Roasted Veggie Pesto Quinoa Salad Recipe

Over the last decade, quinoa has become increasingly, popping up in a multitude of recipes from breakfast bowls to fancy entrees. People love it because it's full of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals and it tastes delicious. It's filling too; added to lighter dishes like salads, quinoa provides more texture and can turn side dishes into more of a complete meal. In this recipe for roasted veggie pesto quinoa salad, for example, the nutty quinoa helps balance out the earthy charm of roasted vegetables and the vibrant, freshly-made pesto while bulking up the dish as well.

Recipe developer Miriam Hahn says, "Quinoa is one of my favorite grains to use because it is full of health benefits, it's quick to make, and it can make a salad more filling. The use of pesto here adds an element of freshness that you just can't get from a standard dressing." 

Gather the ingredients for roasted veggie pesto quinoa salad

To make this recipe, you'll need quite a few items from the produce department. Grab a red onion, garlic, red pepper, mushrooms, fresh basil, and a lemon. Then, from the dry goods area pick up some canned chickpeas, quinoa (which you should cook per the package instructions), pumpkin seeds, and olive oil. Finally, hit up your spice cabinet for salt, pepper, and oregano. 

For the pumpkin seeds in the pesto, we recommend using the raw, unsalted type. If you can only find the salted variety, you can adjust or omit the salt used in the pesto. To finish everything off, some toasted pine nuts make a great topping on the final salad, but you can also use more pumpkin seeds for added crunch.

Roast the vegetables

Start by preheating your oven to 400 F. As that heats up, add the onion, some garlic, red pepper, mushrooms, and chickpeas to a large bowl. Spray your veggies with cooking spray and toss them with oregano, salt, and pepper before spreading them out on a baking sheet. "To save a bowl from cleaning you can just toss the veggies and beans with the cooking spray and spices right on the baking sheet, but I think you can get everything coated better by using a bowl," Hahn remarks. Pop the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 25 minutes. You want the vegetables to be soft and browned when they're done.

Make the pesto

Use a food processor or a blender to make a simple pesto. "I prefer using a food processor because it's easier to get the pesto out but either will work just fine," Hahn says. Put the basil, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, lemon juice, remaining garlic, and remaining salt into a blender. Blend until smooth. 

When measuring out the basil, Hahn recommends avoiding the thick basil stems. She also says that you should pack the basil in tightly. "It will seem like a lot in your food processor but once it's blended it shrinks down quite a bit," she explains.

Combine the ingredients and serve

This delicious meal is almost ready. Add the cooked quinoa to a large bowl and add the roasted vegetables, then add the pesto and toss to get everything combined. "For serving I usually add more chopped basil and toasted pine nuts," Hahn shares. 

The salad is a complete meal on its own but does pair well with a bowl of tomato soup, spinach soup, or just some fresh bread. Leftovers will last up to four days if kept in a sealed container in the fridge and can be warmed up in the oven or microwave.

Roasted Veggie Pesto Quinoa Salad Recipe
5 from 21 ratings
The quinoa in this salad helps bulk up the veggies in this dish while the pesto adds an element of freshness that you just can't get from standard dressing.
Prep Time
Cook Time
quinoa salad in white bowl
Total time: 35 minutes
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 (8-ounce) package mushrooms, halved
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, prepared per the package instructions
Optional Ingredients
  • Toasted pine nuts
  • Chopped basil
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Add the onion, 3 cloves of garlic, red pepper, mushrooms, and chickpeas to a large bowl. Spray with cooking spray, ½ teaspoon salt, oregano, and pepper. Toss then lay out on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.
  3. Add the basil, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, lemon juice, remaining garlic, and remaining salt into a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.
  4. Add the cooked quinoa to a large bowl and mix with the cooked roasted vegetables. Top with pesto, toss, and add optional pine nuts.
Calories per Serving 607
Total Fat 26.5 g
Saturated Fat 3.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 74.0 g
Dietary Fiber 17.4 g
Total Sugars 12.8 g
Sodium 1,144.1 mg
Protein 26.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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