Quinoa Salad with Mango and Avocado

A Summer Tasting Delight!

This tasty treat has a few extra steps than many of our other recipes. However, it is a wonderful, healthy dish that is scrumptious enough to make it worth the effort! With a unique dressing and combination of ingredients, this salad is on my short list to take to the next picnic or family function where I want to contribute something delicious and healthy.


  • Juice of 4 – 4.5 limes
  • 6 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 dashes ground cloves
  • 3 dashes curry powder
  • 3 teaspoons pomegranate molasses, honey or maple syrup (I used honey)
  • Pinch of salt (only one)
  • 3 dashes sriracha or other hot sauce


  • 4 cups cooked red quinoa (I used a tricolor quinoa blend that I had on hand)
  • 2 ripe, soft mangos, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots or matchstick carrots (for fastest option, buy a bag of matchstick carrots)
  • 20 Snow Pea Pods sliced into 1 roughly half inch pieces. (The original recipe says to blanch boil them then place into ice water and dry. I like fresh snow peas so I did not bother with this step and put the fresh pieces right into the salad.)
  • 3 green onions, sliced into 1/2 inch sections cutting with acute bias making pointy ends (I like a little green onion only so I used them as garnish on top once plated.)
  • 1/4 cup roasted almonds or pistachios, roughly chopped (I used pistachios)
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped greens – stemmed spinach or any lettuce (I used romaine lettuce, chopped)
  • 2 avocados – prepped with a melon baller tossed with juice of half the leftover lime from dressing. (I cut each avocado half into squares and scooped them directly into the dressing since there is so much lime in there already. Stirred them around to coat and then removed them with a slotted spoon. That means I had 1/2 a lime leftover to make a refreshing cherry limeade!)

How to Make:

I found myself trying to cool hot, freshly cooked quinoa before adding it to the other ingredients. To avoid this, I suggest cooking up your quinoa beforehand so it’s cold when ready to assemble.

Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

Combine quinoa, mango, carrots, pea pods, green onion and greens in a large bowl, add the dressing and toss well to coat. Garnish with nuts and avocado balls. For this version I tossed the avocado with the other ingredients but topped with pistachios and green onion.

This salad is also great when topped with grilled chicken or shrimp, which is a great way to use your grilling leftovers.

Tip: If you’re not taking this to a function where it will be eaten all at once, prep everything minus 1 mango and 1 avocado. Cut and toss those in fresh when you’re ready to eat a second round of this salad.

This salad is also great on the go! However, if you’re prepping this to take to work or school, we have the following tips: Build the dressing in the bottom of your to-go container, then add the quinoa, mango, carrots, pea pods and onion, and toss well to coat. Loosely pack the greens on top and close the container. Carry the avocado and nuts separately, along with another chunk of lime. When you’re ready to eat, open your container and toss the ingredients together (or just violently shake the container if you’re having one of “those days”), then open it up, give it a squeeze of lime, and top with avocado and almonds.

Huge thanks to our client, Stu Borken, for sharing this and many other recipes with us over the years!

Looking for more recipes and nutrition tips beyond just chicken and broccoli?  Schedule your free 90 minute consultation or call 651-895-0774.

Addie Kelzer is a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. She believes that by making fitness and good food practical, her clients will hold the power to positively change their health and the health of those closest to them.