Quick, protein-packed salad: quinoa, garbanzo bean, and spinach salad with nutritional yeast

This has been my go-to, quick & easy, protein-packed salad lately. Plus, it’s loaded with b12 thanks to the nutritional yeast! YUM!

If you watch my IG stories, you’ve definitely seen me share this more than once—& some variations of it too.

Here are the ingredients:

  • Spinach
  • Red onions
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Quinoa
  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • & I top it with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, nutritional yeast, freshly squeezed lemon & a little bit of s&p (I use pink Himalyan salt & rainbow peppercorns)

When I’m making it for more than just myself, I’ll mix the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl so I can mix it all up & get it to taste exactly the way I like it, & then I pour it on the salad & toss it all together. When I’m making it for just myself though, I’ll usually add all the dressing ingredients on top of the salad & just toss it all up like in the pics below—it’s just a little bit faster that way ; ) & I don’t mind winging it when I’m making myself a quick lunch.

Either way, here’s what makes this salad super quick to throw together:

I make quinoa in large batches so I can keep it in the fridge & I when I chop up cilantro for a recipe I usually chop up an entire bunch & keep the extra in the fridge too—so both the quinoa & cilantro are ready to grab & use—super convenient! And for the garbanzo beans, I use the ones that come in can, so I’ll either open up a new can or if I have some left over in a glass container in the fridge (which is pretty common for us), I’ll use that.

So a lot of the ingredients are ready to go!

This recipe is super quick, which I love—which makes it really easy to have for lunch.

I LOVE having this salad for lunch!

I also like to have it as a pre-party salad.

Know what I mean?

I don’t like showing up to parties or events ravenously hungry lol & since we eat vegan, I feel like it’s typically smart to have a pre-party salad before we head out, just in case there aren’t a ton of options at the party/get-together/restaurant. Plus, I like to show up ready to hang out & have fun—I don’t want to show up & have food be the first thing on my mind.

Do you do this sometimes too—have a lil pre-party salad or a quick bite before going out? It works for me!

This salad is also great as a side.

Sometimes we have it with this quick vegan, gluten-free pizza I’ve been making with Siete almond flour tortillas & Miyoko’s fresh vegan mozz (SO good!) I’ve shared it on IG stories a bunch. I’ll share that pizza in a separate post, but you can check it out in my “pizza” IG highlight right now if you want to take a quick look.

Nutrition-wise, this salad is super nutritious, & packed with protein, fiber, & iron.

Garbanzo beans, quinoa, & nutritional yeast are all great sources of protein. Quinoa & nutritional yeast are even complete proteins, which means they provide all 9 essential amino acids that our bodies can’t produce on their own & need to get from our diet. Nutritional yeast, btw, is also a fantastic source of B12. So I POUR IT ON LIKE CRAZY—it’s soo good! & it has a parmesan-like flavor to it, which is very yummy! Especially in this salad with the freshly squeezed lemon juice mixed with it—yummm soo good!

I also love that this salad is filling!

If you make this salad, or a variation of it, share it on Instagram, & tag me @JOYFETTI so I can take a peek—I love seeing your creations!

Chat soon!


+ learn more about quinoa

+ learn more about nutritional yeast (for delicious, parmesan flavor that’s vegan, & also a complete protein w/ vitamin b12 + fiber)

Serving bowls & kitchen tools: