Whole Food’s California Quinoa Salad

A healthy, nutritious copycat recipe that you can make right at home, loaded with sweet mango, bell peppers, edamame and coconut!

Whole Food's California Quinoa Salad - A healthy, nutritious copycat recipe that tastes 1000x better than the store-bought version!

Have you ever tried Whole Food’s California Quinoa Salad? I’ve tried it a few times and I finally got around to make it at home. And to my surprise, the homemade version is so much better.

Whole Food's California Quinoa Salad - A healthy, nutritious copycat recipe that tastes 1000x better than the store-bought version!

Now I love copycat recipes because you gain full control of what’s in your dish, and you can cherry pick some of the ingredients to your preferences. So for me, I added extra mangos and extra coconut because the tropical twist in this is just amazing!

Whole Food's California Quinoa Salad - A healthy, nutritious copycat recipe that tastes 1000x better than the store-bought version!

There’s also tons of other fun goodies in this salad – from the raisins to the edamame and the tangy balsamic-lime dressing. Yes, it’s definitely a party flavor with every bite!

Whole Food's California Quinoa Salad - A healthy, nutritious copycat recipe that tastes 1000x better than the store-bought version!

Plus, this is incredibly healthy and nutritious, and certainly bikini-friendly. You can’t beat that!

Whole Food’s California Quinoa Salad

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 10 minutes

Total Time 20 minutes

Yield 4 servings

Whole Food’s California Quinoa Salad

A healthy, nutritious copycat recipe that you can make right at home, loaded with sweet mango, bell peppers, edamame and coconut!


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup shelled edamame
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  • In a large saucepan of 2 cups water, cook quinoa according to package instructions; set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar and lime zest; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine quinoa, mango, bell pepper, edamame, red onion, coconut flakes, almonds, raisins and cilantro. Pour the balsamic vinegar mixture on top of the salad and gently toss to combine.
  • Serve immediately.



Why It’s A Smart Choice

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Servings Per Container 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 351.2 Calories from Fat 92.7
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10.3g 16%
Saturated Fat 3.8g 19%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 16.9mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 56.9g 19%
Dietary Fiber 7.7g 31%
Sugars 20.6g
Protein 10.7g 21%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Quinoa is a great grain alternative for those following a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. The protein in quinoa is complete, meaning that it contains all the essential protein building blocks (called amino acids) that our bodies need. Quinoa is also a good source of iron, zinc, magnesium, and manganese.

Nutritional information provided by Jessica Penner, RD at Smart Nutrition.


  1. says

    Not to mention that it tastes better, you can control the exact ratios of ingredients, but hello money savings! Love WFs but not the prices of their deli stuff. You could go broke to feed a family dinner in there! Great recipe and idea!

  2. says

    Oh my! This looks amazing, and thumbs up for adding a little extra of the tropical things, so delicious and colourful! I just wish we could get proper shelled edamame here, have only found tiny snack boxes of them or canned ones, but they’re just not the same! Will have to give this a go :)

  3. says

    I’m hooked on so many things at Whole Foods but I haven’t gotten around to trying their version of this salad. This looks so colorful and satisfying, and that balsamic-lime dressing sounds delicious!

  4. Gordon says

    After bariatric surgery for weight loss, I started to build a salad from quinoa on up. It was lacking, but the significant protein in the quinoa was worth a try. This recipe fills in the gaps, holes if you will, in my recipe. Can’t wait to try it. Oh, and BTW, don’t believe it when the company says it is Pre-Washed! Wash it regardless of what they print on the package.

  5. Kerri says

    Made this with cous-cous instead of quinoa for some picky family members and it was a huge hit. Making it again with the quinoa for a GF friend this week.

  6. Ste Lo says

    I love this Salad! We do not have a WF here (I live in the middle of nowhere!) so I am totally digging the copy-cat recipes. Thanks :)

  7. Hilary says

    So good! I omitted the bell pepper and edamame and used chopped almonds instead of sliced. I replaced the like zest with the juice of half a like. Definitely making again! I also soaked the quinoa for about 4 hours prior since it usually upsets my stomach otherwise.

  8. Debbie Lale says

    This is the best Quinoa salad I have ever made and I have made quite a few. So many delicious ingredients that go so well together. Love it!
    Thanks for the recipe!

    • Chungah says

      Jessica, you will be starting with uncooked quinoa, and cooking it to package instructions as indicated in the first step of the recipe.

  9. Mocha says

    Does anyone have any recipes on couscous salads. Tried it at an organic market in Point Reyes California, it was the best!!

  10. Joyce says

    I made this today and followed the recipe exactly but it was a little bitter from the zest. Maybe I put too much? I put in the zest of two whole limes. Also, it turned out really dark because of the balsamic vinegar. A lot darker than your picture. I even put in a little less than 1/4 cup.

    • Chungah says

      Joyce, how much quinoa did you use? The recipe calls for 1 cup uncooked quinoa, which should have yield about 3 cups cooked.

  11. Melissa says

    Is the balsamic vinegar quantity accurate? I just made this and it’s way too overwhelming and tart – cannot enjoy all the lovely ingredients in the salad.

    • Chungah says

      Yes, the measurements are accurate, but please feel free to adjust the amounts as needed to suit your taste preferences. That’s the beauty of home cooking! :)

  12. says

    I really love salad! I want to try about quinoa salad so I took time to find some recipe. I found bunch and one of them was yours, but I want to try your recipe since I love almonds, raisins and mango and your recipe has those. I am excited to make this! :)

  13. says

    Quinoa is loaded with protein and fiber. I tried it before but doesn’t taste good. But your recipe looks good. I’ll probably try it! Can’t find cilantro leave: Would it be good to use parsley instead of cilantro leave?

  14. Susan Stone says

    I just made this and it is so good! All of the recipes that I have tried from this site have been great! I am slowly making my way through the list. Thank you! You are awesome:)

  15. says

    Chungah! I love you! Everything I have made from your blog has been incredible (I was caught shame-eating the sriracha cream sauce from the teriyaki salmon straight outta the fridge last week). I’ve been shopping at whole foods since forever, but somehow managed to pass over this salad until last week. I didn’t realize when I bought it that it had the coconut and mango, so was excited to discover that… and then while browsing your site for dinners this week became even MORE excited that you had a copy cat recipe!!!!!! Quinoa is cooking as I type, super pumped to make this tonight! Thanks for sharing your talents!!

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