Citrus Quinoa Salad

quinoa salad
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This citrus quinoa salad is light and hearty– filled with quinoa, spinach, chicken, pepper, onion, fresh cilantro, oranges, and creamy avocado. Bursting with flavor from the refreshing citrus vinaigrette, this quinoa salad is a warmer weather staple!



Quinoa Salad

  • 2 1/4 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup chopped baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped or shredded chicken breast
  • 1/3 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper, about 1 medium-sized pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 navel oranges, peeled, segmented and chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 avocados, cubed

Citrus Vinaigrette

  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice, about 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest, about 1 lime
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, about 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup orange juice, about 2-3 oranges
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest, about 1 orange
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Add the warm quinoa and spinach in a large bowl. Give it a few big stirs– this helps wilt down the spinach slightly. Add in the remaining ingredients except the avocado and stir together until combined.
  2. For the vinaigrette: Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat everything evenly.
  3. If serving immediately, add in the avocado and lightly toss together to prevent the avocado from breaking apart too much.
  4. Serve at room temperature or cold. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator stored in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can make the vinaigrette up to 1 week in advance and store in the refrigerator. You have 2 options to make this ahead of time: 1) up to 3-4 days in advance without adding the vinaigrette or 2) up to 1-2 days in advance with the vinaigrette. Though, if for a crowd, I recommend making ahead without the vinaigrette or just 1 day in advance as the salad begins to break down each day it sits in the refrigerator.
  2. Chicken: Nothing fancy here– use what you have on hand from the week or grab a rotisserie chicken.
  3. Quinoa: If you've never made quinoa, you can follow this recipe. If you have quinoa sitting in the refrigerator, pop it in the microwave prior to starting to warm it up– not only will it help slightly wilt down the spinach but warm quinoa does a better job at soaking up the vinaigrette giving you more flavor in every bite!
  4. Beans: Any type of beans work in this recipe– just make sure they are drained and rinsed prior. For a creamier texture you can use northern beans. 
  5. Spinach: Using spinach is my go-to but you can also use kale or arugula or combine them!