I’ve been on a quinoa kick ever since it became a super popular grain back in 2014. Almost 10 years ago?! Yep. Over the years I’ve added this delicious, protein-packed grain to chili, grain bowls, granola bars, pancakes, and also in banana bread. Call me the Harry Potter of quinoa.
I’m certainly no quinoa queen (or wizard), but obviously, my love for quinoa is the real deal. Not unlike my love for Twilight (it’s still real, guys), Jon Snow, or Pacey from the 90s.
All truths today.
This easy roasted vegetable pesto quinoa salad recipe is so good and something I ate for three nights straight when I first perfected it back in 2017. I paired with various proteins like chicken sausage, hardboiled eggs, and leftover shrimp, for an incredible meal prep dinner that became a new fav. Tony even said this pesto quinoa salad was good. And this is coming from a guy who still pronounces quinoa as KIN OH UH.
You know this is the real-deal delicious.
Ingredients in this pesto quinoa salad
I whipped up this beautiful, super easy pesto quinoa salad with roasted veggies and chickpeas and MY GOODNESS IT WAS AMAZING. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Veggies: red onion, red bell pepper, grape tomatoes and baby bella mushrooms. Feel free to mix it up with veggies you have on hand!
- Chickpeas: for a delicious and affordable plant based protein.
- Spices: you’ll use garlic powder, dried oregano, salt and pepper to give the veggies and chickpeas the perfect flavor.
- Olive oil: you’ll need just a bit of olive oil to coat your veggies and chickpeas.
- Quinoa: the base of this amazing pesto quinoa salad. It gives the salad a wonderful nutty flavor and boost of protein.
- Homemade pesto: made with fresh basil leaves, fresh lemon juice, water, garlic, chopped cashews (or sunflower seeds), grated parmesan and a pinch of salt.
Customize this quinoa salad
The best part about this simple roasted vegetable quinoa salad recipe is that you can truly make it your own! Here are some ideas:
- Add extra protein. Chicken, shrimp, salmon, or tofu would all be delicious. Or get wild and throw an egg on it!
- Pick your veggies. Feel free to use the veggies you have on hand. Roast up different peppers, zucchini, sweet potato, and more.
- Choose your grain. Swap the quinoa for another grain like farro, couscous or even your favorite pasta noodle.
Can I make it nut free?
Absolutely! Simply swap the cashews in the pesto for pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
Roasted vegetable quinoa salad in 4 steps
- Roast your veggies & chickpeas. Start by tossing your chopped veggies and chickpeas in olive oil and seasonings on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast until the veggies are tender.
- Make the quinoa. While the veggies are roasting, cook your quinoa so that it’s nice and fluffy (see below for the BEST tips for making fluffy quinoa!) Transfer it to a bowl.
- Make the pesto. Add all of the pesto ingredients to a food processor and process until nic and smooth. Note that it will be on the thicker side.
- Toss & serve. Add your veggies to the bowl with your quinoa, pour in the pesto, toss it up and serve! This salad is delicious warm or cold.
How to cook the perfect fluffy quinoa
I have a tried and true method for making super fluffy quinoa that’s perfect for salads (like this one) and side dishes. Guaranteed to be your new go-to method. Get all of my tips & tricks for the best fluffy quinoa here!
What to serve with this salad
Store this vegetarian pesto quinoa salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. It’s delicious eaten hot or cold, so feel free to dig in straight from the fridge or warm it up in the microwave!
More salad recipes you’ll love
Get all of my salad recipes here!
I hope you love this roasted vegetable quinoa salad recipe! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!
Roasted Veggie, Chickpea & Pesto Quinoa Salad
Wonderful pesto quinoa salad tossed with sheet pan roasted vegetables and garlicky chickpeas. This flavorful vegetarian roasted vegetable quinoa salad recipe is packed with protein and is a great make-ahead lunch to enjoy hot or cold!
- For the roasted veggies & chickpeas:
red onion, cut into chunks
red bell pepper, cut into chunks
sweet potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
baby bella mushrooms, sliced
can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For the quinoa:
- For the pesto:
fresh basil leaves
roasted or raw cashews (or can sub roasted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds to make it nut free)
olive oil or avocado oil
salt, plus more to taste
water, to thin pesto as necessary
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place chopped veggies and chickpeas on parchment paper.
Cook veggies: Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over veggies, then sprinkle on garlic powder, dried oregano, salt and pepper. Gently toss with your hands then spread veggies out evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until veggies are tender and roasted, flipping over halfway through to ensure even cooking.
While the veggies are roasting, make the quinoa: add quinoa and water to a medium pot and place over high heat; bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, then remove from heat, fluff quinoa with a fork and transfer quinoa to a large bowl.
Make the pesto: In the bowl of a food processor, add basil, cashews, oil, lemon juice, garlic clove and salt. Process until smooth, about 1 minute, adding a tablespoon or two of water to thin pesto, if necessary. Pesto should be on the thicker side.
Once veggies are done, add them to the bowl with the quinoa. Then fold in the pesto. Serve warm or cold. Makes 4 servings.
To make nut free: use pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds instead of cashews.
This recipe is delicious on its own, but also wonderful with grilled or roasted chicken or with my honey lemon salmon recipe.
Servings: 4 servings
Serving size: 1 serving (based on 4)
Saturated fat: 2.3g