This citrus flavored shrimp quinoa with spinach salad is a fresh and easy lunch meal prep that you can prep for yourself in less than 20 minutes!
Reasons Why We Love This Shrimp Quinoa Spinach Salad
- This salad has vibrant flavors paired with a powerhouse of nutrients.
- The shrimp and quinoa pack in the protein.
- The combination of the fruity mandarin orange and nutty spinach brings in healthy antioxidants and an array of vitamins and minerals.
- The pecans also provide a good source of protein, healthy fats, and fiber.
Ingredients You Need
- Shrimp: We love using pre-cooked shrimp for salads because it makes meal prep easy. Shrimp is also low calorie, but high in protein.
- Quinoa: You can use any color.
- Spinach: This ingredient is rich in iron, Vitamin C and E, potassium, and magnesium which all contribute to supporting immune function.
- Tomatoes: This fruit adds sweet and tangy flavors and it’s also good for protecting heart health.
- Mandarin Oranges: You can use fresh oranges or any other citrus fruit such as grapefruit.
- Pecans: We love adding nuts to our salads to add a crunchy texture but it is also a good source of healthy fat.
- Vinaigrette: We made a homemade vinaigrette with the ingredients used in this recipe, but you can also use your choice of store-bought vinaigrette.
How to Make Shrimp Quinoa Spinach Salad
- First, prepare the quinoa in boiling water on the stovetop.
- While the quinoa is cooking, you can mix together the ingredients for the homemade vinaigrette.
- After the quinoa cooks, let it cool for a few minutes.
- Then, in a mixing bowl, mix together all of the ingredients and drizzle them with the vinaigrette.
Reference the recipe card below for detailed instructions.
Meal Prep Tips for Citrus Shrimp Quinoa Salad
- Ingredient Tips: If you are using frozen pre-cooked shrimp, it is best to defrost the shrimp in the refrigerator the night before for the best quality.
- Batch Cooking Tips: We often use quinoa in meal prep, so you can also make a bigger batch in advance and freeze it in an air-tight container and store it up in the freezer for up to 3 months. All you have to do is defrost it as needed for your weekly meal prep.
- Storage: This meal can be stored in a meal in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. However, do not pour the vinaigrette over the salad until you are ready to eat the meal so that it does not get too soggy.
- To Serve: This meal can be served chilled.
- Extra Ingredients: Leftover oranges can be used in smoothies, and pecans can be used up in baked goods or eaten as a snack. Use shrimp in other recipes such as pasta, soft tacos, or roasted veggies.
Citrus Shrimp Quinoa Spinach Salad
- cutting board
- mixing bowls
- boiling pot
- 1/3 cup dried quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 12 oz large shrimp (frozen, pre-cooked, peeled & deveined)
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 1 roma tomato (diced)
- 1 cup mandarin oranges (drained)
- 2 tablespoon pecans (chopped)
- 2 lemons (juiced)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a boiling pot. Add the quinoa and lower the heat to medium. Cover the pot with a lid and cook for 15 minutes. After it cooks, fluff with a fork and let it cool
- In a mixing bowl, add the juice of two lemons with olive oil, dijon mustard, honey, and the seasonings. Whisk together until the dressing is well blended
- Defrost the shrimp according to the packaged instructions
- In a bowl, add the shrimp, quinoa, spinach, diced tomatoes, and mandarin oranges, and chopped pecans
- Pour over the dressing and mix all the components together
Frequently Asked Questions
How to make quinoa taste good?
Use strong seasonings such as garlic powder, fresh herbs, and bold citrus flavors to boost the flavor of quinoa.
Is shrimp good for you?
Shrimp is low in calories yet rich in nutrients making it a great weight loss protein option. It is less than 100 calories for a 3 oz serving and provides about 20g of protein.
Is shrimp high in cholesterol?
A 3 oz serving contains 161 mg of cholesterol which makes most believe that it could easily increase the cholesterol in your blood. However, it also contains omega-3 fatty acids that promote heart health, and if eaten in moderation, it can be incorporated as part of a healthy and balanced diet.