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Recipe for Grain Salad

Recipe for Grain Salad – This Recipe for Grain Salad is perfect for prepping ahead, and enjoying for quick lunches and dinners throughout the week. Loaded with quinoa, roasted veggies, and tossed in an avocado dressing, this recipe is full of flavor and variety!

Filled with healthy carbs and fiber, this Grain Salad will keep you satisfied, and full for hours! Keep reading to learn more!

recipe for grain salad

Recipe for Grain Salad

In this Recipe for Grain Salad, we went against the grain (get it?) and swapped your typical raw greens out for quinoa! Quinoa, a nutritionally dense pseudo-grain is a food we love to prep ahead, and keep in our fridge at all times. Keeping quinoa cooked up and ready to use makes it easy for us to get in a variety of grains throughout the week, while majorly minimizing our time in the kitchen. We really are all about that “cook once eat twice” approach!

Alongside quinoa, this Recipe for Grain Salad includes roasted carrots, fennel, and onions for some extra veggies, and then of course, is finished off with a delicious Citrusy Avocado Dressing.

It’s such an easy make-ahead dish, it holds up incredibly well for school or work lunches, and can be enjoyed both cold, or warmed up! Unlike most otherwise healthy whole grain-based salad recipes, I used a much heftier ratio of vegetables to grain. If you know anything about our philosophy here at Clean Cuisine, then you know the more vegetables the better!

Citrusy Avocado Dressing

If you are wondering why the grain salad doesn’t look green from the Avocado Dressing the answer is because I used unrefined, cold-pressed avocado oil instead of whole avocados.

There’s nothing wrong with using whole avocados for a salad dressing, but if you plan to have your salad dressing out for any length of time, then you definitely want to use avocado oil rather than whole avocados. An avocado-based salad dressing will be vibrant green in color —but not for long! Whole avocados will quickly turn an unappetizing brownish tinge when toted along to work or school, or left in the fridge. Because we’re always on the go, this Recipe for Grain Salad uses avocado oil only!

recipe for grain salad

If you have not used avocado oil in the past you are definitely in for a treat. Along with unrefined, organic red palm oil, avocado oil has become a staple ingredient in our pantry for so many of my clean eating recipes. And it has been such a delicious and versatile addition too. A superior quality ‘Hass’ avocado oil will have an incredibly tasty combination of grassy/ buttery/umami-mushroom flavors.

Benefits of Avocado Oil

The oils we use to cook our food really do matter! With the potential to be either anti-inflammatory or incredibly inflammatory, be conscious of the oils we’re cooking with is incredibly important.

Here are some of the reasons we LOVE avocado oil:

High Smoke Point: One of the reasons I’m so crazy about avocado oil is that it has a high smoke point. For the Whole Grain Salad recipe, I not only used the avocado oil for the no-heat dressing, I also used it to roast the vegetables. By using an oil with a high-smoke point, you greatly eliminate the chance that the fat will start to break down and release damaging free radicals. If you are following an anti-inflammatory diet, then it is super important to pay attention to the smoke points of oils.

Loaded with Nutrients: A superior quality avocado oil is loaded with nutrients, including chlorophyll and antioxidant carotenoids. Avocado oil is also full of oleic acid, which is has been studied for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Neutral Flavor: Avocado oil offers a neutral flavor, that makes it a great option for both sweet, and savory cooking and baking! You’ll never distinctly taste avocado oil in a recipe. It truly stays in the background of a dish, allowing the flavors in the ingredients of the recipe to shine.

Cook Once, Eat Twice

One of the major factors we take into consideration when developing recipes is the hands-on time they’ll require to whip up. In addition to this, we consider how many meals we can get out of a single kitchen session! And while some recipes are more complicated and totally worth the effort, we totally get that most people don’t have all the time in the world to dedicate to cooking intricate meals everyday.

recipe for grain salad

Because of this, wherever we can cut down on prep time and effort in our recipes, we do! With recipes like this Recipe for Grain Salad, we really put our “cook once, eat twice” philosophy into practice. It’s actually quite easy! Simply make extra of the quinoa and roasted veggies in this recipe. With extra leftovers, you can use them for a variety of quick and easy meals throughout the week!

