend to like a variety of textures in my meals, and have always been drawn to the earthiness of grains and seeds. So when quinoa came fully on the scene a number of years ago, it felt like it would be a natural fit for my taste buds. But while I enjoyed the quinoa dishes I’d order at restaurants, I never really loved anything I tried making at home.

But then, one day, it finally clicked – the secret to making an irresistible quinoa dish was in the use of a vinaigrette.

A vinaigrette works like magic, soaking into the little nuggets of quinoa, softening it up a bit and infusing it with flavor. The sweet curry vinaigrette in this salad is particularly lovely. It’s sweet from honey, tangy from white balsamic vinegar, and warmed by oh-so-wonderful curry. I’ve found myself doubling this portion of the recipe, just to have extra to drizzle over fresh greens for lunch salads throughout the week ahead.

I’ve been making this salad with vegetables straight from the garden – tomatoes from our garden, yellow squash from my friend’s garden, and sweet corn and peppers from the farmers market. While you can technically enjoy these ingredients year-round thanks to the supermarket, making this quinoa salad with garden fresh ingredients just makes it a little better.

There’s a bonus with this quinoa salad, too, as it keeps very well for a few days in the refrigerator. I eat it morning, noon, and night. It’s awesome for breakfast with a couple of eggs, tossed with some fresh arugula for a lunch salad, or as a side dish for evening dinner. Bright and beautiful, and super tasty to boot.

Chopped vegetables - tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, peppers, carrots and squash

What You’ll Need

This end of summer quinoa salad is filled with garden fresh veggies and topped with a simple curry vinaigrette. You can find most of these ingredients in your garden or pantry!

For the Sweet Curry Vinaigrette:

  • Honey – Adds a hint of sweetness to the vinaigrette.
  • Olive oil – Use a quality extra virgin olive oil.
  • Balsamic vinegar – The base of the vinaigrette.
  • Yellow onion – Grated yellow onion adds flavor to the vinaigrette.
  • Garlic
  • White wine Worcestershire sauce – Perhaps a surprising ingredient but adds so much depth to the flavor. I definitely do not recommend skipping it.
  • Curry powder – Curry is the star flavor of this vinaigrette!
  • Salt & pepper – To taste.

For the Quinoa Salad:

  • Quinoa – Cooked and cooled according to package directions.
  • Carrots – Peeled and thinly sliced into coins.
  • Sweet corn – Cut the kernels off from raw sweet corn.
  • Tomatoes – I use grape tomatoes but cherry tomatoes will also work, or you can cut larger tomatoes into quarters.
  • Cucumber – I recommend English cucumbers for the sweeter flavor and softer skin, which doesn’t need to be peeled.
  • Yellow squash – Adds a pop of color to the salad.
  • Bell pepper – I prefer red bell pepper but orange or yellow bell peppers will also work.
Quinoa in a glass bowl and several seasonings measured out

How to Make Quinoa Salad with Sweet Curry Vinaigrette

Making this end of summer quinoa salad couldn’t be easier! It’s just a matter of chopping all of the vegetables and combining all ingredients.

  • Make the vinaigrette. Whisk together all sweet curry vinaigrette ingredients.
  • Assemble the salad. Mix together the vinaigrette and quinoa. Mix until well-combined, then fold in all of the vegetables and fresh thyme.

Tips for Success

If you’re ready to jump on the quinoa bandwagon with me (or maybe you’re already there!), here are a few tips, ideas and suggestions for making the best quinoa salad.

  • Allow to chill before serving. While technically you can serve this salad as soon as you assemble it, I highly recommend allowing it to chill for even just a few minutes, to really let the flavors absorb into the quinoa.
  • Use fresh vegetables. As I mentioned, while you can find most vegetables year-round at the grocery store, I highly recommend making this salad with fresh, in-season vegetables. Somehow veggies fresh from the garden just taste better!
  • Adjust the ingredients to your preferences. Not a fan of cucumbers? Leave them out. Want some spice? Throw in some jalapenos. Not a curry person? Swap out the curry vinaigrette for any other vinaigrette. The beauty of this quinoa salad is that it can be customized to anything you like!
A big red dish of end of summer quinoa salad

Serving Suggestions

There are oh-so-many ways to serve this quinoa salad with curry vinaigrette! I’m not joking when I say that I’ll eat this morning, noon and night! Depending on how you serve it, you can literally turn this quinoa salad into breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack or a side dish!

