Vibrant Curry Cashew Chickpea Quinoa Salad

I first started making this quinoa salad when Sidney was around 3 months old; I wanted a healthy meal prep lunch that was flavorful and nutritious but most importantly, I wanted a salad that would last for days in the fridge without getting weird. AND DAMN DOES THIS SALAD DELIVER.

I have a few other quinoa salads on the blog that are fabulous, but this chickpea curry quinoa salad really takes the cake. It’s bright, bold and full of flavor thanks to the nutritious quinoa that’s infused with fresh grated ginger, curry powder, garlic powder and earthy ground turmeric.

Oh, and let’s not forget about the beautiful veggies, fruits & herbs including red bell pepper, carrots, peas, red onion, dried cherries, cilantro and parsley. Once you take a bite, I promise you won’t be able to stop. Especially after you try my spicy maple glazed cashews!

vibrant chickpea quinoa salad in a bowl with a fork

Ingredients in this curry quinoa salad

This delicious vegan curry chickpea quinoa salad is loaded with a rainbow of veggies and an incredible blend of spices. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Quinoa: I love using regular, white quinoa, but tri color quinoa will work just as well. You can cook it in water or vegetarian broth.
  • Chickpeas: to add a delicious boost of plant-based protein. See below for more protein ideas!
  • Sesame oil: a bit of sesame oil will help flavor the quinoa and infuse the spices. Feel free to sub olive oil.
  • Herbs & spices: we’re adding freshly grated ginger, curry powder, turmeric, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt & pepper to give the salad a wonderful, warming curry flavor.
  • For the add-ins: this quinoa salad calls for crunchy red bell pepper, shredded carrots, green peas, dried cherries, red onion, cilantro and parsley. The blend of veggies and herbs gives it a nice crunchy texture paired with fresh, bold flavor.
  • For the cashews: I love the crunch that the cashews give this salad, and I like to toast them with a little maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and sea salt. YUM.

curry quinoa salad ingredients on a cutting board

Customize this curry cashew chickpea quinoa salad

  • Switch up your protein. If you’re not vegan or vegetarian I think grilled chicken would be delicious in here. Try this marinade, too!
  • Use the veggies you have on hand. Shredded red cabbage, snap peas, green onion or even roasted broccoli or cauliflower would be delicious in this salad.
  • Choose your sweetness. I love this salad with dried cherries but feel free to use dried cranberries, raisins, golden raisins or chopped dates for little bites of sweetness throughout.
  • Switch up your nuts. I recommend using already roasted nuts if you want to sub. Honey roasted peanuts, cashews or pistachios would be great options.

vibrant curry cashew quinoa salad in a large bowl

How to cook the perfect fluffy quinoa

Don’t forget to get all of my tips and tricks for making the BEST fluffy quinoa in this post! As I mentioned, you can cook your quinoa in water, vegetable broth, or, if you’re not vegan or vegetarian, chicken broth.

Delicious maple cayenne toasted cashews

The cashews are optional in this salad but I HIGHLY recommend adding them because they’re so delicious. Here’s how to make them:

  1. Add your cashews to a pan on the stovetop over medium heat.
  2. Carefully toss them around until they begin to smell fragrant and start turning light brown, which should be about 5 minutes.
  3. Immediately remove them from the heat and stir in the maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and salt. Then set them aside to cool before adding them to your salad.

curry chickpea quinoa salad in a large bowl with a wooden spoon

Beautiful chickpea curry quinoa salad in 5 steps

  1. Cook your quinoa. Start by cooking your quinoa in water or broth until it’s nice and fluffy. Set it aside.
  2. Add chickpeas & seasonings. Stir in the chickpeas, sesame oil, and all of those yummy seasonings until they’re well combined.
  3. Add the mix-ins. Fold in your chopped veggies, herbs, and dried cherries.
  4. Toast the cashews. Toast your cashews (if using) and add the maple syrup, cayenne, and sea salt. Let them cool on a plate or parchment paper.
  5. Toss & serve. Add the cooled cashews to your salad, toss, and serve!

curry chickpea quinoa salad on three plates with forks

How to store quinoa salad

This delicious vegan curry cashew chickpea quinoa salad gets even better over the course of a few days as it marinates in the spices. Store it in an airtight container (or a few meal prep containers like these) for up to 5 days and enjoy all week long. It’s perfect for meal prep as a side dish or a main dish, and you can easily make it the night before.

curry quinoa salad on a plate with a fork

More quinoa recipes to try

Get all of my quinoa recipes here!

I hope you love this vibrant curry cashew chickpea quinoa salad. If you make it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe — I really appreciate it! xo.

Vibrant Curry Cashew Chickpea Quinoa Salad

4.97 from 82 votes

vibrant curry chickpea quinoa salad on a plate

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 25 minutes

Total Time 45 minutes

Vibrant curry cashew chickpea quinoa salad packed with veggies and delicious flavor from curry powder, fresh ginger, turmeric and sweet and spicy maple glazed cashews. This wonderful vegan curry chickpea quinoa salad is easy to make for the perfect main meal or healthy side dish!


  • For the quinoa:
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 2/3 cup water
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ¾ cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (or sub olive oil)
  • ½ tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder, plus more if you want a really big curry punch!
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the mix-ins:
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots (from 1 large carrot)
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries (or dried cranberries)
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/3 cup finely diced cilantro
  • 1/3 cup finely diced flat leaf parsley
  • For the maple cayenne toasted cashews:
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • ½ tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt


  1. Add in quinoa and water to a medium pot and bring mixture to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and cook for exactly 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from heat and fluff quinoa with a fork, then replace lid and allow quinoa to steam for 5-10 more minutes. While quinoa is cooking you can chop all your veggies.

  2. Once quinoa is done cooking, stir in chickpeas, peas, sesame oil, ginger, curry powder, turmeric, garlic powder, salt and black pepper.

  3. Next stir in red bell pepper, shredded carrots, dried cherries, red onion, cilantro and parsley.

  4. Finally make your maple cayenne toasted cashews: place cashews in a skillet over medium heat. Toast cashews for 4-6 minutes, stirring frequently until they turn slightly golden brown and fragrant, then turn off heat and immediately add in maple syrup, cayenne pepper and sea salt. Stir for 30 more seconds to coat cashews, then transfer to a plate or piece of parchment paper to cool for a few minutes. Cashews may stick together so try to spread them in an even layer when they are cooling.

  5. Top quinoa with cashews and serve! Serves 4 for a main meal or 6 as a side. I suggest waiting to add cashews until you are ready to serve so they stay nice and crunchy.

Recipe Notes

See the full post for tips, tricks, and ways to customize this quinoa salad!


Servings: 4 servings

Serving size: 1 serving (based on 4)

Calories: 492kcal

Fat: 17.8g

Saturated fat: 2g

Carbohydrates: 68.5g

Fiber: 12.2g

Sugar: 15.5g

Protein: 16g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats

This post was originally published on June 17th, 2020, and republished on April 17th, 2023.