Curry Quinoa Salad with Grapes and Walnuts

This vegan Curry Quinoa Salad is a great summer salad for lunches or as a side. It’s filled with grapes, walnuts & a tangy curry vinaigrette.

Curry Quinoa Salad with Grapes and Walnuts

Do you ever take a bite out of a dish at a restaurant and instantly start thinking about how you can recreate it in your kitchen because it’s just so good? Or is that just my super creative food-loving blogger mind? Regardless, the first time I had this curry quinoa salad at a local restaurant, I knew it needed to be shared on the blog ASAP.

There’s a local chain of restaurants called Zea Rotisserie & Grill in Louisiana that I love. Like most restaurants, they have a lot of animal products, but they also have a lot of vegetarian and vegan options. One of which is their side vegan quinoa salad, which I get every time we go out to eat there.

I love it so much that I decided I had to make my own. If you’re struggling to find a non-boring side dish to serve with dinner, then I’ve got you covered. This curried quinoa salad is slightly sweet, savory, crunchy and it’s also full of wholesome ingredients, including heart-healthy California walnuts. The leftovers also make a great lunch to pack for work or school! I have a few vegan quinoa salad recipes on the blog, but this curry quinoa salad has to be my favorite.

small bowls of ingredients including sliced grapes, chopped celery, green onion, red quinoa and chopped walnuts

Ingredients for Vegan Curry Quinoa Salad

The base of this vegan quinoa salad is obviously protein-packed quinoa, which adds lots of fiber and absorbs the curry vinaigrette deliciously. But to me, it’s all the add-ins that really add nice flavors and textures to this side dish. Here’s everything you’ll need to make this curry quinoa salad:

  • Quinoa. Any variety will work.
  • Celery. If you’re like me, then you love a good crunch factor, and celery is perfect to add a bit of freshness and crunchiness.
  • Grapes. Juicy grapes are the perfect complement to the slightly sweet curry vinaigrette in this vegan quinoa salad. Specifically, I recommend red grapes for this recipe.
  • Radishes. Another great crunch factor that adds a delicious freshness to the curry quinoa salad.
  • California walnuts. These add so much delicious flavor, plus they are SO good for you, especially for your brain! Walnuts are the best source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids in any nut, and they also contain 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber per ounce. Walnuts = plant power champions.🏆
  • Green onions. These are mixed into the vegan quinoa salad and make a great garnish on top.
  • Balsamic vinegar. A red wine vinegar would also work if you don’t have balsamic.
  • Curry powder. We certainly can’t make a curry quinoa salad without it!
  • Maple syrup. To sweeten our dressing.
  • Yellow mustard. This adds a bit of tanginess to the curry vinaigrette.
  • Garlic powder. Raw garlic is a little too sharp in this recipe, so I recommend sticking with garlic powder.
  • Salt. Of course!

a bowl of curried vinaigrette next to a whisk

How to Make Curry Salad Dressing

If the quinoa is the star of the show in this recipe, then the curry vinaigrette is the best supporting actress. This easy vegan salad dressing is packed with big flavor that helps make all the ingredients in this vegan quinoa salad shine.

This is technically an oil free vegan salad dressing. If you’d like to add oil, you totally can! A drizzle of olive oil would make the dressing extra velvety smooth and luscious. Plus, we’re using mustard in this curry vinaigrette, which acts as a natural emulsifier and will help the oil and vinegar stay together.

To make this simple curry salad dressing, add vinegar, curry power, maple syrup, mustard, garlic powder and salt to a bowl and whisk it up. Sometimes whisking can feel like a total chore, so I’ve got a quick hack for you on the days you can’t be bothered!  You can also add the dressing ingredients to a small jar and shake it up for a perfectly smooth vegan salad dressing, sans whisking!

a plate of cooked red quinoa

How to Cook Quinoa on the Stove

I love keeping quinoa on hand during the week. It’s an easy staple that can help bulk up your meals or act as a side. Instead of making a small serving every time I want it, I find it easier to make one big batch at the beginning of the week and then use it whenever I need it, like in this vegan quinoa salad for example!

Here’s how to cook quinoa perfectly every single time:

  1. Use a 1:2 ratio of quinoa to water. For example, if you’re cooking 1 cup of quinoa, you’ll want 2 cups of water
  2. Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan
  3. Once boiling, cover the pot, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 13-15 minutes
  4. Once all the water is absorbed, fluff with a fork

If you find quinoa to be a little bit boring, there are a few simple ways to spice it up without adding a bunch more effort. Here are a few tips to making your quinoa extra delicious:

  • Add a pinch of salt
  • Toss in a few garlic cloves or some citrus peel
  • Cook your quinoa in broth instead of water
  • Turn it into a vegan quinoa salad!

a bowl of quinoa salad being assembled

How to Make This Curry Quinoa Salad Recipe

I think the best part about vegan quinoa salad is that it is so easy to make. It’s really as simple as chopping your veggies, cooking your quinoa and throwing together a quick dressing.

This curry quinoa salad will last up to a week in the fridge, so it’s great for meal prep. You can keep it on hand for a simple pre-made side with your dinner, add it on top of salads, or pack it on its own for lunches throughout the week.

This vegan quinoa salad is made in just four simple steps. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Cook the quinoa or prepare some precooked quinoa.
  2. Prep your fruits and vegetables. You can work on chopping everything up while your quinoa is cooking and cooling.
  3. Make your dressing. Add all of the dressing ingredients and whisk it up.
  4. Mix your quinoa salad. In a large bowl, add cooked quinoa, celery, grapes, radishes, walnuts and green onions. Give everything a good mix, then add the dressing and toss!

a bowl of quinoa salad containing celery, grapes, walnuts, red quinoa and a curry vinaigrette dressing

More Vegan Quinoa Salad Recipes

Vegan quinoa salad recipes are my go-to for when I want to meal prep lunches for the week. It also makes for the perfect summer side dish for cookouts, potlucks and picnics. If you’re looking for more options for vegan quinoa salad recipes, then check out these ones!

two bowls of prepared curry quinoa salad


How to make:

Curry Quinoa Salad with Grapes and Walnuts

This vegan Curry Quinoa Salad is a great summer salad for lunches or as a side. It’s filled with grapes, walnuts & a tangy curry vinaigrette.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
a bowl of quinoa salad with grapes, walnuts, radishes, green onions, celery and a curry vinaigrette
6-8 1x


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 3/4 cup seedless grapes, halved
  • 1/2 cup radishes, diced
  • 1/2 cup California Walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, add quinoa and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 13-15 minutes. When done, fluff quinoa with a fork.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, prep and chop all the fruits and vegetables.
  3. In a small bowl, add vinegar, curry power, maple syrup, mustard, garlic powder and salt. Whisk to combine.
  4. In a large bowl, add cooked quinoa, celery, grapes, radishes, walnuts and green onions. Stir to combine all ingredients. Pour dressing into the bowl; toss to evenly combine.


Serve alongside dinner or pack as a light lunch.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.