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Quinoa Pesto Salad

I made this quick salad for lunch just using some things I already had on hand, and oh my goodness, I haven’t stopped thinking about it since! I just wanted something easy to put together and I ended up with such a winner. Nuts can be omitted if needed.

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Quinoa

  • 2 Cups Water

  • Walnuts (optional)

  • Olives (green or black)

  • Sesame seeds

Pesto Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Carrot tops - YES carrot greens are edible:)

  • ¼ cup Basil

  • ¼ cup Parsley

  • 1 tbsp. Pine nuts

  • 1-2 tbsp Walnuts (optional)

  • 1 tbsp. Sesame oil

  • 3 tbsp. Olive oil

  • Salt (optional)

  • Black Pepper

Easy Vegan Pesto Recipe:

  1. Finely chop the carrot tops and herbs in a blender or food processor.

  2. Add walnuts and pine nuts and chop again.

  3. Add the sesame oil and pepper and blend.

  4. Add in olive oil until you have a smoother texture, more like a sauce than a paste. (Since sesame oil has a very strong flavor, I decided to use just one tablespoon and then continue with olive oil, but of course you can use more if you like!)

  5. Add salt to taste and your pesto is ready! Set aside to use later.

Easy Quinoa Salad Recipe:

  1. Pour quinoa and water into a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, bring the heat down to a simmer and cover. After about 10 minutes, the quinoa will be fluffy and finished.

  2. While it’s cooking, you can prep the other ingredients! Slice the olives in quarters and chop the walnuts.

  3. When the quinoa is ready, pour into a large bowl for mixing. Add in our homemade pesto sauce, olives, chopped walnuts, and sesame seeds. (I like to also add a splash of the brine from the olive jar, because it’s super flavorful!)

  4. Mix well and serve warm, or you can store in the fridge as a chilled salad- I've tried both already and it tastes great either way!

If you try this recipe, like, comment, or post a photo below. 🤗 The 1st person to post a pic will get a free gift from our shop.✨ You can also tag us on social @VeginnerCooking and we will repost!📸

Want to cook along with us at our next Vegan Cooking Class? Invite anyone who is interested in learning how to start a plant-based diet. 👩‍🍳RSVP to get a reminder before we go live.

Thank you Peyton Chipman for this delicious recipe! Interested in becoming a blog contributor at Veginner Cooking? Contact us!

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Mar 24, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Look so good!

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Let me know how yours comes out if you try it!

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