Vegan Pesto Quinoa Salad Recipe

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A lovely pesto quinoa salad dressed in a vegan basil pesto and topped with oven roasted cherry tomatoes, artichokes, roasted bell peppers and toasted pine nuts. I like to call it an Italian style Buddha bowl.  

Protein packed and gluten-free, quinoa has become our most loved food staple. Easy to cook in one big batch and take it endless directions throughout the week. From this healthy lemon cucumber quinoa salad to the basil pesto version today, I’m happy to have some of this goodness for every meal: savory breakfast bowls, lunch and dinner, I’m all about it.
Speaking of pesto, I made us a super delicious version using this walnut parmesan cheese in the mix and some extra virgin olive oil. However, you can totally make it oil-free and 100% WFPB by simply using water, more lemon or veggie stock instead.
This quinoa salad keeps really well in the fridge and makes awesome lunches to go! Also, it’s a great way to add lots of hemp seeds into your life as well. You can mix 1 part hemp with 3 parts cooked quinoa like I did the other day and voila: supernatural fuel!

As the seasons change add some grilled zucchini, asparagus, mushrooms, avocado, healthy broccoli or roasted sweet potatoes into the mix.

Keep it fresh, and you’ll never get bored with your pesto quinoa bowls ever again!

 Pesto quinoa salad dressed in a vegan basil pesto and topped with oven roasted cherry tomatoes, artichokes, roasted bell peppers and pine nuts.

 As always, If you make this recipe come back here to rate it, snap a photo and tag us with #VeggieSociey on Instagram.

Pesto Quinoa
5 from 2 votes

Vegan Pesto Quinoa Salad

A lovely pesto quinoa salad dressed in a vegan basil pesto and topped with oven roasted cherry tomatoes, artichokes, roasted bell peppers and toasted pine nuts
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:15 minutes
Total Time:25 minutes


  • 3 cups golden quinoa -cooked and chilled
  • 4 roasted peppers (mixed colors torn into chunks)
  • 2 scallions -thinly sliced
  • 15 oz canned artichoke hearts packed in water -drained well
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes ("Italian pomodorini”
  • 1 lemon -sliced
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh Genovese basil leaves or dill -for garnish
  • 4 oz vegan feta cheese for serving -Optional

Vegan Basil Pesto (makes 1 cup)

  • 2 cups fresh Genovese basil leaves -packed
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, walnuts or hemp seeds
  • 3 tbsp walnut parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic -grated
  • 3 tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil (use water or veggie stock on a WFPB diet)
  • 2.5 tbsp lemon juice -freshly squeezed
  • 1 pinch sea salt -optional
  • 1 tbsp water


Make the Pesto:

  • Add the basil, nuts, olive oil (or water), lemon juice, walnut parmesan and 1 tablespoon of water to the bowl of a food processor. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the grated garlic. Adjust seasonings to taste with sea salt and set aside until needed.

Roast the Tomatoes:

  • Preheat oven to 350”F. Slice the tomatoes lengthwise into thirds or halves. Arrange them in a single layer in a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and drizzle lightly with olive oil or a splash of water. Roast for about 30 to 40 minutes until they start to caramelize at the edges. 

Assemble the Quinoa Salad:

  • Add the quinoa, artichokes, capers, roasted peppers and scallions to a large salad bowl. Pour half of the pesto over the top and using two spatulas toss to combine well. Add more pesto sauce if desired at this point. Sprinkle with the oven roasted tomatoes, pine nuts, pepper flakes and basil and serve with lemon wedges on the side. (Reserve some of the artichoke hearts and peppers for garnish if desired).


Calories: 662kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 853mg | Potassium: 709mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1620IU | Vitamin C: 46.7mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 8mg
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Pesto Quinoa Salad
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 662kcal
Author: Florentina

Vegan Salads:

Lemon Cucumber Quinoa Salad
Lemon Cucumber Quinoa
Veggie Pasta Salad
Veggie Pasta Salad
Farro Black Rice Salad with Citrus
Farro & Black Rice Salad

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  1. We took this to a family barbecue and it was the hit of the party. There were no leftovers to speak of and was requested for tonight’s dinner again. I’d say the best quinoa salad I’ve made to date. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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