This lunchbox quinoa salad is a simple and tasty lunch idea the kids will want to eat!
You can think of it as a lettuce-free salad packed with variety, nutrition, and flavor- let me show you how to make it.
Quinoa Salad with Veggies
Kid-favorite lunches aren’t limited to sandwiches and snack foods; they also look a lot like this quinoa recipe. The best part- it’s an easy gluten-free lunch idea you can toss together in a few minutes with cooked quinoa, crunchy veggies, and a couple of pantry spices.
To make it even easier, you can prep this recipe ahead or use leftover cooked quinoa from dinner. It will keep for up to 3 days and provide you with a healthy, ready-to-go lunch, when you need it.
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What is in Quinoa Salad
Below is the full list of ingredients, along with options to swap out so you can make this lunch with what’s available in your fridge:
- Quinoa: a great source of protein and takes to cook.
- Bell pepper: red, orange, yellow, or green.
- Red onion: optional, but adds a nice sharp flavor.
- Curry powder: a toasty, fragrant spice. Swap it out for equal parts taco seasoning.
- Cilantro: adds a citrusy, fresh taste.
- Lime juice: brightens the salad. Could also use fresh lemon.
- Carrots: for a little crunch.
- Green peas: frozen and defrosted.
- Salt & pepper: for seasoning.
Those ingredients are for the main dish, but what about sides for this lunchbox? That’s easy! You can add a couple of hard-boiled eggs, berries, peanut butter and apples, or any of your favorite lunch snacks.
How to Pack Quinoa in a Lunchbox
Here’s how to keep it fresh until lunchtime.
Cook the quinoa and assemble the salad. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Fill a compartmentalized lunch container with a portion of the quinoa salad. Add snacks and sides to the empty compartments or a separate container to keep the quinoa fresh.
- Add snacks
Round out this lunch with snacks and sides. Close the container and pack it into a lunch bag with an ice pack.
Lunch Box Quinoa Salad with Veggies
- ¾ cup water
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- ¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped
- ½ small red onion, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon curry powder
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ lime, juiced
- ¼ cup minced carrots
- ¼ cup green peas
- Salt & black pepper, to taste
- Bring water to a boil, add the quinoa, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender.
- Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until chilled.
- Remove the quinoa from the fridge and add the bell pepepr, onion curry powder, cilantro, lime juice, carrots, and peas. Season with salt and black pepper, and toss to combine.
- Pack the quinoa salad into a lunch container with additional snacks. Close the container and pack it into a lunch bag with an ice pack.