Pan-seared salmon served with tricolor quinoa, chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, arugula, and a simple balsamic vinaigrette.
I love me some quick and easy meals, especially when they’re healthy and good for meal prep! This salmon quinoa salad is one of my faves. Super to easy make and soooo flavorful. This recipe is actually from 2017. I gave it a much needed makeover both with photos and an updated recipe. Let me show you what I did.
How To Make Quinoa Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
So first things first, you make the vinaigrette. It’s simple and uses basic ingredients that you probably have in your pantry right now. Just 4 ingredients. Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, and garlic. I like to season with a little bit of salt and pepper. Whisk all that together and set aside.
Next, you make the salad. This is the part when having a cooked grain ready to go is key. I always like to have either cooked rice or quinoa in my fridge for moments like these. Aside from that, you can always chop up your veggies and store them in air tight containers. That way it all comes together super quick!
So, you grab cooked and cooled quinoa, chopped tomatoes, onions and arugula. Mix it all up and add the dressing. Taste test and season with salt + pepper, if needed. I loooove me some chilled quinoa with veggies.
How To Make Pan-Seared Salmon
Once you have the salad ready to go, set that aside, and let all the flavors marinate. Meanwhile, you make the salmon. We’re keeping the salmon simple by only adding salt and pepper. I’m usually a season queen with my recipes but I didn’t want anything to overpower the salad. You are more than welcome to season the salmon with oregano, basil, paprika, cumin…whatever you’d like. Go easy, maybe start with a 1/4 teaspoon at a time, and taste along the way. You could also squeeze some lemon on top! Mmm.
The way I like to cook salmon is by pan frying it. No need to turn on any broilers or ovens. Just make sure the salmon is thawed well. Season with salt and pepper. Don’t be stingy with the seasoning either. Salt and pepper it up! Heat olive oil in a skillet then cook, skin side up, for about 4-5 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. YUM. Flip and cook the other side. Once the salmon fillets are cooked and cooled, break them apart with a fork and toss them in the quinoa salad. That’s all folks!
This recipe makes 4-6 servings. It can be used for meal prep, dinner, lunch, brunch, or for entertaining.
Can’t wait for you guys to make it!
Salmon Quinoa Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic minced
Salmon Quinoa Salad
- 2 cups cooked quinoa cooled or chilled
- 4 cups arugula
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped tomato
- 1 pound wild salmon skinned, (2-3 fillets)
- Salt + pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Lemon wedges optional
- In a small bowl, make the balsamic vinaigrette by whisking balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add cooked and cooled quinoa, arugula, onion, tomato and balsamic vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. Gently toss and set aside.
- Generously season salmon filets with salt and pepper. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Place salmon on skillet, skin side up, and cook for 4 minutes, undisturbed, until golden brown and crispy. Flip the filets and cook until the fish feels firm to the touch, about another 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
- Once the salmon fillets have cooled, break them apart using a fork and toss in the quinoa salad. Squeeze some lemon juice, if desired. Serve and enjoy!
This post was originally published in March 2017. Updated recipe + photos in February 2019.