This Mediterranean quinoa salad is fresh, flavorful, and packed with vegetables. It is perfect for picnics, potlucks, and barbecues because the flavor improves over time.
I first created this salad as a gluten-free alternative to tabbouleh. However, I’ve been making it for many years, and over that time it has changed into a dish that is entirely its own creation. It is one of our favorite summer salads, and a great way to feature fresh and ripe tomatoes.
Mediterranean quinoa salad For Dinner
I love serving hearty salads for dinner. They are the summer equivalent of soup, everything you need in one simple dish. And the leftovers are perfect for a healthy lunch.
Quinoa is an ideal base for a hearty salad. It’s packed full of fiber and protein.
Feel free to mix and match ingredients in this simple salad. It’s fine to add whatever vegetables you happen to have in the fridge. Or to skip the cheese for a dairy-free and vegan version.
Here are a few added ingredients that I often include in my Mediterranean quinoa salad.
- Toasted sunflower seeds are perfect for making sure this dish is a complete vegetarian protein. They’re also deliciously nutty and crunchy. Add them after serving the salad, as they will go soft if mixed into the dressing.
- Chickpeas are another great option for adding protein to this salad.
- Eating a rainbow of vegetables is a great way to make sure you’re getting all your vitamins. Feel free to add whatever you happen to have in your fridge. It’s delicious with chopped sweet peppers, grated carrot, steamed broccoli, or ripped-up kale.
- Kalamata olives can be added whole or sliced. They will add to the depth of flavor and are a good vegan alternative to feta.
- Toss with salad greens for a fresh and light meal.
A Mediterranean Meal
The simple salad is also perfect as part of a Mediterranean-inspired meal.
- Serve it as part of a meze platter with pita, hummus and tzatziki.
- Make a deconstructed falafel plate with pickled turnips.
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
This Mediterranean-inspired quinoa salad is full of the fresh flavors of tomatoes, parsley, and feta. It is a quick and easy dish for picnics and barbecues.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4-6 1x
- Category: Salad
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 1 cup of dried quinoa
- 2 cups of water
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 clove of minced garlic (optional)
- 1 cup of chopped tomatoes (about 3 Roma tomatoes, deseeded)
- 1/2 cup of chopped cucumber (about 1 small, snacking cucumber)
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 3 diced spring onions
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- See the section above for other additions
- Rinse and drain the quinoa. Place the quinoa in a pot with the water. Bring to a boil and simmer until it is cooked but not soft, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a large bowl.
- Once the quinoa has finished cooking, gently toss it in the salad dressing. Allow it to cool before adding the toppings.
- Add the toppings, mix well. Taste, and adjust the salt as necessary.
- Top with the crumbled feta and serve.
- I recommend soaking quinoa prior to cooking as it reduces the bitterness. I also like using a rice cooker to cook quinoa so that I don’t have to keep track of it while I prep the rest of the salad.
- Raw garlic can be a bit strong for some people. It helps to mix it into the freshly drained quinoa, so the residual heat can cook it a bit. However, feel free to skip it.
- If you’re a real fermentation foodie, use homemade kefir cheese instead of the feta!
Keywords: gluten free, vegetarian, tabbouleh, egg free, sugar free, soy free, nut free, summer, spring, fall