Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

by | Mar 31, 2016 | All, Side Dishes

Filled with protein and made with pantry staples, this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is a tasty light lunch or perfect side dish to any meal!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad recipe in glass serving bowl with small bowl on side for eating.

 

I’m always trying to get more whole grains into our regular menu rotation and this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad has become a family favorite! I’m lucky that my family loves olives and will eat them in anything. But really, who wouldn’t love a quinoa salad filled with red onion, red pepper, tomatoes, kalamata olives and feta cheese? The fact I can make it ahead of time is just the icing on the cake. 

This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad has so many great flavors in one bite and is finished off with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and cilantro….Delish! Quinoa itself doesn’t have much flavor; it’s what you put with it that gives it the flavor. I’ve found that letting the quinoa cool to room temperature and then adding the red wine vinegar and olive oil before all of the other ingredients really lets the flavors seep into the quinoa.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad in a glass bowl on a dark background garnished with sliced grape tomatoes.

A flavorful quinoa salad can’t be beaten. Serve it for lunch, as a side with dinner or as a quick after-school snack. It keeps well in the fridge and can be eaten at room temperature or cold. All great options when trying to please a family. 

This salad is super easy to customize for your family. Italian parsley makes a tasty substitution for the cilantro! Don’t have any feta on hand? Use some fresh mozzarella or shredded parmesan instead!

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mediterranean quinoa salad in a glass serving bowl with wooden spoons for serving on a dark grey background.

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Top down image of Mediterranean Quinoa Salad in a glass serving bowl on a dark grey background with wooden spoons for serving. Garnished with fresh cilantro and sliced tomatoes.

Yield: 8 cups

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad recipe in glass serving bowl with small bowl on side for eating.

A quinoa salad filled with olives, red onion, tomatoes, and feta cheese.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • Juice of one lemon

Instructions

  1. Bring quinoa and water to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or until water is absorbed in quinoa. Fluff with a fork and cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the oil and vinegar and let quinoa come to room temperature.
  3. Add onion, tomatoes, pepper, olives, cilantro, and salt and pepper. Stir gently. Add feta cheese and gently combine. Chill for 2 hours to let flavors combine. Squeeze lemon juice over salad right before serving to brighten flavors.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 195Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 435mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 5g

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This make ahead Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is a tasty light lunch or perfect side dish. A family favorite recipe that is filled with protein!

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31 Comments

  1. Avatar

    I love quinoa. I recently made a quinoa salad but this version looks even tastier. I am so impressed with your blog. The recipes are amazing, as is the photography. I literally read through the whole thing tonight! Keep up the great work!

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Wow, what a compliment! Thanks so much for your kind feedback! I’m so happy you found us!

      Reply
  2. Avatar

    This looks delicious! I’m a huge fan of Greek flavors and ingredients, so this is right up my alley. I’ll definitely be making this for my family! 🙂

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Aren’t Greek flavors amazing? I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Avatar

    I made this for dinner last night, and it was amazing! So easy and delicious. Can’t wait to make it again for summer picnics/bbq’s, and impress family and friends.

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Hi Katie, Thanks! Glad you liked it. It is even better the next day! Enjoy!

      Reply
  4. Avatar

    This was great!

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Thanks, Dawn!

      Reply
  5. Avatar

    This recipe looks delicious! We just got a rice cooker (which makes cooking quinoa easy, too!) and I am in search of a nice quinoa salad recipe. I’m definitely going to try yours! Beautiful photos, too. 🙂

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Hi Annie! How fun to have a rice cooker-this salad is even better the next day! So happy you like the pictures 🙂

      Reply
  6. Avatar

    I found a great grain combo at Trader Joes, actually two that my husband doesn’t complain too much about eating! The first is a brown rice medley with long grain brown rice, black barley and daikon radish seeds. It’s great just served as a side instead of white rice. The second, which I really love, is called Harvest Grains Blend. It has a combo of Israeli style couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans and red quinoa. It is delish served hot (cooked in chicken broth) with a good addition of fresh parmesan, or cold as a “pasta” salad. I think it would be great with your greek ingredients.

    Reply
  7. Avatar

    When cooking quinoa I use low sodium chicken stock and dry basil to cook the quinoa in. It adds great flavor to the quinoa.

    Reply
  8. Avatar

    This is the first time I’ve made quinoa and this recipe was fabulous. I’ve already bought the ingredients to make it again!

    Reply
    • Avatar

      I’m so glad it was a hit! Love healthy salads 🙂

      Reply
  9. Avatar

    Thank you for this recipe. I’ve been buying almost this exact salad from a stall in our local farmer’s market and I’ve been dying to make it myself because it’s so tasty and healthy. This randomly came up in my Facebook feed today so I can’t wait to try to make it myself.

    Reply
    • Avatar

      I’m so glad you found us! Let us know how it turns out 🙂

      Reply
      • Avatar

        Sorry to take so long to reply. It turned out great. I just popped back to check the recipe as I haven’t made it over the winter but am ready for something lighter like this again and came back to check the recipe before I make it. The version I made was just as good as what I bought so I’m thrilled to be able to make my own.

        Reply
  10. Avatar

    This sounds just like the couscous salad (Taboulé) I often make in summer! But I think quinoa has more fiber and so I´ll definitely give it a try! 🙂
    For anyone lacking time (as I often do) couscous is a great alternative for a quick meal, as it only needs to be soaked and you can quit the cooking time … 😉

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Thanks for the tip! Quick salads are the best!

      Reply
  11. Avatar

    This looks delish! Can it be made a day ahead? Anything you would change in order to do so? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Yes, it can definitely be made a day ahead. It will keep for a few days in the refrigerator beautifully!

      Reply
  12. Avatar

    What a terrific salad! I adore quinoa!!!

    Reply
  13. Avatar

    I’ve made this dish several times. I love it! Has anyone ever figured out the nutritional information? I’d like to figure out the points for a Weight Watchers.

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Hi Denise, We don’t offer nutritional information on the recipes because we are not dietitians, and it can vary by brand used. Here is a tool that can help you figure it out, https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/myrecipe.aspx. Hope this helps. 🙂

      Reply
  14. Avatar

    Found your recipe on Pinterest when looking for a quinoa salad to take for work lunches. I made it last night and I am eating the first serving now. I’m not usually one to leave comments but I had to write and thank you for sharing this delightful recipe. It is easy to make and way beyond phenomenal! Thanks so much for sharing!!

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Hi Danielle, Thank you for taking the time to comment! I’m so happy you like this salad, it’s one of our favorites. Reminds me that I should make it this week!

      Reply
  15. Avatar

    What is the quantity of red wine vinegar for this recipe? Above shows ‘?’ rather than a number…

    Reply
    • Avatar

      It’s fixed! Thanks for catching that, it should be 1/3 cup of red wine vinegar

      Reply
  16. Avatar

    Going to try this Mediterranean
    Quinoa Salad. It sounds so yummy. I’ve been looking for a good recipe. Thanks

    Reply
  17. Avatar

    Wow ! This was amazing . I love the Greek flavor. Thanks for sharing !

    Reply
  18. Avatar

    I’ve made this dozens of times over the years. I always come back to it. I love to make a bowl and use it for lunches over the next few days. Since I like to let it sit, I leave the tomato out. Just because I don’t think it’ll be as good a few days later and also my husband isn’t a huge fresh tomato fan. Today I made it and realized that I had only about a TBSP of red wine vinegar. I subbed half white wine vinigar and balsamic vinegar (not sweet) and it was just as good.

    Reply

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