Autumn Quinoa Salad with Tangy Peanut Butter Dressing


This is one of my favourite salads to make, and I’m going to tell you why...

  • It’s super easy to make.  
  • It’s super quick to make (yes, i’ve said it takes an hour to make but really, you can actually do a number of things at the same time… 1 hour is worst case scenario, ok?).  
  • It is HEALTHY.  
  • It’s so delicious, you won’t think it’s HEALTHY.  
  • It is very versatile - you can add other vegetables (zucchini, mushrooms or carrots for example), nuts, seeds….whatever.  
  • It includes peanut butter, and I freaking LOVE peanut butter. 

I could go on, but I think you get the idea.  It’s delicious, just make it.  

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Autumn Quinoa Salad with Tangy Peanut Butter Dressing

serves 4 (as a side) | prep + cook time = 1 hour, plus 30 mins soaking time




1 cup dried quinoa (white, black, mixed - you choose!)

2 cups pumpkin, cut into 1cm dice

1 tsp sumac

1/2 tsp ground cumin

olive oil


1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped

1 red capsicum, whole

1/2 small red onion, finely sliced

2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped

handful of fresh coriander, leaves picked



2 heaped tbs smooth peanut butter

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tsp sweet chilli sauce

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 cup almond milk

1 tbs olive oil




Place the quinoa in a bowl and cover with cool water.  Allow to soak for at least 30 mins.  

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C.  Place the pumpkin on a lined baking tray, sprinkle with the sumac and cumin, season with salt and drizzle with olive oil.   Roast in the oven for around 30 mins or until the pumpkin is beginning to caramelise.  Add the almonds to the tray and put back in the oven for another 5 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Tip the soaked quinoa into a sieve and run under the tap until the water runs clear (this process is essential, otherwise you will end up with bitter tasting quinoa).  Put the rinsed quinoa into a medium sized heavy based saucepan and add 2 cups water. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 12-15 mins (I like my quinoa to have a little bite to it, so cook longer if you prefer it softer).  Once cooked, add a tsp of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and fluff up the quinoa with a fork.  Place the quinoa in a large serving dish and allow to cool.

Take the whole capsicum and place it on the naked flame of the gas hob on your stove.  Turn it regularly so that the skin blackens all over.  If you don’t have a gas stovetop, you can also do this under the grill.  Once blackened all over, put the capsicum in a bowl and cover with cling film so that it can steam for a few minutes.  When the capsicum has cooled enough for you to handle it, rub/peel the skin off and slice the flesh into thin strips.  Alternatively, buy a jar of roasted capsicum!

For the dressing, add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk until combined.

Add the pumpkin, almonds, capsicum, onion, spinach and coriander to the quinoa and toss gently to combine.  Drizzle generously with the dressing and serve immediately.  


Mel xoxo


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Mel Amos