Favorite MOM LUNCH quinoa salad! The BEST quinoa salad for baby showers, parties, ladies lunches or anytime! Full of toasted pine nuts, sweet corn, tart cherries and all tossed with a creamy buttermilk basil dressing. 

This quinoa salad is an absolute game-changer. My friend made it for a playgroup party last month and I’ve been making it on repeat ever since. It’s the best quinoa salad I’ve ever had!

The combination of flavors and textures is spot on! It has toasted pine nuts, sweet corn, parmesan and lots of finely chopped greens. I like to use a combination of spinach and baby kale.

The whole salad is also tossed in a tasty buttermilk basil dressing. The dressing is so good it’s practically drinkable! It’s the perfect “mom lunch” or side to bring to a party.

If you’re searching for a crowd-pleasing side dish to bring to a BBQ or a special salad to make for a baby shower of ladies lunch – try this quinoa salad! It’s easy to make, but looks and tastes fancy.

It’s so good I’ve also been making it for my husband and I for lunches during the week. If serving it at a party toss the salad with the dressing just before serving. However, it will also keep in the fridge for up 3 days.

Lunch is most often the hardest meal for me to eat something delicious, but healthy. The middle of the day is often hectic and busy and sitting down to eat a good lunch can be hard to do. I always feel so much better in the late afternoon if I’ve made it a priority to eat something good.

Some of favorite go-to “mom lunches” are:

Avocado toast on Bread SRSLY sourdough

Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

These Salmon Cakes and Slaw from Pinch of Yum

Salmon Salad Sandwiches with butter lettuce on gluten-free bread (think tuna salad but with canned salmon)

Greek Chickpea Salad from Healthy GF Family




Favorite “Mom Lunch” Quinoa Salad

  • Author: Erin Collins
  • Prep Time: 25
  • Total Time: 25
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: gluten-free, quinoa salad, quinoa, healthy lunch
  • Cuisine: gluten-free, quinoa salad, quinoa, healthy lunch


For the quinoa:

  • 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • pinch of salt

For the buttermilk basil dressing:

  • 1/3 cup chopped basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:

  • 3 cups baby kale & spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups white corn


For the quinoa: Bring the water to a boil. Add the quinoa and a pinch of salt. Bring back to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook covered for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Allow to cool slightly.

For the dressing: Place the ingredients for the dressing in a blender. Blend until smooth then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toss the slightly cooled quinoa with the remaining salad ingredients. Pour over the dressing just before serving. Season to taste with salt and pepper (a pinch more salt is sometimes needed!). Enjoy!

Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.