Gluten-Free Walnut Pesto Quinoa Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
April is Stress Awareness Month, and this gluten-free walnut pesto quinoa salad is here to help boost your mood and reduce heightened stress levels. In addition to helping combat stress, this recipe is also filled with crisp seasonal spring produce, like asparagus, cremini mushrooms, and sweet onions. It’s packed with plant-based protein sources, like quinoa and chickpeas. To top it off, it’s tossed in a bright, herby, and lightened-up walnut arugula pesto. *You’ll need a food processor or blender for this recipe.
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Serves: 4
  • For the roasted vegetables & chickpeas:
  • 1 bunch of asparagus (about 20 spears), trimmed into 1” pieces
  • 1 medium sweet onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 package whole cremini mushrooms (about 10), sliced in ¼” pieces
  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas (no salt added), drained & rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • For the quinoa:
  • ½ cup dry quinoa, thoroughly rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • For the pesto:
  • ¼ cup raw walnuts, lightly toasted
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 lemon, juiced (½ added to pesto, ½ reserved for topping)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp water
  1. Preheat the oven to 415°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and prepare asparagus, onion, and mushrooms. Place chopped veggies and chickpeas onto the baking sheet, season with garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper (to taste) and drizzle with olive oil.
  2. Mix veggies and chickpeas by hand to ensure oil and seasonings are evenly distributed. Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned and tender.
  3. While the veggies and chickpeas are roasting, bring rinsed quinoa and 1 cup of water to a boil in a medium pot.
  4. Cover with a lid, reduce heat to low and cook for 10-15 minutes until water is absorbed and quinoa is light and fluffy.
  5. Next, make the pesto. Add toasted walnuts, grated Parmesan, arugula, fresh basil, garlic, half of a juiced lemon, salt, and olive oil to a food processor or blender. Process until smooth, adding one tablespoon of water at a time until pesto has reached desired consistency. It will be on the thicker side.
  6. Once veggies and quinoa are done, add them to a large mixing bowl and combine with the pesto.
  7. Serve warm or cold with an extra squeeze of fresh lemon juice and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 399 Fat: 16.3 Saturated fat: 2.5 Carbohydrates: 50.9 Sugar: 11.5 Fiber: 11.8 Protein: 16.7 Cholesterol: 4.3
Recipe by Sarah Koszyk at