Red Quinoa Salad With Citrus and Pistachios

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Red Quinoa2


Still recovering from my second and complicated hand surgery, I’m rejoicing in returning to simple cooking. Unfortunately, my food photography and blogging has to take a back seat to rehab. Meanwhile, this is a timely post from a couple of years ago that I recently made using oranges and Meyer lemons from our bumper citrus crop this Spring…


I’m always looking for recipes to please my gluten-free, vegan friends and made this red quinoa salad recently for our monthly writing group to enjoy. It has been a challenge for me to learn how to make both gluten-free and vegan recipes, so it is an ongoing search for new recipes that I can prepare.

Since our Meyer lemon and navel orange trees are covered with fruit, I wanted to feature them in this red quinoa salad, even in the vinaigrette. Hoping that the colors would be pretty, I opted to use red rather than plain quinoa here.

Because I was in a hurry and knew I’d be busy the morning of our meeting, I made the salad the night before, adding the orange sections and toasted pistachios just before serving at lunch.

You could throw almost anything into this salad, but I kept it simple and let the seasonal citrus flavors dominate in my salad.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Red Quinoa Salad With Citrus and Pistachios
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
A red quinoa salad, highlighted by citrus and pistachios, a dish that is both gluten-free and vegan.
  • 1 12-ounce box of red quinoa
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock or homemade vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 3 large navel oranges, peeled and cut into sections
  • 1 cup shelled pistachio nuts
  • ¼ cup flat-leaved parsley, chopped
  • navel orange and Meyer lemon zest curls (optional garnish)
  • 1 7-ounce package or organic baby greens
  1. Using a medium-sized saucepan, heat the stock until it boils. Add the quinoa, cover and reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, until all the stock has been absorbed. Remove from heat and allow cooked quinoa to "rest", covered, while you prepare the vinaigrette.
  2. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, orange zest, salt and pepper.
  3. Spoon the cooked quinoa into a bowl, add the vinaigrette and toss.
  4. Add the orange sections, pistachios and parsley. Toss. Garnish and serve over baby greens.



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21 Responses to Red Quinoa Salad With Citrus and Pistachios

  1. Laura @ Family Spice March 27, 2013 at 7:11 am #

    Liz, this was such a delicious quinoa salad. I loved all of the citrus in it. I think I had three servings at lunch??? As always, you are a gracious host!

    • Liz March 27, 2013 at 9:10 am #

      So glad you liked it – great to finally see you again yesterday – too long!

  2. Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator March 27, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    This was delicious AND pretty AND as one of your gluten-free, vegan friends, much appreciated!

    • Liz March 27, 2013 at 9:11 am #

      Thanks, Stephanie – it’s a challenge but I’m improving my cooking skills with a vegan-gf friend like you.

  3. Lynda - TasteFood March 27, 2013 at 9:14 am #

    I love your choice of ingredients Liz – especially the pistachios. What a gorgeous photo!

    • Liz March 27, 2013 at 9:52 am #

      Thanks, Lynda – foodgawker had nothing nice to say about it, but, hey, what’s new? Your shrimp and pasta make me hungry…

  4. TheWimpyVegetarian March 27, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

    Quinoa and citrus are a perfect, perfect combination! Saving this one! And a gorgeous photo in my opinion too! They turned down my hot cross buns today, so it’s just one of those days….

    • Liz March 27, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

      XO Thanks, Susan – happy Spring!

  5. Erica {Coffee & Quinoa} March 28, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

    This looks beautiful! Just bought some pistachios last night, and this sounds like the perfect way to use them.

    • Liz March 28, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

      Thank you, Erica – as a quinoa novice, I feel flattered – in fact, you made my day!

  6. April 14, 2013 at 7:25 am #

    I love your pictures and recipes, they are mouth watering. Would love for you to share them with us at We are new but at we are not photography snobs, we are just foodies.

  7. Suzanne April 8, 2016 at 5:22 pm #

    Thats a beautiful salad Liz and so nutritious. Lots of delicious flavor and texture.

    • Liz April 8, 2016 at 7:24 pm #

      Thanks, Suzanne – wish you were here to share some of all the oranges and lemons we have been harvesting, a real bumper crop.

  8. Stephanie Weaver, MPH April 9, 2016 at 11:09 am #

    Hey Liz, I have been wondering how you were doing with the surgery. Glad to hear you are on the mend. And I remember this salad, so yummy!

    • Liz April 9, 2016 at 1:12 pm #

      On the mend but very slowly – thanks.

  9. Jayne April 9, 2016 at 6:08 pm #

    What a lovely sounding salad, perfect for this time of the year! I feel a quinoa craving coming on!

    • Liz April 9, 2016 at 6:22 pm #

      I love quinoa, especially all the colored kinds available – imagine you had snow yesterday in New Hampshire??

  10. sippitysup April 17, 2016 at 1:26 pm #

    The colors are indeed pretty. More importantly they’re delicious. GREG

    • Liz April 17, 2016 at 5:05 pm #

      And so fun with all the citrus we all have ripe in our gardens right now.

  11. Lisa @ The California Table April 21, 2016 at 9:09 pm #

    This is such a great salad (and I miss our writing group!). I’ve been eating a lot of quinoa lately but the addition of fruit is inspiring me to think outside the veggie box.

    • Liz April 21, 2016 at 10:09 pm #

      I miss our writing group too – finally, tomorrow I am posting a new recipe, after almost 6 months of hand surgeries. Thanks for all your support. xo

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