Here’s how you can make the components of this Grain Salad worth your time.

#1: How to Use Extra Quinoa

While this recipe calls for 2 cups of cooked quinoa, we often double, triple, or even quadruple this amount! Quinoa is a useful, versatile grain to keep on hand for easy meals throughout the week. The best part? You don’t even need a specific recipe to use your extra quinoa! Add quinoa to basically any dish for some added healthy carbs and fiber.

However, if you do like some direction, here are some of our favorite dishes with quinoa:

Tabbouleh with Quinoa: Tabbouleh with Quinoa is loaded with Mediterranean flavor – olive oil, fresh lemon juice, mint, and parsley. It makes the perfect side dish!

Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa: Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa is a delicious Mexican-flavored recipe with black beans, corn, cilantro and loaded with vegetables.

Quinoa Burger: Quinoa Burger recipe is simple to make, loaded with nutrients, gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian. Make this quinoa burger in 20 minutes!

#2: What to do with Roasted Veggies

This recipe calls for roasted carrots, fennel, and onion, but of course you can add whatever roasted veggies you please! Make extra veggies, and store them in the fridge for some added plant-based nutrition throughout the week!

Here are just a few of the ways we use extra roasted veggies:

Veggie Soups: You don’t always have to follow an exact recipe for a delicious soup! Simply combine and heat broth, leftover roasted veggies, cooked grains, prepped meat (if desired), and some spices to taste for a quick and easy, nutritious soup!

Salad Recipes: Just like soup, salads are quite easy to throw together without a recipe as well! Of course you can remake this Recipe for Grain Salad, but you can also make a traditional salad with fresh greens, topped with roasted veggies, and your favorite additional toppings. With just a few general guidelines, you can make the perfect salad each and every time!

Pizza Toppings: If you eat pizza as often as we do, then roasted veggies are perfect for quick, additional toppings! Start with a gluten-free crust, add your sauce of choice, then dump on the roasted veggies!

Morning Omelettes: Start with a basic omelette, and add your leftover roasted vegetables for a filling, loaded omelette!

recipe for a grain salad

Ok, on with the recipe! Here’s how to make it….


Recipe for Grain Salad

Loaded with quinoa, roasted veggies, and tossed in an avocado dressing, this Recipe for Grain Salad is full of flavor and variety!

recipe for grain salad
Save Recipe
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 1x


Recipe for Grain Salad

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 4 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 whole fennel bulb, finely chopped, fronds reserved
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

Citrusy Avocado Dressing


Recipe for Grain Salad

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lina a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Arrange the carrots, fennel and onions on the parchment paper, drizzle with 2 teaspoons avocado oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Roast vegetables for 15 minutes, or until soft but not mushy.
  4. Transfer vegetables to a large serving bowl, add the cooked quinoa and toss everything together gently. Set mixture aside.

Citrusy Avocado Dressing

  1. In a small mixing bowl, add the garlic, avocado oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, anchovy paste (optional) and honey; use a fork to whisk everything together.
  2. Drizzle avocado dressing on top of quinoa and vegetables.
  3. Gently toss all of the ingredients together.
  4. Chop the reserved fennel fronds and add them to the bowl.
  5. Stir in the walnuts (optional).
  6. Adjust seasoning and serve (can be served cold, warm, or at room temperature).

Last Step! If you loved our recipe, leave us a review below. This helps future recipe makers and ensures continued high-quality recipes for years to come!

© 2024 clean cuisine Recipe by:


Looking for More Healthy Living Recipes?


If you liked the Whole Grain Salad, be sure to check out a full month’s menu of delicious healthy dinner recipes (including weekly shopping lists!) in our Clean Cuisine Dinners digital cookbook. 

Madison Suttles

Madison is passionate about health, fitness, and Jesus. She has lived with autoimmune symptoms nearly her entire life, but was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in 2016. She shares her experience with Crohn's and living on a modified Specific Carbohydrate Diet as a resource to others on their health journeys.

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