Thai Coconut Quinoa Salad

Coconut Quinoa Salad

When life gets busy I need quick meals. Stir-fry is always an easy choice. They cook up in no time and you can add lots of great vegetables to boost their nutrition.


My biggest problem is the rice.  I have learned that living at a higher elevation (7300ft) I can’t make rice well at all. I mean at all! It is always terrible…either it’s soggy and overcooked or still crunchy. I purchased a rice maker and that thing does a great job at making rice. But, it requires preplanning. Making brown rice takes over 100 minutes to cook.

Coconut Quinoa with Vegetables

I’m in a hurry and don’t have an hour and a half to wait for rice. My solution is quinoa. This stuff cooks up in 15 minutes. Now, that’s what I’m talking about!

I love that quinoa will take on flavors you add to it. I cooked this quinoa in coconut water.


Thai Coconut Quinoa

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Have you had coconut water? I’ve recently become obsessed with this stuff. It is a low-calorie drink that is a good source of potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C.

I like Cocozia organic coconut water. It is all-natural with no added ingredients. You get just delicious tasting coconut water.


Thai Coconut Quinoa Salad

The quinoa absorbs all that wonderful coconut flavor. The quinoa is nicely flavored and has a slight sweetness to it. I combine my coconut quinoa with some fresh vegetables and a delicious sauce.

For the sauce, I use some of my favorites…sweet chili sauce, sriracha, garlic, and soy. To finish off the dish, I sprinkle shredded unsweetened coconut over the dish. It is absolutely delicious!

Coconut Quinoa




Cindy @ Pick Fresh Foods





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Thai Coconut Quinoa Salad
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Serves: 4
  • ½ cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup coconut water
For Sauce
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
For Vegetables
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup baby carrots, sliced
  • 2 cup broccoli, cleaned and trimmed
  • 1 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  1. Prepare quinoa with coconut water; set aside.
  2. In a small bowl combine soy, smirch, sweet chili sauce and lime juice; set aside.
  3. In a large skillet. Heat oil and sauté garlic just until fragrant. Add bell pepper and carrots; sauté for 3-4 minutes or until carrots are slightly tender.
  4. Add broccoli and sauce; cook just until broccoli turns bright green. About 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the cooked quinoa to the pan. Toss to combine.
  6. Top with coconut and cilantro.




Disclaimer: I was provided Cocozia Coconut water to try and review. All opinions are my own.


  1. That looks awesome! Love the Thai flavors, yum. Such a colorful and healthy lunch :)

  2. This looks like an easy and delicious meal! I love the colorful veggies in in this dish. And I love that you used coconut water to cook the quinoa in. I’ve only tried chicken broth before, so i can only imagine how tasty this must be!

  3. This salad is right up my alley – I love Thai food! Gotta try this.

  4. This looks so fresh and delicious. I really love Thai food. We actually had a Thai curry tonight :)

  5. whiskandshout says:

    This looks gorgeous! I looove thai flavors :)

  6. How amazing is this salad! Fresh and healthy.. Loved that you used coconut water in this.. and that thai sauce sounds amazing :)

  7. This is a great combination of flavors….I love the quinoa in place of rice. I like to cook up a double batch of quinoa and keep it on hand in the frige. Pinned…:)

  8. looks delicious cindy! i do love a good quinoa salad.. the thai inspired flavours sound incredibly tasty!

  9. What a great idea. I love how you combined the quinoa here. I will definitely try this soon.

  10. I love stir-frys too because my family loves them and you can cram (just like you did!!) so many nutritious veggies in them. And I’m always looking for a new spin on them. Will have to try yours! A crowd pleaser every time. I laughed at your rice comments. I bomb rice too! My mom even got me a rice cooker at a garage sale, but to no avail. It comes out too soggy or crunchy, it’s so bad that my husband actually took over the rice making ritual. But I should take a tip from you and just make quinoa instead, probably healthier too! Not tried coconut water yet, but maybe it’s time.

  11. I’ve tried coconut water before, but never thought to cook quinoa with it! Such a great idea! I love stir-frys too, they always come together so quick and taste so good.

  12. Bummer about the rice, but quinoa is so delicious, that’s a great replacement! This looks delicious, Cindy, and I love those Thai flavors. :)

  13. That is exactly why I love quinoa so much, it is so easy to cook and cooks up perfectly every time! This stir fry looks delicious and I love all the veggies you used! It looks like a quick and healthy meal, which I am always in need of :)

  14. 100 minutes?!?! Say what?! Down here in Atlanta I definitely don’t have that problem. Meringues that won’t whip up, check. But at least my rice cooks. I feel for you. Thank goodness for quinoa! I love this easy, healthy stir fry. Always looking for new ways to get my husband to eat quinoa…ok, fine, and me too!

  15. We have a shortage of quinoa here at the moment but when I get more I will use coconut water to cook it in :)

  16. Coconut water is my drink of choice, I drink it almost everyday straight from the coconut and it’s the best thing ever but I have never used it for making anything and this quinoa salad is going to be the first time I use coconut water to cook the quinoa! It looks AMAZING Cindy and I love that zippy – zingy sauce for the dressing ! <3

  17. Quinoa to the rescue! Love how you infused thai flavor into literally every bite of this!

  18. I am so intrigued by the idea of cooking quinoa in coconut water! Sounds delicious, Cindy. So many possibilities…and I totally hear you on the rice maker taking forever to cook brown rice. I’m glad a lot of grains can be cooked quickly on the stove top.

