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Last Updated on September 26, 2020 by Ellen Christian
You are going to love this easy quinoa salad recipe! Make this healthy salad with cucumber, tomato, and feta cheese today and see.
It’s the time of year when it is absolutely too hot to heat up the kitchen by turning the stove on! When it gets this hot, I send my husband outside to grill the main entree. And, I start looking for an easy cold salad recipe to accompany it.
Quinoa Salad Recipe
We do a bunch of cookouts in the summertime and it seems like I am always being asked to bring a salad of some sort. Because Sarah is gluten intolerant, I tend to avoid pasta salads and because I’m watching my weight, anything mayonnaise-based is too tempting for me to bring along.
I like a change from a garden salad because those don’t really tend to fill me up all that way. This salad will make a perfect gluten-free quinoa salad recipe. It’s served chilled so it’s great to make ahead of time.
It’s too early to find any local cucumbers or tomatoes here in Vermont but if your garden is flourishing, this is a great way to use up a few too many fresh veggies. I am always looking for recipes to use up extra produce and this quinoa salad recipe is a great solution.
What is the best dressing for quinoa salad?
Because the grains of quinoa are so tiny, I avoid any dressing that is too heavy. Rather than using mayonnaise or something heavy like ranch, I prefer a light olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing. It adds a delicious flavor to the salad.
What is quinoa salad made of?
Every quinoa salad recipe is a little bit different. Typically, the salad will include quinoa, small chunks of fresh garden vegetables, some type of cubed cheese and dressing. In this case, it includes cucumber, tomato, olive, onion, feta cheese, and an oil and vinegar dressing.
How to make this quinoa salad vegan
I love adding cheese to my salads but if you want to make this quinoa salad vegan, simply leave out the feta cheese. You can add a vegan cheese alternative if you’d like to give that a try. I am not sure how it would taste but it would work if you really want to add a cheese alternative.
This is a delicious gluten-free quinoa salad recipe that is good for you. It’s easy to make ahead of time and relatively inexpensive as well. It could easily make a light lunch or you could serve it along with meat if you’d prefer. Serve it in a lettuce cup, hollowed out tomato or an avocado half to dress it up.
Quinoa salad dressing
As I mentioned, this quinoa salad recipe uses olive oil and red white vinegar. It’s very simple to make from scratch. However, if you prefer to start with a ready-made salad dressing, I would recommend that you use Annies Organic. You can find it in most grocery stores or on Amazon. I really love the taste. It’s one of my favorite oil and vinegar dressings. Or, you might want to try my raspberry vinaigrette dressing.
Quinoa bean salad
So, if you enjoy cold bean salads, there is no reason why you cannot add a can of black beans to this quinoa salad recipe. Just be sure that you rinse the beans off very well before you add them. It really gives the meal an entirely different taste and texture.
How long does quinoa salad last in the fridge?
This quinoa salad recipe will last for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator. Be sure that you keep it in a tightly covered glass dish. And, stir it well before you serve it. If it looks dry, you can add a tiny bit more olive and vinegar dressing to it before you serve it.
Fun fact: Did you know that although we prepare quinoa like a grain, it is actually a seed? And, it contains saponin which can give it a bitter taste. To remove the bitter taste, rinse it under cold running water. You will need to use a mesh sieve since the grains are so tiny.
Here are a few more easy quinoa salad recipes you might want to try.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water
- 1 large cucumber, seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
- 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ½ cup kalamata olives, quartered
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Fresh black pepper, optional
1. Heat two cups water to boiling. Add salt.
2. Rinse quinoa thoroughly and add to boiling water. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Set aside for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork.
3. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, cucumber, onion, tomatoes, cheese, and olives.
4, In a bowl or mason jar, mix together garlic, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, olive oil, and pepper. Whisk (or shake) until blended. Pour over salad and toss to combine.
5. Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed. Serve warm or cold based on your preference.
You are going to love this easy quinoa salad recipe! It's the time of year when it is absolutely too hot to heat up the kitchen by turning the stove on!
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 193Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 545mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 4g
Ellen is a busy mom of a 22-year-old son and 27-year-old daughter. She owns 5 blogs and is addicted to social media. She believes that it doesn’t have to be difficult to lead a healthy life. She shares simple healthy living tips to show busy women how to lead fulfilling lives. If you’d like to work together, email firstname.lastname@example.org to chat.