by Olena

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

by Olena

5 from 15 reviews

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with tomato, cucumber, feta cheese and olives. Packed with protein, fiber and so much flavour!

If you love quinoa like we do, check out kale and quinoa salad and Southwest quinoa salad. Our favourites!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad in a bowl with serving spoons

Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean quinoa salad with tomato, cucumber, feta cheese and Kalamata olives. Packed with protein, fiber and flavor it makes easy healthy dinner, meal prep for the week (place in Mason jars for lunches) or bring to a potluck.

Hooray for summer when we can eat salads and don’t feel cold!

Why Quinoa Is Good For You?

Do you feel like the hype over quinoa and kale are over? Me too. I think these 2 food items either have become staples for those who like them or have been gladly forgotten. And I’m so happy we are at this stage of new normalcy because social media stopped screaming that kale is a cure for all or is a life threatening vegetable.

Quinoa (pronounced “keenwah”) is one of few plant-based foods that is a source of complete protein that contains 9 essential amino acids. Our bodies can’t produce it, so this quality is especially important for vegans and vegetarians. Quinoa is also very high in fiber, manganese and has low glycemic index.

Easy Ingredients

This easy quinoa salad is a spin off of a Greek salad. All there is to it:

  • Tomato
  • Cucumber
  • Bell pepper
  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Red onion
  • Feta cheese
  • Olive oil, cumin, parsley and lemon juice.

Tip: You can wing this cold quinoa salad depending on the contents in your fridge. Use lime juice or any vinegar instead of lemon, goat cheese in place of feta, and green onion or cilantro replaces parsley beautifully.

quinoa, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, feta cheese and olives in a bowl for easy quinoa salad

How to Make Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Healthy summer quinoa salad is the best way to use up leftover quinoa. If you don’t happen to have any, you can cook quinoa 2 ways.

2 Ways to Cook Quinoa for the Salad

  • Stovetop: I personally like to cook quinoa with a ratio of 1 cup dry quinoa to 1.5 cups water. Unlike most packages that state 1:2 ratio. Bring to a boil, cook on low for 12 minutes, let stand for 5 minutes and fluff. This way quinoa comes out less mushy.
  • Instant Pot: I’m obsessed with Instant Pot quinoa. It takes 30 seconds of prep and I walk away. Quinoa comes out fluffy and each grain separate after 9 minutes.

cooked quinoa with a fork in a pot

Types of Quinoa You Can Use

For best quinoa salad, I would recommend to use white, red or tri-colour quinoa. Most common quinoa is white quinoa. I specifically like the addition of red quinoa in a salad (tri-colour mix would have it) because its seed has a harder outer shell. It also has more earthy and sweeter taste.

You can cook a bunch of quinoa in advance, freeze and thaw as needed. Perfect thing to do in summer. Again, highly recommend the pressure cooker quinoa haha.

Does Quinoa Salad Go Bad?

The beauty of this quinoa cucumber feta salad is that it tastes better with each day. As grains soak up the olive oil, cumin and lemon juices, salad gains more and more flavor. I would say it is good for up to 3 days refrigerated.

Make ahead? Sure. Add all ingredients to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Stir right before serving.

quinoa salad served in a bowl and garnished with lime

Need More Cold Quinoa Salad Recipes?

Print

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

mediterranean quinoa salad

5 from 15 reviews

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with tomato, cucumber, feta cheese and olives. Packed with protein, fiber and so much flavor!

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Cook + Chop
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa, dry
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 long English cucumber, chopped
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 large avocado, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup parsley or cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 20 Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 lemon or lime, juice of
  • 1 tbsp cumin, ground
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa as per package instructions or… Stovetop: I personally like to cook quinoa with a ratio of 1 cup dry quinoa to 1.5 cups water. Unlike most packages that state 1:2 ratio. Bring to a boil, cook on low for 12 minutes, let stand for 5 minutes and fluff. This way quinoa comes out less mushy. Instant Pot: I’m obsessed with Instant Pot quinoa. It takes 30 seconds of prep and I walk away. Quinoa comes out fluffy and each grain separate after 9 minutes.
  2. In a large salad bowl, add tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, avocado, onion, cilantro, feta cheese, olives, lime juice, oil, cumin, salt and pepper.
  3. Fluff quinoa with a fork and add to the bowl. Stir gently to combine and serve cold or warm.

Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 2 days.

Make Ahead: Add all ingredients to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Stir right before serving.

Notes

You can wing this cold quinoa salad depending on the contents in your fridge. Use lime juice or any vinegar instead of lemon, goat cheese in place of feta, and green onion or cilantro replaces parsley beautifully.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

44 comments on “Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

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  1. Another salad we really enjoyed.Adding the quinoa was a fantastic idea. Love this ingedient and we will be making this one again too! Thanks for sharing.:-)

  2. This recipe is the best quinoa salad I’ve had. Wonderful flavor! I added some left over garbanzo beans and used goat cheese, since that’s what I had on hand. This is what’s for dinner tonight! Thank you!

  3. As usual, a brilliant recipe. I cooked the quinoa in a pressure cooker, so easy. Only the second time I’ve cooked it. Before I followed the packet instructions and managed to burn it!

  4. Delish! Made it with all the ingredients mentioned & it turned out yummy!
    Thank you!

  5. Made this and love it! Now that’s it’s getting hot I can make this without turning on the stove. Bursting with fresh flavor, filling and satisfying.

  6. Really enjoyed this Salad; I have made it twice already. Cooked the Quinoa in my Instant Pot, so fast and easy It came out perfect.

  7. I made this yesterday for dinner. Wow! It’s delish!!! We aren’t huge fans of cumin, so I added a couple small shakes of it, but added sumac instead. It was fantastic! My hubby and son left no crumbs! A true hit! I’ve had requests to make is again this week. Thanks for the recipe!

  8. We’re having this for dinner tonight. Wow, is it yummy! I cut waaaaay down on the cumin. I think I only added a couple of small shakes of cumin. I added a spice I like more, sumac, to the dressing. My picky husband devoured it! Thank you!

  9. Question for you Olena.
    My husband doesn’t like cumin. I tried to put 1/2, even 1/3 of the quantity, each time he tells me there’s a spice he doesn’t like.

    Do you have remplacement(s) to suggest?

    Thank you!

    1. I always hear about picky husbands. We should let them cook… 🙂 JK. What spicy spice does he like? Chili powder, taco seasoning, curry powder would be great. Good luck! 🙂

    2. Have you tried omitting the cumin all together and using Sumac? I like Sumac so much more! I leave out anything my family doesn’t like. I’d rather substitute with something they do. I’m with your hubby though….I’m not a fan of cumin. 🙂

      1. I don’t know sumac at all. I’ll look for it, thank you Rosa.

        I did make this salad this week, without cumin, no replacement, and it was still delicious! 😋

        I made one mistake.. I prepared it the day before, added all ingredients including avocado which turned out very mushy. I will add just before serving next time.

  10. Very good, had to substitute with goat cheese and green olives, and sadly no fresh herbs but it was still delicious!!

  11. Great recipe. Made it this summer and had to make it again because we ate the first round so fast. Will make this again!

  12. This salad is good. For my taste, the cumin was a little overpowering and I use cumin in other recipes. Next time I will put in less. Overall, very easy to make and quick.

  13. I’m gonna try your recipe. I cook quinoa is bulk in my electric pressure cooker & freeze in 1 C portions so I’m never without it. Even feed it to my parrots.

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