Loaded with the nutrients of vegetables along with a zesty and flavourful dressing, Mediterranean Quinoa Salad, is a delicious salad that can be made in under 10 minutes. Serve it on its own or a side dish for your weekend brunch.
About This Recipe
This Mediterranean Salad with Quinoa is easy to make and light summer salad that has tasty Mediterranean flavors.
This salad hardly takes 10 minutes to get ready, if you have ingredients ready at your kitchen counter. If you think the salad is so easy to make, wait till you see the zesty dressing recipe, it’s even easier than that.
If you are looking for a non-vegetarian version of this salad, you can even add shredded chicken or pieces of grilled chicken in this salad. To make a vegan version of the same, substitute feta cheese with avocados for that soft texture in the salad.
This Quinoa Salad is
- Have Punchy Flavours
- Crowd Pleaser
- Great for Meal prep
- Easy to make
Here are some more Salad Recipes, that you can make for your light meals – Watermelon Feta Salad, Thai Watermelon Salad, Malaysian Ripe Mango Salad, Summer Fruit Salad, Greek Salad, and Mediterranean Warm Potato Salad.
This is an easy salad that gets ready in just 10 minutes. The only thing that takes time is to prep for this salad, such as get the ingredients ready, chop the vegetables, boil the chickpeas, and cook the quinoa.
You can leave the ingredients which you don’t like or which are not easily available to you.
For this salad, we will need:
Quinoa – It is one of those food ingredients that is becoming very popular recently due to its nutritional benefits. High in Protein, it is a great substitute for rice too.
Chickpeas – Another source of protein, chickpeas add a nice soft crunch to this salad. Soak them overnight and boil until they become soft.
Veggies – For the veggies, I have used cherry tomatoes, cucumber, onion, red bell pepper, and parsley. You can even add red onion, green bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, carrot, corn, etc.
You can add any greens of your choice such as Arugula, Spinach, Kale, Chard, Mixed Greens, etc in this salad.
Olives – Olives adds a great taste to this salad, so don’t miss on this one.
Feta Cheese – Crumbled soft feta cheese is a must in Mediterranean dishes. If you are looking for a vegan option, you can skip this ingredient.
Pine Nuts – These are a must for the crunch, but if you don’t have pine nuts, you can even add walnuts or almonds to this salad.
Dressing – To make this salad full of flavor, here we have a simple dressing that is made with the combination of just 5 ingredients – extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar. Crushed garlic can also be added in the dressing if you like garlicky flavor in your salads.
Step By Step Recipe
Add all the ingredients to make the salad except feta cheese and pine nuts in a bowl and mix well.
Add the dressing ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.
Top the salad with feta cheese and pine nuts just before serving.
Health Benefits of Quinoa
There are many health benefits of Quinoa, making it a great option to include in your everyday meals.
- It is high in protein, which keeps you filled for a longer time when eaten for your meals.
- Quinoa is also one of the plant foods that contain an adequate amount of all nine essential amino acids.
- It is also rich in fiber, magnesium, vitamin B, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E, and various other beneficial antioxidants.
Frequently Asked Questions
Quinoa is a little tricky to cook and you will get the perfect technique when you try it for 2 to 3 times.
Wash the quinoa for about 3 to 4 times, to wash the bitterness of its outer coating.
Here, I will tell you the ratio of water to quinoa to cook 1 cup quinoa. You need about 1-1/2 cup water for 1 cup quinoa. 1 cup quinoa, fluffs up after cooking, and gives you 3 cups of cooked quinoa.
Make sure you don’t overcook it, as it will not taste good in the salad. It takes about 20 minutes to cook quinoa in a pan. You can also cook it in a pressure cooker with the same water ratio.
Check out my most favorite way to cooking quinoa in Instant Pot.
If you have leftovers, you can store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for about 3 days. This salad actually tastes better the next day, when the vegetables soak up the dressing nicely.
I would not recommend you to freeze this salad, as if you freeze it, the freshness and the texture will not remain the same. Instead, you can cook the quinoa and freeze it. Stir up the vegetables and feta cheese in the quinoa when you want to serve the salad.
Yes, you can definitely add the mixed color quinoa to this Mediterranean quinoa salad, it will lend a beautiful color and nuttier taste to the salad.
I personally like to use English cucumber in this salad as it is sweeter, the skin is less waxy and it is seedless. However, you can use any cucumber that is easily available to you.
Apart from the ingredients mentioned in the recipe, you can also add these to this salad
Soft or Hard Boiled Eggs
Nuts like Almonds, Walnuts or Pecan.
Make it with 3 beans instead of just garbanzo. Add cannellini beans and greens as well.
Add roasted peppers instead of raw.
Replace feta cheese with avocado to make this salad vegan.
Add shredded boiled or grilled chicken or even shrimp.
This delicious and full of flavor Mediterranean style Quinoa Salad tastes great on its own for a light lunch or dinner.
It is even great to serve as a side dish along with grilled chicken or fish, and also great for backyard parties, potluck, dinner parties, and BBQs. You can even serve it as a side with your Continental brunches.
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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Recipe
- 2 cups Quinoa (Cooked)
- 1 cup Chickpeas (Cooked)
- 1/2 cup Red Bell Pepper (Cubed)
- 1/2 cup Cucumber (Cubed)
- 1/2 cup Grape Tomatoes (Cut into half)
- 1/2 cup Onions (Chopped)
- 1/2 cup Kalamata Olives (Pitted and sliced)
- 2 tbsp Parsley (Finely chopped)
- 50 g Feta Cheese
- 1/4 cup Pine Nuts (Roasted)
For the Dressing
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- Salt & Pepper
- Add all the ingredients to make the salad except feta cheese and pine nuts in a bowl and mix well.
- Add the dressing ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.
- Top the salad with feta cheese and pine nuts just before serving.