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Spring Asparagus Quinoa Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette

Spring is here, and that means asparagus! We can’t seem to get enough asparagus this year. I pick up a few bunches every time I go to the grocery store.

As much as I love it simply roasted, I’ve discovered how much I love it thinly sliced and barely cooked. The asparagus maintains its beautiful bright green color  and delicious, sweet crunch, just like in this Spring Asparagus Quinoa Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette.

Spring Asparagus Quinoa Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette

Written by: Lindsey Johnson of Cafe Johnsonia

A great thing about this salad, besides being fresh and delicious, is that you can eat it warm, room temperature, or cold. It’s the perfect salad to pop into your lunch bag to take to work or when you’re out running errands and don’t want to hit up fast food for lunch. The different components can be made ahead and assembled at the last minute too, but the leftovers are great the next day too.

I used tarragon for the vinaigrette. It has a nice licorice flavor without being too overwhelming. Tarragon and mustard are a match made in heaven and the honey in the vinaigrette adds just enough sweetness to complement the asparagus. It’s one tasty, healthy salad!

Spring Asparagus Quinoa Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette

Tips for Making this Recipe

Did you know you can quickly cook quinoa in an Instant Pot when you’re preparing this recipe for Asparagus Salad? Head over to my post: How to Make Quinoa in the Instant Pot for all the details!

How are you eating asparagus this spring?

More Ways to Enjoy Asparagus this Spring:

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Spring Asparagus Quinoa Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette

Asparagus Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Asparagus Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette is a quick and easy salad made with fresh asparagus and quinoa tossed with a flavorful tarragon-mustard vinaigrette.


For vinaigrette:

  • 2 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • white pepper
  • pinch garlic powder

For salad:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus
  • 1 small shallot, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons sliced almonds


  1. Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients or place in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake. Set aside.
  2. If quinoa is not pre-rinsed, wash well in a fine-mesh colander to remove the bitter outer coating. Drain well.
  3. Place quinoa in a 2-quart sauce pan.
  4. Add the water, lemon juice, and salt.
  5. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cover.
  6. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until water has been absorbed and the quinoa is cooked through. (It will become translucent when it's properly cooked.)
  7. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for a few minutes.
  8. In the meantime, trim off a few inches of the asparagus stems and discard. Thinly slice the asparagus into 1/8- to 1/6-inch rounds.
  9. Add the asparagus, shallot, and sliced almonds to the pan of quinoa. The remaining heat will barely cook the asparagus.
  10. Pour some of the vinaigrette over the quinoa and asparagus. Toss to coat. Let stand for a few minutes so it can absorb the vinaigrette.
  11. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. Add more vinaigrette to taste.


  • You can substitute any whole grain for the quinoa. Couscous would also be delicious.
  • Leftovers will keep well for 1-2 days in the fridge.
  • To make ahead, prepare salad and vinaigrette and store separately. Add dressing right before serving.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 166Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 0mgSodium 227mgCarbohydrates 20gFiber 2gSugar 11gProtein 3g

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love it if you let me know what you think! Snap a photo and tag me on Instagram at @goodlifeeats with the hashtag #goodlifeeatsrecipes so I can see what you’re cooking up in YOUR kitchen!

Betsy kreuter

Monday 31st of March 2014

OMG! This is a great salad! I could not get enough of it. The dressing is great. The whole salad comes together pretty quickly. I could eat the whole bowl in one sitting. Thanks Lindsey!

Alex | Better with Family

Wednesday 26th of March 2014

Oh my WORD does this sound and look amazing. I read this while I was waiting for a dinner guest to arrive at a restaurant and made a quick stop by the grocery store on my way home tonight so I can make this tomorrow. My mouth is starting to salivate just wondering what balsamic and honey mustard must taste like together. I never would've pegged them together for something but it makes total sense after reading it. Thanks!

Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness

Wednesday 26th of March 2014

What a delicious salad! I love the idea of quinoa and asparagus! And thanks for sharing my asparagus recipe! :)

Katrina @ WVS

Wednesday 26th of March 2014

This salad is so perfect for Spring (whenever it gets here). Love it!

Lisa Eirene (@LisaEirene)

Wednesday 26th of March 2014

This looks like an amazing spring dish! I love asparagus and I'm looking forward to when it's in season. In the winter I eat mostly brussels sprouts. :)

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