Super simple to make and bursting with flavor, this mango quinoa salad with shrimp is the perfect make ahead meal! It is a great cold salad for toddlers and older children.
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- Cook quinoa and place in the fridge.
- Chop mango and vegetables.
- Cook shrimp.
- Make the dressing.
- Toss all the ingredients together.
Tips for Success
Make this in advance as the flavors will meld and become more delicious in the fridge. I can't emphasize this enough! I actually make it the night before to enjoy the next day, but at the very least, make it several hours prior to eating.
Hold off on adding the shrimp until ready to serve. Same for the avocado as it will discolor and get mushy.
As for the mango, if it is really ripe then hold off and add with the avocado. Firmer mangoes will work better for this salad.
Quinoa salad for babies
I wouldn't serve this salad to babies as it has a lot of raw vegetables. But you can serve components of it so they can enjoy this meal alongside everyone else.
Mash the avocado and combine with quinoa to prevent the tiny grains from flying everywhere (been there). You can also add finely chopped shrimp and serve a big stick of mango on the side - since it's quite slippery, try coating with hemp or flax seeds. Will boost nutrition too!
Here are our favorite baby's plates, bowls, and spoons.
How to serve to toddlers
Run your knife through the mixture to make sure there are no large pieces of shrimp and vegetables.
If your child has a difficult time using their spoon or prefers to eat with their hands, combine the salad with mashed avocado to help bind the quinoa.
If your child is not a fan of mixed dishes, try serving it deconstructed. Set aside a small portion of quinoa, veggies, mango, shrimp, and dressing before combining everything for the rest of the family.
Allow your child to have full control over how they want to assemble.
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Frequently Asked Questions
You can use any! The big difference is the texture. Red and tricolor ones are firmer in texture and also tend to be a bit more bitter. I like to use white quinoa when enjoying with my baby because it gets soft and fluffy once cooked.
Of course! corn, colored bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, cooked sweet potatoes...all delicious!
Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. I wouldn't freeze this.
Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!
Mango Quinoa Salad with shrimp
- 1 cup (195g) quinoa, raw
- 1 ripe mango, diced
- 1 cup (130g) cucumber, diced
- ¾ cup (100g) cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
- ½ cup (60g) red onion, finely chopped
- 15 oz can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
- ¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- ½ teaspoon lime zest
- 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
To be added right before serving
- 2 avocados, diced
- 1 pound shrimp, cooked
- Cook quinoa: rinse using a fine-mesh strainer. Bring quinoa and 2 cups of water to boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it stand for 5 minutes, covered. Use fork to fluff. Refrigerate.
- In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice and zest, oil, cumin, and chili powder. Add to the large bowl and mix well. It is best served cold so plan on making several hours prior to eating.
- In a large bowl, add the quinoa and mangoes, vegetables, and beans. Gently toss with dressing.
- Refrigerate for at least several hours prior to serving. Overnight if able.
- Add avocado and cooked shrimp right before enjoying.
- Feel free to use whatever vegetables you wish.
- Can also substitute shrimp with other protein.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
This post was first published in 2013 and has been updated with more detailed instructions and serving suggestions for babies and kids.