Thai Quinoa Salad

Tap into your inner superhero with this 30-minute meal
41 Ratings
100% would make again
How to Make an Easy & Healthy Thai Quinoa Salad Recipe
Photo: Alan Weiner

We're not saying that you'll win the New York City Marathon if you eat this Thai quinoa salad on a regular basis, but we're not *not* saying that, either. After all, it worked for pro runner and all-around inspiration Shalane Flanagan, who also happens to have two New York Times-bestselling cookbooks with coauthor Elyse Kopecky. Their latest, Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. is all about how to tap into your full potential—whether in the kitchen, on the track or both—and fuel yourself with whole foods without sacrificing a) taste and b) your entire day.

Make it on a Sunday night, and you'll have lunch for the rest of the week. Leave the fish sauce out of the picture to make the recipe vegan, and to speed up the process even further, Flanagan and Kopecky recommend using a food processor on the carrots, cabbage and herbs.

Thai Quinoa Salad

Reprinted from RUN FAST. COOK FAST. EAT SLOW. Copyright © 2018 by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky. Photographs copyright © 2018 by Alan Weiner. Published by Rodale Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

Yield: 5 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus chilling time

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes, plus chilling time


For the Salad:

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained

2 cups grated carrots (about 2 large)

2 cups thinly sliced purple cabbage

3 green onions, white and green parts sliced

1 cup packed mint leaves, chopped (cilantro works too)

1 cup packed basil leaves, chopped

1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeds removed, minced (optional)

½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped

For the Dressing:

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

⅓ cup fresh lime juice (2 to 3 limes)

2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari

2 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup)

1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)


1. Here is a foolproof method to cook quinoa: In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring to a boil 1½ cups water and the quinoa. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Transfer to a large salad bowl, fluff with a fork, and set aside to cool.

2. Meanwhile, put the olive oil, lime juice, soy sauce or tamari, honey, and fish sauce (if using) in a glass jar or bowl and stir to combine.

3. Once the quinoa is cool, add the carrots, cabbage, onion, mint, basil, and pepper (if using) to the bowl and toss to combine. Add the dressing and toss again. Taste and, if needed, add more fish sauce or soy sauce.

4. Top with the peanuts. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve.

5. This salad will stay fresh in airtight glass containers in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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