  19. I’m a huge fan of coconut water. I got to try it the 1st time at the Food Bloggers Convention and I was hooked! So, yes to this dish!!! Thumbs up!

  20. Yikes, 100 minutes? That’s no good especially when you want to make a quick meal. Love that you made quinoa instead though with all those pretty veggies. The thai flavors sound awesome in here too!

  21. Wow!! Doesn’t this look so healthy and fresh! What a great recipe!! Love that it’s whole grain and packed with plant based protein! Looks so good!!

  22. Healthy and yummy. Love the addition of Thai.

  23. I love making stir-fries during the week! They are so fast and so delicious! This looks wonderful – I love that you sprinkled the coconut on top – I’ve never thought to do that!

  24. What a totally gorgeous quinoa dish, Cindy! You are totally the queen of quinoa—you always come up with the best combos! :) I love thai food so I’l definitely have to try this one!

  25. Interesting! I’ve never tried cooking with coconut water -coconut milk only. I really love the thirst-quenching nature of it. So good right now in the summer! I also go for stir fries when I need to eat right this second! I can never get enough of thai food, or quinoa, so this dish is totally my style. Another awesome recipe, Cindy!!!

  26. What?! 100 minutes! That’s so crazy. Add that to the things I didn’t know (pile getting larger). Luckily, it doesn’t take that long n my neck of the woods because I love me some brown rice. 😉 Love quinoa, too though and this looks great. Excellent idea using the coconut water. Delicious!

  27. Wow-this looks like such a delicious and quick meal! Love that you cooked the quinoa in coconut milk, that is genius! I’m definitely bookmarking this to make :)

  28. Robyn says:

    I am loving coconut water too, Cindy. I’ve been using it with lime in different Asian infusion dishes and it’s so refreshing!
    This dish is fabulous and I love that it’s so quick and beautifully fresh.
    I can’t make rice to save my life but a chef friend of mine gave me a great recipe to cook it in the oven:
    2 parts liquid ( I use water or tomato, apple or orange juice or chicken broth)
    1 part rice
    parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme (just like the song, lol)
    Mix all together in oven proof pot and cook for one hour at 350. I get perfect rice every time. I don’t do it any other way now.
    Have great day, Cindy. I hope things slow down a little soon. :)

  29. This looks delicious! I love quinoa, and I’m always looking for new recipes to try!

  30. The flavors sound amazing! And I actually like quinoa just as much as rice :) 100 minutes? That’s crazy! What a great alternative.

  31. What a creative way to cook quinoa with coconut water…I love the sound and the look of this dish, so refreshing and summery.
    Hope you are having a great week Cindy 😀

  32. Great idea Cindy, I use coconut milk quite often but never coconut water, makes so much sense. Love this recipe!

  33. This salad is bursting with freshness! Look at all those gorgeous veggies!

  34. Cindy this salad looks so so delicious and love all that broccoli on top!

  35. What a great salad for all the end of summer parties coming up!

  36. Damn delicious and healty quinoa salad!!!
    the photograph is really seducing me….

  37. This looks so unbelievably fresh and tasty, Cindy! Quinoa really is a bit of a wonder food, isn’t it?
    I had no idea that rice took so long to cook in a rice cooker. That’s crazy! To be honest I’ve been buying those packs of rice that you just put in the microwave for 2 minutes lately! Lazy, I know, but I don’t cook rice so often, so I figure it’s OK! :-)

  38. I have to try cooking quinoa in coconut water! That sounds wonderful. Rice is the one thing I really struggle with cooking and I don’t have elevation to blame! Maybe I should look into getting a rice cooker!

  39. I want to trya nd eat quinoa more often so I appreciate this recipe! Looks delicious.

  40. I love rice, but when I’m in a rush, I turn to couscous and quinoa. This looks fab!

  41. honestly I think you could title a recipe “Thai Coconut” anything and you’d have me interested, but toss in quinoa and I am freakin’ sold – I can’t eat enough of the stuff!! This looks lovely Cindy, perfect quick-fix for summer :)

  42. Fantastic! So gorgeous, so nutritious, so EASY!!! In the midst of these crazy last days before bask-to-school … easy, easy, easy is the name of the game! It’s so interesting that rice is such a problem at higher altitudes (ummmm … yeah … notsomuch a problem here in Ohio), but quinoa is so incredibly healthy … bonus! Totally pinning! And hey – good luck getting your kiddos back into the groove, too! 😀

  43. I’m with you on needing some quick meals. This is fast, easy and nutritious. Love it

  44. Such a lovely, veggie-packed meal! Coconut and quinoa go great together!

    • Quinoa is so great for quick healthy meals. I have several that I eat on a regular basis. Thanks for stopping by Kelly!

  45. This looks amazing Cindy! Love Thai flavors and this looks like healthy, flavor-packed meal!

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