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Quinoa Crouton Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

A salad can have lots of delicious toppings and still be healthy. This salad, with homemade croutons, quinoa, chickpeas, roasted veggies, and my champagne vinaigrette, is the perfect case in point!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings: 4
Print Recipe

Ingredients

For the quinoa and chickpeas:

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups vegetable broth, (or water, but vegetable broth will bring more flavor)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained

For the champagne vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Vegenaise, or mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp champagne vinegar
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp rosemary, dried
  • tsp pepper
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced

For the roasted veggies:

  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 15 asparagus spheres, rough ends removed and cut to 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • ½ tsp fleur de sel, or sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

For the croutons:

  • 6-8 oz baguette, cut to 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch cubes
  • ¼ tsp fleur de sel, or sea salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • ½ tsp rosemary, dried
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Everything else:

  • Arugula, 6-8 cups, or to preference
  • Goat cheese, for sprinkling (omit to keep vegan)

Instructions

Make the vinaigrette

  • Add all the ingredients to a small bowl, and whisk until the dressing gets creamy and emulsifies.
  • Vinaigrette is done!
  • Note: if the Vegenaise/mayonnaise separates from the oil as it sits, simply whisk the vinaigrette together again.

Make the quinoa

  • Add the quinoa, vegetable broth, and salt to a large soup pot.
  • Bring it to a boil over high heat, then decrease the heat to low, and cook the quinoa uncovered for 25 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.
  • The quinoa is done when the liquid is absorbed, and it should still have a bite to it and not be mushy.

Add the chickpeas and vinaigrette

  • Now add the drained chickpeas to the pot of quinoa, and stir to combine.
  • Next add 2 Tbsp of the vinaigrette to the chickpeas and quinoa, and stir until the vinaigrette is completely absorbed.
  • Taste, and add a little more vinaigrette if desired.
  • While the quinoa cooks, roast the veggies and bake the croutons.

Roast the veggies

  • Spread the veggies out on a standard-sized baking sheet.
  • Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the veggies, then sprinkle on the fleur de sel (or sea salt).
  • Roast the veggies at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.
  • Veggies are done! Set aside.

Bake the croutons

  • While the veggies roast, prepare the croutons.
  • On another standard-sized baking sheet, add the croutons, olive oil, salt, rosemary, and pepper.
  • Toss it all together with your hands, then spread the croutons out evenly on the baking sheet so they’re not touching each other.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 5 min.
  • (Note: depending on the type of bread you use, you may want to bake the croutons longer, but start with five minutes, let them cool, and taste before doing so. The croutons will get crispier as they cool.)

Compile the salad

  • On a large serving platter (or you can make individual servings) lay out a bed of arugula. Layer the quinoa/chickpea mixture on top, followed by the roasted tomatoes and arugula.
  • Add the croutons, then drizzle a bit more champagne vinaigrette over everything. Sprinkle a little goat cheese over the top, if desired. (Omit to keep this salad vegan.)

Serve and enjoy!

  • Serve and enjoy this salad as a meal by itself, or as a side to your favorite protein.

Notes

This salad is vegetarian.
This salad is vegan if you don’t use goat cheese.
This salad is gluten free if you omit the croutons, or use gluten free bread.
This recipe would feed 2-3 people as a main course, and 4-5 as a side.  It can easily be doubled to feed more people.