Tropical Quinoa Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Fuel your summer with this tropical quinoa salad made with caramelized pineapple, fresh veggies and herbs, and drizzled with a honey lemon vinaigrette.  A great source of plant based protein and complex carbs to keep you going all day long.

quinoa salad

Yall.  The PERFECT summer dish is calling your name right here – so make it while we can still claim a little summertime!  This gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian friendly recipe can be used as both a main course or side dish, and it is surely one that will make your mouth water and keep you coming back for more.  It also makes a GREAT dish to bring to a summer BBQ dinner party – it is fresh and perfect for those warm summer nights, it is easy to make, and is easily prepped!  It actually tastes better if you make it the night before so now there is no scrambling around on the day of the event!  Make yourself a pre-party cocktail instead 😉  (like this one, or this one – two of my faves!).

Taste The Rainbow

No I am (fortunately or unfortunately?) not talking about Lucky Charms here.  But this dish really does deliver you the rainbow!  And that is a really good thing to have in a meal when those colors are coming from different veggies because different colors mean that the veggies contain different vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, providing us with a more well-rounded benefit. (Unlike with Lucky Charms whose colors just come from different artificially produced dyes that do more harm than good).

And even better, you can swap out the veggies to make this your perfect dish.  Because what I like may be different from what you like!  I used a cucumber, red onion, and orange bell pepper in addition to of course the chickpeas and then also some pineapple.  I think they all provided a unique element in terms of texture and flavor, but feel free to play around with your favorite ingredients!

healthy quinoa salad

Let’s Make a Tropical Quinoa Salad!

This recipe is so so simple, all you need to do is chop, combine, and serve!  You can make the quinoa ahead of time and let it cool before mixing it with the veggies for best practice, but if you don’t have that kind of time just sit it in the fridge for a few minutes so it isn’t boiling hot when you mix everything together.  You will be serving this dish cold.

You don’t have to caramelize the pineapple if you don’t want to, but it brings out the sugar and adds a little something extra if you want to be fancy!

And like I said before, feel free to swap out and of the veggies if there is something you’d like to add or take away, this meal really is easy to customize!

In addition to the listed ingredients, you will need:

  • a pot with a cover
  • water
  • frying pan
  • one large mixing bowl
  • one small mixing bowl
  • whisk or fork for sauce

Without further ado, because I know summer is slipping away, here is your perfect quinoa dish!

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healthy quinoa salad

Tropical Quinoa Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Author: Megan
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4+ servings 1x


Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free, Vegan Option

Fuel your summer with this tropical quinoa salad made with caramelized pineapple, fresh veggies and herbs, and drizzled with a honey lemon vinaigrette.  A great source of plant based protein and complex carbs to keep you going all day long.




  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • about 1/2 of a small pineapple
  • Parsely and basil to taste (I grabbed about a handful of each).


  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey


  1. Cook your quinoa according to instructions on box (2 cups water for 1 cup quinoa).
  2. Dice all of your vegetables (cucumber, onion, pepper) into small pieces and combine in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Chop pineapple into small pieces and cook on stove top until it starts to brown and the sugar starts to caramelize.  Let cool and then add to the mixing bowl.
  4. Chop your herbs, drain and rinse your chickpeas, and add to mixing bowl.
  5. Once your quinoa has cooked and cooled, add to the bowl with the veggies and pineapple.
  6. To make your dressing simply whisk all three ingredients together until well combined, and then pour on top of your salad.
  7. Allow to sit a couple hours or overnight if possible to let flavors marinate.


Vegan Option – swap honey for another sticky sweetener like agave or maple syrup

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1/4 dish

Keywords: Quinoa Salad, tropical salad, pineapple salad

If you try this recipe please leave a comment below letting me know what you think!  If you remake on Instagram don’t forget to tag me at @donutworry_behealthy so I can see your creation and share in my stories!


quinoa salad

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