Fried Quinoa: The Salad Savior

Crispy quinoa mingled with cooked quinoa and tons of vegetables: this is a no-recipe salad at its finest, the best possible way to use whatever produce you love at the market.

  • Author: Jodi Liano
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes



For the crispy quinoa:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

For the vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • black pepper
  • kosher salt

For the salad

  • 1/4 cup crispy quinoa
  • 1 cup blanched and peeled fava beans
  • 1 cup blanched peas
  • 1 cup blanched asparagus, thinly sliced
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
  • goat cheese for garnish
  • sea salt


Start by cooking quinoa. I always toast mine in a dry pan first, then add 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa, bring it to a boil and then simmer very low with a lid on until the liquid is absorbed. Fluff it with a fork and you’re done.

Reserve about ¼ cup of the quinoa to fry by setting it on some paper towels to absorb the excess moisture.

Once it’s dry, put the oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat, get it warm, then add the quinoa and stir it once in a while. It takes some time, so be patient, but you’ll start to see it transform in color after about 15 minutes. Once it’s golden and crisp, fried quinoa can drain on paper towels and be kept in an airtight container at room temperature until you need it.

Whisk together the vinaigrette, seasoning with a pinch of black pepper and kosher salt.

Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl and add a bit of the vinaigrette, a little at a time, and toss to combine. Continue adding vinaigrette until everything is lightly dressed.

Garnish with sea salt and big pinches of goat cheese (see photo).