Strawberry Chicken Salad with Quinoa

5 from 1 vote
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Sweet and tangy Strawberry Quinoa Chicken Salad makes an ideal portable lunch or light dinner, especially in the heat of the summer. Tossed in a honey-lime dressing with feta and toasted pine nuts, it’s cool and creamy, with a hearty texture that makes it so satisfying. Plus it takes just minutes to assemble using leftover cooked chicken and quinoa.

A closeup of a scoop of quinoa chicken salad with strawberry slices.

Why You’ll Love this Strawberry Chicken Salad with Quinoa

  • Cuisine Inspiration: American
  • Primary Cooking Method: No-cook
  • Dietary Info: Gluten-free
  • Skill Level: Easy

Moms often talk about their struggles with kids who are picky eaters. Sometimes, though, it’s the partners that cause the biggest problems, such as my husband when I make quinoa. Since it is a gluten free grain, I like making things like cheesy quinoa as a side dish in place of something like couscous, but he doesn’t love seeing it on the dinner menu.

That is, until I started making quinoa chicken salad. Here’s why we love it and you will too…

  • Appealing texture. My husband actually prefers the texture of the cold quinoa. It’s more chewy and nutty when it is cooked and cooled, and the dressing adds the perfect amount of creaminess with thr contrasting crunch of pine nuts.
  • Bright and fresh flavor. Since I’m a savory-sweet fan, I love savory strawberry recipes, especially that strawberries and lemon lime dressing added sweetness and tang, with little salty bites of feta.
  • Hearty meal. While quinoa itself has a lot of proteion, the addition of chicken makes it more satisfying. You can simple serve it with salad greens and still have a filling dinner.
  • Great to make ahead. The kids are even such big fans that when I make a batch, I don’t even have leftovers for lunch the next day. But if they don’t gobble it up, it’s a great recipe to make ahead to have on hand in the fridge for the week.
  • Keeps the kitchen cool. If you’ve make the chicken and quinoa ahead of time when the weather isn’t hot, or take the shortcut of rotisserie chicken and pre-cooked quinoa from the store, you can easily assemble this dish when it’s blazing outside, and not even break a sweat.
A plate of creamy quinoa chicken salad with strawberries on a table in front of a window.

What You’ll Need

Here’s a quick rundown of the ingredients for this strawberry quinoa chicken salad. Scroll to the recipe card further down for the full quantities and detailed instructions.

  • Quinoa. You’ll want it cooked and cooled. You can follow the package directions or choose your preferred cooking method of my five ways to cook quinoa.
  • Shredded chicken. This is a great way to use leftover rotisserie chicken, or if you made extra grilled chicken or a roast chicken.
  • Honey Lemon Lime Salad Dressing. This is a simple combination of Greek yogurt, lemon and lime juice, honey, and olive oil. You can use all lemon or all lime juice, if you prefer.
  • Strawberries. Washed and sliced.
  • Feta cheese. A tasty substitute would be goat cheese, or even shaved parmesan.
  • Pine nuts. Lightly toast these in a skillet. Feel free to substitute chopped pecans or sliced almonds.
  • Salt and pepper. Season to taste.
A plate of strawberry chicken salad with quinoa on a table with a glass of water and salt and pepper shakers.

Serving Suggestions

I like to serve this quinoa chicken salad over mixed baby greens with extra dressing. You can also fold it up into lettuce wraps. For an even heartier option, try roling it up in gluten free tortillas for a satisfying wrap sandwich. It’s also nice to scoop up with cucumber slices or even crackers.

Storing Strawberry Quinoa Chicken Salad

This is a dish that is perfect to make ahead of time, whether you want to pack it for lunches during the week or have it on hand to grab as a quick dinner. Keep it tightly wrapped or sealed in the refrigerator and it will keep for up for 3 or 4 days, depending on the freshness of your strawberries.

Creamy quinoa chicken salad with strawberry slices on top of salad greens on a blue plate.

More Quinoa Chicken Salad Variations

If you love this gluten free grain salad, then you’ll find it’s easy to change up the flavor combinations to suit your tastes. Here are more quinoa salad recipes to try.

A plate of strawberry quinoa chicken salad on top of lettuce on a blue plate with a pink-handled fork.
5 from 1 vote

Strawberry Quinoa Chicken Salad

Sweet and tangy Strawberry Quinoa Chicken Salad is ideal in the heat of the summer. Tossed in a honey-lime dressing with feta and toasted pine nuts, it's cool and creamy, and perfect for lunch or dinner.
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa, previously prepared as per package instructions
  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken, cooled
  • 1/2 cup Creamy Lemon Lime Salad Dressing plus extra for serving, if desired
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or pecans
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Salad greens for serving, if desired

For the Creamy Lemon Lime Salad Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, nonfat, low fat, or whole milk
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper, or to taste

Instructions

  • In a bowl, combine the quinoa, chicken, and dressing, and stir until mixed and the dressing is evenly distributed.
  • Gently stir in the strawberries, feta cheese, and pine nuts.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve over salad greens with additional dressing, if desired.

For the Creamy Lemon Lime Salad Dressing:

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a bottle, jar, or other sealed container, or a bowl, and shake or whisk until thoroughly combined. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
Nutrition Facts
Strawberry Quinoa Chicken Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 cup (approximately))
Calories 294 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Trans Fat 0.003g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 39mg13%
Sodium 424mg18%
Potassium 300mg9%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 135IU3%
Vitamin C 18mg22%
Calcium 163mg16%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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6 Comments
  1. Keri Hall

    I always have to watch The Shawshank Redemption when it comes on. I even have it on dvd, but it’s almost guaranteed that if it’s on tv, I’m going to be watching it.

  2. My husband used to not like quinoa but now he’s quite the fan ;). I only had to offer it to him 40+ times. Now I’m trying to get him on board with red quinoa. This may take even longer. Hehe Men In Black…men..they’re so difficult to read sometimes. Love the strawberry + feta combo and that dressing sounds amazing!

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