by Olena

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

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Olena Osipov
5 from 22 votes

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 quinoa tabbouleh, kale and quinoa salad and Southwest quinoa salad. Our favourites!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad in a bowl with serving spoons

Best Ever Quinoa Salad

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

Hooray for summer salad recipes when we can eat a salad and don’t feel cold! Especially for quinoa salad recipes. Pronounced “keenwah”, is one of few plant-based foods that is a source of complete protein that contains 9 essential amino acids, high in fiber, manganese and has low glycemic index.

From quinoa casserole, to quinoa bread, to quinoa granola bars, to chocolate quinoa muffins, this wholesome seed can be enjoyed for breakfast, dinner and dessert.

Ingredients for Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

This easy quinoa salad is a spin off of a Greek salad recipe. You can wing it depending on the contents in your fridge.

  • Quinoa: White or tri-colour quinoa. Red quinoa is too hearty and chewy for a veggie salad and is best for quinoa black bean salad.
  • Veggies: Tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, avocado (fruit), red onion.
  • Olives: Just like with Greek salad, you can use pitted Kalamata olives (I did) or green olives.
  • Feta cheese: I recommend to buy a block of feta and crumble yourself to avoid anti-caking agents. Crumbled goat cheese would work too.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: Least processed olive oil with most health benefits that is best to be consumed raw.
  • Acid: Use lemon or lime juice, red wine or white wine vinegar.
  • Fresh herbs: They add another layer of flavor. Parsley, green onion or cilantro work beautifully in this fresh salad.

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

How to Make Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Any quinoa salad recipe 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: 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, then let stand for 5 minutes while you prep other salad ingredients. If you need more details, check our step by step tutorial. Or make Instant Pot quinoa.
  • Prep and combine other ingredients: Get large salad bowl. Chop tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, avocado and parsley; add them to the bowl along with olives. Crumble cheese and drizzle oil and vinegar, sprinkle cumin, salt and pepper over all ingredients.
  • Add cooked quinoa and mix: If quinoa is freshly cooked, it is hot or warm. Add it more to the side of a bowl and let cool down for 5 minutes, not forgetting to fluff with a fork previously. Then stir salad with a large slotted spoon until combined.

cooked quinoa with a fork in a pot

How to Store and Make Ahead

Storing: The beauty of this Mediterranean 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: Add all ingredients, except oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cumin, to a large salad bowl and do not mix. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, add seasonings skipped previously, then stir and serve.

More Favorite Quinoa Recipes

Also make sure to check out this collection of popular quinoa recipes.

quinoa salad served in a bowl and garnished with lime

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with tomato, cucumber, feta cheese and olives. Packed with protein, fiber and so much flavor!
4.96 from 22 votes
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Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 348kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

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

Cook quinoa as per package instructions. Or follow my step by step tutorial.

  • Cook quinoa on the stove: 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.
    Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
  • Cook quinoa in Instant Pot: Instant Pot quinoa. It takes 30 seconds of prep and I walk away. Quinoa comes out fluffy and each grain separate after 9 minutes.
  • In a large salad bowl, add tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, avocado, onion, cilantro, feta cheese, olives, lime juice, oil, cumin, salt and pepper.
    Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
  • Fluff quinoa with a fork and add to the bowl. Stir gently to combine and serve cold or warm.
    Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Storing: 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: Add all ingredients, except oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cumin, to a large salad bowl and do not mix. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, add seasonings skipped previously, then stir and serve.

      Notes

      • Quinoa: White or tri-colour quinoa. Red quinoa is too hearty and chewy for a salad. Pronounced "keenwah", is one of few plant-based foods that is a source of complete protein that contains 9 essential amino acids, high in fiber, manganese and has low glycemic index.
      • Leftover cooked quinoa: Quinoa lasts in the fridge for up to 5 days. I often use dinner leftovers to make salads. You can also cook a bunch of quinoa in advance, freeze and thaw as needed. Perfect thing to do in summer.
      • Veggies: Tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, avocado (fruit), red onion.
      • Olives: I use pitted Kalamata olives. Green olives are OK as well.
      • Feta cheese: I recommend to buy a block of feta and crumble yourself to avoid anti-caking agents. Crumbled goat cheese would work too.
      • Extra virgin olive oil: Least processed olive oil with most health benefits that is best to be consumed raw.
      • Acid: Use lemon or lime juice, red wine or white wine vinegar.
      • Fresh herbs: They add another layer of flavor. Parsley, green onion or cilantro work beautifully in this fresh salad.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1cup | Calories: 348kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 554mg | Potassium: 672mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1447IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 3mg
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      olena osipov in the studio

      Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

      My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

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