Cooked quinoa is a healthy way to bulk up a salad to make it more filling. We paired the protein-rich grain with shredded chicken, tender butter lettuce, crunchy radishes and cucumbers, and a tangy herbed dressing that brings everything together deliciously. If you don’t want to use all of the cooked quinoa in the salad, store it, covered, in the refrigerator. Use it to make a grain bowl or stir it into soup. This salad not only makes a healthy weeknight dinner, but it would make a perfect bring-to-work lunch the next day. It’s also springy, colorful, and has a pretty enough presentation to serve to company at a luncheon. Eating healthy during the week can be difficult when faster options await at the drive-thru, but with 30-minute recipes like this salad, you can stay on track all week.
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 1 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 1 lemon)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, divided
1/3 cup loosely packed fresh tarragon leaves, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
5 cups torn butter lettuce (from 1 head)
3 cups pulled rotisserie chicken (from 1 chicken)
1/2 cup thinly sliced English cucumber (from 1 cucumber)
1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes (about 5 radishes)
How to Make It
Process mayonnaise, chives, vinegar, anchovy paste, lemon zest, lemon juice, black pepper, 1⁄4 cup of the fresh parsley leaves, 1 tablespoon of the fresh tarragon leaves, and 1⁄4 teaspoon of the salt in a food processor until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.
Bring water, quinoa, and remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Stir and cover. Reduce heat to low, and cook until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Remove lid, and fluff with a fork.
Toss together butter lettuce and remaining 1⁄4 cup each fresh parsley leaves and fresh tarragon leaves. Toss lettuce mixture lightly with about 1⁄4 cup dressing. Transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle cooked quinoa over lettuce mixture; top with pulled rotisserie chicken. Arrange thinly sliced English cucumbers and thinly sliced radishes on top and around sides. Drizzle salad with an additional 1⁄4 cup dressing, and serve remaining dressing on the side, if desired.