This flavorful one-pot sweet and spiced quinoa lentil salad is the perfect easy, vegan dish to make for lunch or dinner! Fresh parsley and cilantro, green and red onions, and ground spices provide loads of bold flavor that pairs beautifully with chewy, sweet dried berries and crunchy sliced almonds. Finish it off with a squeeze of fresh lime and you'll find there is absolutely nothing bland about this colorful dish that can be served hot or cold!
One-pot quick and easy meals are my life right now! I LOVE to cook and I spend more time in the kitchen than almost anywhere else...but most days, when 5:00 rolls around, I'm looking for EASY! A dinner that I don't have to stress and fuss over is always a win. This One-Pot Sweet and Spiced Quinoa Lentil Salad is ready in just 25 minutes and makes enough for leftovers. Yup, it's dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow! This also makes it awesome for meal prep, and it's even delicious hot or cold. I've even packed it up for lunch, picnics, and potlucks and it travels so well!
Ingredients in Sweet & Spiced Quinoa Lentil Salad
This lineup of ingredients seriously makes me sooo happy...it's just so colorful and flavorful! This is a true rainbow of veggies, spices, grains, and herbs, and I love gathering these ingredients knowing they're going to fill me up, make my body feel amazing, and taste absolutely divine.
- Red onion - Dice it up small! Red onion provides the first flavorful layer in this dish.
- Spices - Ground turmeric, curry powder, salt, and pepper are going to make your kitchen smell incredible and this dish taste amazing!
- White quinoa - Important tip for cooking with quinoa: rinse it first! Quinoa can taste bitter and even soapy if you don't give it a good rinse. Most of the time, when people tell me they don't like quinoa, this is the reason.
- Lentils - I suggest French green lentils or black Beluga lentils. Black beluga lentils are my favorite in terms of texture. Lentils are a wonderful way to add nutrients and filling content to vegan dinners.
- Vegetable broth - I always use low-sodium vegetable broth...or you can make your own No-Waste Vegetable Broth!
- Aromatics - Green onions, cilantro and parsley, all chopped up with the large stems removed.
- Almonds - Sliced almonds work great here. Omit these for a nut-free version! You can replace them with sunflower seeds, pepitas, or leave it out completely.
- Unsweetened dried cranberries - I LOVE the chewy, tart sweetness that dried berries add to this salad! It's unexpected and do delicious. You could also try chopped dates!
- Maple syrup - My favorite natural sweetener! I buy pure maple syrup in bulk because I use it in so many recipes.
- Lime - You'll need the juice of one lime to finish this dish, and I'll be honest...I think it's the secret ingredient that sends this dish into close-your-eyes, oh-my-goodness territory!
All About Quinoa
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is an incredible base for so many of my meals. It's quick to make (I always make Perfectly Cooked Quinoa in the Instant Pot!), absorbs the other flavors in the dish, and is light and fluffy in texture while also being filling and nutritious. Quinoa is loaded with fiber (over five grams in one serving!) and is considered a complete protein with all nine essential amino acids. It actually has more protein than any other grain, which is so important for vegans! Quinoa is also a good source of folate, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and many phytochemicals. It also offers important minerals such as calcium, potassium, copper and zinc.
For a complete guide on quinoa, see my post on Quinoa Benefits for Vegans (+ Recipes).
Meal Prep Quinoa Lentil Salad
This flavorful salad is perfect for meal-prep and can be served warm or cold. It is incredibly satisfying and loaded with plant-based protein and fiber. I find this salad to be incredibly filling since it is loaded with plant-based protein from the quinoa, lentils, and sliced almonds! You can omit the sliced almonds for a nut-free option. It is naturally gluten-free and grain-free (and yet quite hearty).
This Sweet & Spiced One-Pot Quinoa Lentil Salad is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free, and can easily be made nut-free! I hope it's a recipe that you make and love as much as I do. Please don't forget to tag me on Instagram so I can see your delicious, colorful meals, and leave a review below if you make this dish. If you sign up for my newsletter, you'll receive a free printable download with 10 one-pot dinners like this one!
Looking for More Quinoa Recipes?
- Easy Mexican Quinoa Salad
- Spinach Quinoa Salad with Roasted Blueberry Vinaigrette
- Quinoa Minestrone Soup
- Mango-Avocado Quinoa Salad with Toasted Pepitas
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Crispy Quinoa Falafel Bowls
- Roasted Veggies & Crispy Chickpeas over Quinoa with Garlic Maple Tahini Drizzle
- Roasted Beet Noodles Over Quinoa with Parsley Pesto
- Quick & Easy One-Pot Curried Quinoa & Chickpeas
- Creamy Vegan Mexican Quinoa Casserole
- Crispy Quinoa and Avocado Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette
- Berry-Cherry Quinoa Salad with Candied Walnuts and Balsamic-Shallot Vinaigrette
- Vegan Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
This one-pot sweet and spiced quinoa lentil salad is the perfect easy dish to make for lunch or dinner and serve hot or cold. It is full of nutrient-rich ingredients and is vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free. The recipe only requires five minutes of hands-on time and uses mostly pantry ingredients.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup uncooked white quinoa
- ½ cup French green lentils or black Beluga lentils
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 6 green onions, ends removed and diced
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, large stems removed and chopped
- 1 cup fresh parsley, large stems removed and chopped
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ½ cup dried mixed berries or dried cranberries
- 1 juicy lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- In a large rimmed saute pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add red onion, turmeric, curry, salt and pepper and saute for 2-3 minutes until onions are soft and start to turn translucent.
- Add the quinoa, lentils and vegetable broth and stir until well combined. Bring to a boil. Place the pan lid securely on top and turn the heat to low. Simmer for 17-20 minutes without lifting the lid. My pan is non-stick and ceramic and cooks everything evenly without burning the bottom. It took 20 minutes exactly in my pan and I checked on it by viewing through the clear lid at 17 minutes. At that point not all the liquid was absorbed so I let it cook for the full 20 minutes.
- Once all the liquid is absorbed, turn the burner off and stir in the green onions, cilantro, parsley, almonds, dried berries, lime juice, and maple syrup. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. You may want to add more salt, pepper, lime juice, maple syrup or herbs. Enjoy immediately hot or warm or store in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to five days. This salad is also delicious served chilled. It can be reheated in the microwave in a microwave safe container if desired.
Many of you ask about these storage jars. I love them so much. They can be found here.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Category: Entree or Lunch
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Moroccan
Keywords: quinoa lentil salad
Recipe adapted from Ambitious Kitchen's One Pot Moroccan Chickpea Quinoa Salad.