Protein-packed soybeans are tossed with crunchy vegetables and spicy peanut dressing in this Asian-inspired Edamame Salad.
I’m usually more of a salad-on-the-side kind of gal, opting for tacos, bowls, or noodles over a bowl of greens just about all of the time.
Boring salads just don’t do it for me, but with summer right around the corner, I set out on a mission to create something different.
A salad that’s anything but another ho-hum bowl of greens.
Friends, I have to say, I cracked the raw veggie code with this one.
Crunchy Edamame Salad is an easy make-ahead lunch or 30-minute vegan dinner that’s totally deserving of its entree status.
There are a few qualities that make this salad a winner:
- It’s packed with plant-based protein from edamame, peanuts, and quinoa
- There’s tons of filling fiber and hydrating water from fresh veggies
- You can make the whole thing in about 30 minutes (less if you use precooked quinoa!)
- There are both raw and cooked elements—way more satisfying than a 100% raw salad in my book
- There’s just SO MUCH flavor from the spicy peanut dressing and fresh herbs on top—the least boring salad you’ll ever try, promise!
How to Make this Spicy Edamame Salad:
The cooked elements in this salad are quinoa and edamame, so I like to get both of those going on the stovetop first.
Once the quinoa is cooked, cover the pot and let it sit on the stovetop (with the burner turned off) until you’re ready to serve. This allows the quinoa to steam in the pot for a few extra minutes so it gets nice and fluffy. (I learned this trick from Cookie + Kate.)
I cooked the frozen edamame on the stovetop, too. Since the ice melts as the edamame cooks, you don’t need to use any oil for this step, and the beans start to brown in the skillet, which adds a toasty flavor component that takes this salad to another level.
If you’re not into it, though, you can always steam edamame in the microwave instead. Up to you!
After the quinoa and edamame are prepped, it’s time to mix up the spicy peanut dressing.
Whisk peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce (you can use tamari or liquid aminos to make it gluten-free), maple syrup, garlic, ginger, and cayenne pepper. Then gradually add water while you continue to whisk. Stop when the dressing is pourable but still ultra rich and creamy. Feel free to taste and adjust as you go!
The final step is putting it all together.
Mix the cooked quinoa and edamame with crunchy vegetables and peanuts, pour the dressing on top, and garnish with handfuls (seriously) of fresh herbs for flavor.
There you have it, friends.
A satisfying, delicious, and anything but boring entree salad. Mission accomplished.
- ½ cup dry quinoa, rinsed
- 1 pound frozen shelled edamame (2 1/2 cups)
- 2 cups shredded red cabbage (¼ large)
- 2 cups chopped baby spinach
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup roasted peanuts (shelled)
- 1 sliced jalapeño (optional)
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or gluten-free tamari or liquid aminos
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 tablespoon)
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for spicy flavor)
- 2 tablespoons water or as needed
- Roasted peanuts
- Thai basil
- Green onions, chopped
- Lime wedges
- Pour dry quinoa and 1 cup of water into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Fluff with a fork, cover, and set aside.
In the meantime, add frozen edamame to a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, 7 minutes, or until water is absorbed and edamame start to brown in places. Turn off heat.
- Whisk together peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce (or tamari or liquid aminos), maple syrup, garlic, ginger, and cayenne pepper (if using). Gradually stir in water as needed to reach pourable dressing consistency.
Stir cooked quinoa, cooked edamame, cabbage, baby spinach, carrots, peanuts, and jalapeño (if using) in a serving bowl or dish.
- Pour dressing over salad and garnish with roasted peanuts, Thai basil, cilantro, green onions, and lime wedges if desired.
Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.
Gluten-free variation: use gluten-free tamari or liquid aminos instead of soy sauce.
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