This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is a budget and family-friendly dish that can serve as both a side and a main course. It takes less than 20 minutes to prep, and the best part? It’s highly adaptable for all the picky eaters you know!
Salads can be tough for families sometimes. You want your loved ones to get the nutrition they need, but at the same time, you have to admit that some salads are a little boring. A few greens and dressing don’t always cut it, and it’s not always particularly satisfying.
Thankfully, this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is filling and full of flavor. Quinoa and veggies tossed with a bright olive oil-based dressing, all homemade? The different textures of the cooked quinoa, chickpeas, vegetables, and nuts, along with the bright and tangy flavors of the dressing, make it a salad that everyone will love. Absolutely perfect taste!
Why You’ll Love This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Quick and easy. This quinoa salad literally only requires 15 minutes of your time. You don’t even need to turn on the oven!
- Perfect to feed a crowd. If you have an event coming up and need to feed a lot of people, this recipe is simple to transport and easily doubles, triples, etc.
- Great for meal prep. You can make this salad in advance and store it in the fridge. Just keep the dressing separate until serving time.
Quinoa Salad: What You’ll Need
For the salad:
- Quinoa: Use cooked white quinoa.
- Vegetables: Red onion, Greek olives, red pepper, English cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and cannellini beans. Make sure the beans are drained and rinsed and all the other veggies are chopped/diced/sliced.
- Feta cheese: You’ll want it crumbled. Its tanginess fits perfectly with quinoa salad in general, and it’s wonderfully Mediterranean, too.
- Garnishes: I use fresh basil and parsley to top off this filling salad.
For the dressing:
- Olive oil: Not much more Mediterranean than olive oil! This is the base of your dressing.
- Seasonings: You’ll use Kosher salt, garlic powder, and freshly cracked pepper to give this dressing the flavor it needs.
- Juice of a lemon: Not lemon juice you buy in a bottle, but the juice from one-half of a fresh lemon. This will bring out a crisp tang in your dressing.
How To Make Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Like all salads, this one is so easy to make it almost feels like cheating – especially for how delicious it is!
- Mix your veggies, including the quinoa and beans. Toss together the quinoa, cannellini beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, red peppers, Greek olives, and red onion.
- Mix and add the dressing. Whisk together the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and lemon juice in a separate bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine it all.
- Add your garnish and cheese. Sprinkle the crumbled feta cheese over the salad and gently toss again. Then garnish with fresh herbs and serve immediately!
Quinoa Salad Variations
You can easily adjust this recipe to fit your family’s needs. Overall, I recommend experimenting with it, depending on what’s fresh and in season where you live.
- Add extra protein. Shrimp, chicken, and chickpeas mix well with this salad.
- Add more greens. I love tossing in some spinach, arugula, or kale; believe it or not, my family loves it, too.
- Switch the cheese to something more vegan-friendly. Dairy-free alternatives will do the trick if you’re not a fan of feta.
- Switch out the quinoa. Don’t like quinoa? Couscous, bulgur wheat, or even farro will become your new best friends in this recipe!
- Switch the cherry tomatoes. Sun-dried tomatoes are a favorite of mine.
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad: FAQs
What utensils will I need to make this Mediterranean quinoa salad?
You will need…
- mixing bowls
- a whisk
- a cutting board
- and a knife
Is this salad a meal or a side dish?
Quinoa salad is versatile, so you can use it either way. It’s filling and satisfying enough to be your main course, but you can also serve it as a companion to a bigger meal.
Can I use raw quinoa?
Don’t use raw quinoa in this salad! Make sure you cook it first.
How should I store leftovers?
Use an airtight container to keep them in the fridge for up to 3 days. Don’t freeze this salad; the vegetables will become mushy and unappetizing.
More Salad Recipes:
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
For the Salad
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the quinoa, cannellini beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, red peppers, Greek olives, and red onion. Toss to combine.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and lemon juice.
- Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss to combine the ingredients together.
- Sprinkle the crumbled feta cheese over the salad, and gently toss again.
- Garnish with fresh herbs and serve immediately.