This salmon quinoa salad with lemon dressing is the perfect complete meal! With tender salmon, fluffy quinoa and lots of fresh veggies this salad will take care of dinner time stress in one fell swoop. This is also great for meal prep if you want to make extra for lunches during the work week.
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Why This Salmon Quinoa Salad Is The Best!
This salad meets all of the criteria I look for when making dinner. It is healthy, easy, quick and tastes amazing! Salmon is one of my favorite fish, and bakes in the oven in just minutes. Cook the quinoa over the stove top while the salmon is in the oven and you have a complete meal in less than 30 minutes.
This meal is also great for meal prep because you can eat it cold the next day.
What Is Quinoa?
Quinoa is actually a seed from a plant that has been grown and cultivated for centuries. While quinoa isn't actually a grain it is classified as a pseudograin because it has similar nutrients and eaten the same way as cereal grains.
Nutritionally quinoa is a whole grain and gluten-free. It also has a higher amount of protein, fiber and healthy fats than other grains. In fact it is referred to as a complete protein because it contains all 9 essential amino acids our bodies need.
salmon fillets- wild salmon is the best salmon choice. You can purchase fillets either with or without the skin. I prefer my salmon fillets skinless, but this is really personal preference.
quinoa- Comes in different colors but cooks and tastes the same. I like the tricolor quinoa because it gives the dish a more interesting look, but any variety will cook and taste the same. You can find quinoa usually near the rice in your local grocery store.
tomatoes- I love the sweetness of little grape or cherry tomatoes. Any type will work, so just select what looks the freshest at the store.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the salmon on the paper. Mix together the red pepper flakes, garlic powder, smoked paprika, thyme, salt and pepper. Sprinkle both sides of the salmon with the spices. Rub the spices to coat the fillets evenly. Place the salmon in the preheated oven.
While the salmon is baking, prepare the quinoa according to package directions. Cooking quinoa is easy and cooks very similarly to rice.
Fluff the cooked quinoa and add the remaining salad ingredients. I like zesty flavors of fresh lemon juice in this salmon salad. It complements the smokey flavor of the spices on the salmon.
Drizzle a little olive oil over the top, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a little lemon zest. These simple ingredients add so much flavor to the salad!
To build your salmon salad add a bed of quinoa salad to large bowls or plates. Place the salmon fillet on top of the quinoa.
This salmon recipe is really a complete meal on its own. Nutritionally speaking this meal has a great amount of protein from the salmon and the quinoa and a few veggies added to the salad. If you are wanting a few more veggies to pair with this dinner you could add air fryer asparagus or Instant Pot steamed carrots.
Store leftover salmon and quinoa salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can warm the leftover salad in the microwave or eat it cold if you prefer.
Substitutions And Additions
spinach- You can always add a little spinach or arugula to the salad if you would like a few extra veggies.
onion-Raw onion isn't always my favorite but you can add a little red onion or sliced green onions to give this salad an extra flavor boost.
Looking For Other Salad Recipes? Try These!
Healthy Strawberry Walnut Salad Recipe
Did you try this recipe? Please let me know what you think! Leave a comment below, and a 5- star rating. I would love to hear from you! Subscribe Here to get new recipes sent straight to your inbox!
Salmon Quinoa Salad with Lemon Dressing
Salmon and Dry Rub
- 2 4 ounce salmon, fillets
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon thyme
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ⅛ teaspoon cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup chickpeas
- ⅓ cup red bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice (whole lemon)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add all of the ingredients for the salmon dry rub to a small bowl and mix.
- Place salmon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle each side with the spice mixture. Rub to evenly coat the salmon with spices.
- Bake in the preheat oven for 12-15 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork.
- Once the salmon is baking in the oven, prepare the quinoa by cooking according to package directions.
- When quinoa has absorbed all of the water, fluff quinoa and add the remaining salad ingredients. Stir to coat with olive oil and lemon juice.
- Plate quinoa salad and top with salmon fillets.
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