Mediterranean quinoa salad is a nutritious and flavorful dish that's perfect for healthy eaters, vegetarians, and cooking enthusiasts alike. Packed with protein, fiber, and a variety of vitamins, this vibrant salad is not only delicious but also incredibly good for you. Let's get started on making this wholesome meal!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Health Benefits of Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is a complete protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids. It's also high in fiber, magnesium, and antioxidants. When combined with fresh vegetables and a light dressing, quinoa becomes a powerhouse of nutrition.


Here's what you'll need to make this salad:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

For the Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Step-by-Step Instructions

Preparing the Quinoa

  1. Rinse the Quinoa: Place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water for about 30 seconds. This helps remove the natural coating called saponin, which can make it taste bitter.
  2. Cook the Quinoa: In a medium saucepan, combine the rinsed quinoa and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender.
  3. Fluff the Quinoa: Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Then, fluff the quinoa with a fork and set aside to cool.

Preparing the Vegetables

  1. Dice the Cucumber: Cut the cucumber into small, bite-sized pieces.
  2. Dice the Bell Pepper: Remove the seeds and dice the bell pepper.
  3. Halve the Cherry Tomatoes: Cut each cherry tomato in half.
  4. Chop the Red Onion: Finely chop the red onion.
  5. Slice the Olives: Slice the kalamata olives into thin rounds.
  6. Chop the Parsley: Finely chop the fresh parsley.

Making the Dressing

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, dried oregano, salt, and pepper until well combined.

Combining All Elements

  1. Mix the Salad: In a large bowl, combine the cooked and cooled quinoa with the diced cucumber, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, red onion, olives, feta cheese, and parsley.
  2. Add the Dressing: Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat all the ingredients evenly.

Tips on Serving and Storing

  1. Serve Immediately: For the best flavor, serve the salad immediately after mixing in the dressing.
  2. Store Properly: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The flavors will continue to meld, making the salad even more delicious over time.

Optional Variations and Health Tips

  • Protein Boost: Add chickpeas or grilled chicken for extra protein.
  • Vegan Option: Omit the feta cheese or replace it with a vegan alternative.
  • Different Veggies: Feel free to add or substitute vegetables based on what's in season or your personal preference.

This Mediterranean quinoa salad is a versatile and healthy dish that's sure to become a favorite. Enjoy experimenting with different variations and making it your own!

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