Primavera Salad with Spicy Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Author: Sarah Cobacho

Published: March 8, 2024

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Primavera Quinoa Salad in a big wooden serving bowl

This salad is so delicious I made it 2 days in a row, once as a main and once as a side, and when you know how many salads and recipes we’re testing on a regular basis, it’s a pretty big deal! The combo of beautiful fresh vegetables, with creamy butterbeans, refreshing mint, and filling quinoa, is taken to a whole new level with the dijon chili grapefruit dressing. It’s spicy and tangy and brings a very exciting touch to the salad. It’s my first time using this dressing, but it definitely won’t be the last! Now, you can whisk the ingredients with a fork, but if you have a small blender on hand, I recommend using it for this one. The high speed will emulsify the dressing better and give an almost creamy feel to it.

As always, we’ve carefully chosen the ingredients so you get a balanced, nourishing, and satisfying meal. With over 10 unique plants and 23 g of fiber, this one is definitely a winner for our gut health! Each serving also packs 21 g of protein and healthy fats thanks to the avocado and seeds. This combo of fiber, protein, and healthy fats is exactly what we look for to keep us feeling full and satisfied for hours.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Fiber-Rich: Packed with over 23 g of fiber for optimal gut health.
  • Nutrient-Dense: Over 10 unique plant ingredients offer a wide range of vitamins and minerals.
  • Versatile: Perfect as both a fulfilling main or a refreshing side dish.
  • Unique Dressing: The spicy grapefruit vinaigrette adds an exciting, tangy kick.
  • Easy & Quick: Simple instructions make preparation a breeze.

Ingredient Notes

  • Quinoa: A gluten-free, high-protein grain, quinoa adds a beautiful texture and is an excellent base for the salad.
  • Avocado: Provides healthy fats, making the salad more satisfying and creamy.
  • Butterbeans: Add a creamy texture and are a great source of protein and fiber. Chickpeas or lentils can be substituted.
  • Grapefruit: Offers a refreshing and tangy taste, boosting the salad’s flavor profile with vitamin C. Oranges or tangerines can be swapped in for a sweeter note.
  • Arugula: Adds a peppery flavor, complementing the spicy vinaigrette. Spinach or mixed greens are excellent alternatives.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Start by blanching the asparagus to bring out its vibrant color and tender texture. Cook the corn with smoked paprika, infusing it with a smoky depth. Whisk or blend together the vinaigrette ingredients until emulsified, achieving a creamy consistency. Combine the arugula, quinoa, seasoned corn, blanched asparagus, diced avocado, cucumber, butterbeans, grapefruit, toasted pinenuts, and fresh mint in a large bowl. Dress with the spicy grapefruit vinaigrette, tossing gently to ensure every bite is flavor-packed. Finally, season with salt and pepper to your liking and savor the explosion of tastes and textures.

Variations and Tips

  • Spice Level: Adjust the chili flakes in the vinaigrette to suit your taste for more or less heat.
  • Storage Tip: Keep the dressing separate until ready to serve to maintain the salad’s freshness.
  • Dressing Variation: Experiment with orange or lemon juice for a different citrus twist in the vinaigrette.
  • Herb Refresh: Swap mint with cilantro or dill for a flavor change.

Why You’ll Love This Primavera Salad with Spicy Grapefruit Vinaigrette

  • Refreshing
  • Nutrient-Packed
  • Flavorful
  • Quick & Easy
  • Gut-Friendly
Primavera Quinoa Salad in a big wooden serving bowl

Primavera Salad with Spicy Grapefruit Vinaigrette

5 from 6 votes
A refreshing salad featuring fresh vegetables, creamy butterbeans, quinoa, and a tangy, spicy grapefruit vinaigrette. Perfect as a main or side dish.
Sarah Cobacho (
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time25 minutes


Servings 2



  • 1 bunch asparagus (diced)
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 avocado (diced)
  • 1 cucumber (diced)
  • 1.5 cups cooked butterbeans
  • 2 tbsp toasted pinenuts
  • ½ grapefruit (peeled, and diced)
  • 1 shallot (minced)
  • ½ cup fresh mint (chopped)

Spicy Grapefruit Vinaigrette

  • ½ grapefruit (juiced)
  • ¼ tsp chili flakes (more to taste)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard


  • Blanch the diced asparagus by placing them in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and place in a bowl of ice water until cooled down. Drain again.
  • In a pan on medium heat, cook the corn kernels with 1 tsp of olive oil and the smoked paprika for about 5 minutes, until they are nicely toasted.
  • Blend or whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients until well combined and slightly creamy.
  • In a large bowl, combine the arugula, cooked quinoa, seasoned corn, blanched asparagus, diced avocado, diced cucumber, cooked butterbeans, toasted pinenuts, diced grapefruit, minced shallot, chopped fresh mint, and the prepared vinaigrette. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy your refreshing salad.

Per Serving

Calories 630kcalCarbohydrates 93gProtein 21gFat 27gSodium 598mgFiber 23gVitamin A 288IUVitamin C 60mgCalcium 163mgIron 6mg
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Is this salad gluten-free?

Yes, it’s naturally gluten-free, making it a great option for those with sensitivities.

Can I make this salad ahead of time?

Absolutely! Just keep the dressing separate until you’re ready to serve.

Are there any good substitutes for grapefruit in the vinaigrette?

Oranges or tangerines can be used for a sweeter twist.

Is this salad suitable for vegans?

Yes, it’s 100% plant-based and suitable for vegans.

How can I add more protein to this salad?

Consider adding edamame for a protein boost.

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5 from 6 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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