When summer heats up in Texas, I want something light and refreshing for lunch. This Summer Fruit Quinoa Salad fits the bill every time. It gives me a break from the ordinary savory salad, and I don’t have to spend a lot of time over a hot stove. To make it more filling, it pairs easily with a grilled or rotisserie chicken breast to create a well-balanced meal.
Start with quinoa
Quinoa is the base for this versatile summer fruit salad. You can also use brown rice, cauliflower rice, or any other grain. My favorite is beautiful tri-colored quinoa because it has a pleasant texture and it’s packed full of plant-based protein. While you can use broth to prepare it, I prefer to use water because you’ll be adding fruit and a sweet dressing to this dish.
Next, add fresh summer berries
I eagerly await the first signs of fresh, juicy blackberries every summer. My favorite berry blend for this recipe is blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries. Since I don’t care for raspberries, I usually leave them out. You can use any berries that are in season and are readily available in your area. If you prefer, you could also use watermelon, grapes, peaches, or another summer fruit.
Finish with a refreshing orange-mint dressing
I love the combination of orange and mint. It’s light, sweet, and refreshing. Other types of citrus also work well in this salad, such as grapefruit, lemon, or lime. From time to time, I’ll change things up and swap in fresh basil for the mint, too.
My favorite thing about this salad is that it works as a light breakfast, a fast lunch, or even a quick snack. Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments!
Yield: 4 servings | Serving Size: about 1 cup | Calories: 135 | Total Fat: 3 g | Saturated Fat: 0 g | Carbohydrates: 25 g | Fiber: 4 g | Sugar: 7 g | Protein: 4 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 241 mg | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 4
- For the quinoa:
- 1/2 cup tri-color quinoa
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- For the salad:
- 1/2 cup sliced strawberries, stems removed
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup fresh blackberries
- For the dressing:
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large navel orange, juiced and zested
- 1 Tablespoon fresh mint, chopped fine
- Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
- While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the dressing. In a small mixing bowl, combine olive oil, orange juice and zest, and fresh mint.
- In a medium bowl, mix quinoa with fruit. Add dressing and toss to combine.
- Salad can be served immediately or refrigerated for later.
If you like this recipe and are looking for more light summer recipes, try these Quick & Light Summer Salads.
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