A healthy Mediterranean Quinoa Salad filled with fresh veggies, creamy feta, salty olives, and plenty of fresh herbs. Heart healthy quinoa provides the base for this delicious (and easy!) salad that everyone will love!
This healthy Mediterranean salad is my new favorite side dish! Not only is it so easy to make, it also uses heart healthy quinoa which is full of fiber, B vitamins, and minerals that are so good for you.
If you have never tried quinoa before, this salad is such a great place to start. Chilled quinoa is combined with fresh vegetables and other delicious ingredients like creamy feta cheese. This recipe is naturally gluten free, vegetarian, and can easily be made dairy-free as well if you choose to leave out the feta cheese.
Cooked Quinoa: If you have never cooked with quinoa before, this is a great first recipe to try. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) acts like a whole grain but it is actually a seed. It has a somewhat earthy nutty flavor and can be prepared similarly to rice. It is full of fiber, B vitamins, and minerals, and works as a great base for this salad.
Kalamata Olives: The flavor of Kalamata olives works perfectly in this salad, but feel free to use your favorite type of olive if you have one. Pitted olives make this salad easy to eat and enjoy.
Marinated Artichoke Hearts: These add so much flavor to the salad. I like to look for artichokes that have been marinated in water, oil, and a variety of seasonings.
Red Onion: Adds just the right amount of onion of flavor. Slice them thinly to you don’t end up with a huge bite of red onion.
Tomatoes: Cherry or grape tomatoes work really well in this salad. Halve the tomatoes before adding them to the salad.
Feta Cheese: There is nothing like delicious creamy feta. You can crumble or dice the feta cheese, your choice.
Fresh Parsley: Adds a nice freshness and brightness to the salad.
Step One: Add quinoa, salt, water, and a little oil to a pot with a lid.
Step Two: Bring the quinoa to a boil, cover the pot with a lid, and reduce the heat to a simmer.
Step Three: Simmer the quinoa for 15 minutes and then remove from the heat.
Step Four: Let the quinoa sit, off the heat, for 10 minutes and then uncover.
Step Five: Fluff with a fork and serve.
For all the best tips and tricks on how to make quinoa, including the best advice on how to keep it from getting mushy, be sure to give this post on How to Make Quinoa a read. Plus, we have a list of our favorite quinoa recipes like this Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad.
The Best Easy Dressing
Olive Oil: be sure to use an olive oil that you really enjoy the taste of when making this dressing.
Red Wine Vinegar: this is my go-to wine for this dressing.
Lemon Juice: adds a bit of brightness to the dressing and salad.
Oregano: you’ll need a bit of dried oregano to add to this dressing.
Garlic: fresh garlic really just takes the dressing to the next level. To save time, you can use pre-minced frozen garlic cubes if you like!
How to Make Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Step One: Add the quinoa, kalamata olives, marinated artichoke hearts, red onion, cherry tomatoes, parsley, and feta cheese to a large mixing bowl.
Step Two: Make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor and blend until well combined.
Step Three: Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and then stir the salad together until everything is well combined.
Step Four: Transfer the salad to a serving bowl, garnish with a little more fresh parsley, serve and enjoy!
My Favorite Tips and Tricks
This is such a simple and easy recipe but here are a few tips to get the best Mediterranean Quinoa Salad every time:
Cook your quinoa in advanceso it is fully chilled before making the salad. If you don’t have time to prep the quinoa in advance, you can cook the quinoa and then chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool it down a bit.
Swap the quinoa!Don’t love quinoa? Swap it for another grain like brown rice or use whole wheat orzo instead!
When making the dressing for this salad, finely mince the garlic before adding it to your blender or food processor. This will ensure that there are huge chunks of garlic in your salad dressing.
This salad is customizable!Feel free to add in extra veggies like cucumber, bell pepper, or whatever your heart desires.
Need to make this salad dairy free?Leave out the feta cheese. You could even sub avocado if you prefer.
This salad tastes even better as it sits!Feel free to make it in the morning and serve it later that night.
How to Serve
This salad is great on its own but it’s also the perfect pairing to a few of my favorite recipes. If you need some ideas try one of these:
I hope you give this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad a try! It’s easy to make and delicious! If you do give this recipe a try, let me know!
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