Here are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy this veggie-filled salad:

  • With a couple of fried eggs for breakfast
  • Toss with fresh arugula or mixed greens for a lunch salad
  • Topped with grilled chicken or shrimp
  • As a side dish for dinner – it pairs nicely with everything from grilled kabobs to burgers

How to Store Leftovers

Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. They’ll last for up to 5 days – perfect for lunch meal prep! You can even store the salad in individual serving portions for a grab-and-go weekday lunch!

A bowl of quinoa salad with summer vegetables

Can I Make This In Advance?

Yes, absolutely! In fact, I recommend making this quinoa salad at least a few hours in advance. That gives time for the vinaigrette to truly be absorbed into the quinoa and vegetables, making this salad even better! You can even make this a day or two in advance – as I mentioned, it’s a great recipe for meal prep because it will last for up to 5 days!

More Easy Quinoa Recipes:

A bowl of quinoa salad with summer vegetables

End of Summer Quinoa Salad with Sweet Curry Vinaigrette

Yield: 6 servings
prep time: 30 minutes
cook time: 15 minutes
total time: 45 minutes
Bright, beautiful and super tasty, this End of Summer Quinoa Salad with Sweet Curry Vinaigrette is loaded with fresh seasonal veggies and topped with a warm, exotic curry vinaigrette. Enjoy as a meal or side dish!
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  • c. Honey
  • c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. Grated Yellow Onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic Minced
  • 2 tsp. White Wine Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Curry Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 c. Quinoa Cooked According To Package Directions, Drained And Cooled
  • 2 Large Carrots Peeled And Sliced Thinly Into Coins
  • 2 ears Raw Sweet Corn Kernels Cut
  • 1 c. Halved Grape Tomatoes
  • 1 English Cucumber Halved Lengthwise And Then Cut Into ¼-inch Slices
  • 1 Large Yellow Squash Halved Lengthwise And Then Cut Into ¼-inch Slices
  • 1 Large Red Bell Pepper Chopped
  • 1 tsp. Minced Fresh Thyme Leaves


  • For the sweet curry vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients. Set aside.
  • For the quinoa salad: In a large bowl, stir together the quinoa and sweet curry vinaigrette until incorporated. Fold in the carrots, sweet corn kernels, tomatoes, cucumber, squash, red bell pepper, and thyme. Add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 324kcal Carbohydrates: 41g Protein: 9g Fat: 15g Saturated Fat: 2g Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g Cholesterol: 12mg Sodium: 154mg Fiber: 4g Sugar: 22g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles or tag @farmgirlsdabble!

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18 comments on “End of Summer Quinoa Salad with Sweet Curry Vinaigrette”

  1. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen

    So awesome that you are contributing to The Pioneer Woman’s site. This salad sounds so incredibly delicious. I love the bright colors, it’s just so appetizing!

  2. Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living

    I do not want to say good bye to summer, but this celebration of summer in one bowl is a great tribute to all my favorite summer veggies!

  3. I am a huge quinoa fan, but I’m having trouble getting the hubby on board. Till then, I’m happy to hoard all this deliciousness for myself! Off to see the recipe :)

  4. Hi Brenda, I read your delicious recipe over at The Pioneer Woman and am thinking of making it very soon. Just wandering if I can substitute the white wine Worcestershire sauce for regular Worcestershire sauce or for anything else. Thanks!

    1. Hello Ines – I find the white wine Worcestershire to be less abrasive, more subtle, with a beautiful flavor for vinaigrettes. But you could definitely substitute for something else. I might try some rice wine vinegar and just a bit of Dijon mustard. It will have a different flavor than the original recipe, but would still be delicious. :)