Mediterranean quinoa salad is a delicious recipe boasting plenty of fresh herbs, vegetables, beans, and more in every delicious bite. Greek olives, feta cheese and red onion transport your taste buds to sunny Greece, while cannellini beans bring a taste of Italy to the dish, and the simple garlic and lemon juice dressing adds a subtle flavour of its own to complement the Mediterranean ones.
Cooked quinoa is a great base for a tasty salad. It’s filling, tasty and pairs wonderfully with the fresh ingredients used. It’s a versatile recipe and you can enjoy the Mediterranean quinoa salad as a side dish or as a main course.
Why You’ll Love It
Full of flavour: The delightful thing about Mediterranean quinoa salad is the flavours are light and aromatic rather than bold and robust. The delicate taste of the fresh vegetables, herbs and beans, paired with the simple dressing makes this a salad you just have to try!
Simple to prepare: It couldn’t be easier to make Mediterranean quinoa salad. You just have to combine the ingredients for the salad recipe, combine the ingredients for the dressing, and toss together.
Customizable: The great thing about a healthy Mediterranean quinoa salad is you can omit whatever you want and add in whatever you like, to really make the dish your own. Change anything you want from the grain used to the vegetables, herbs, and even the dressing.
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Ingredients
So what do you need to make this meal prep friendly Mediterranean quinoa salad? The cooked quinoa is one of the main ingredients of course.
And then you also need cannellini beans, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red pepper, Greek or kalamata olives, red onion, feta cheese, and fresh basil and parsley. As for the dressing, you will need olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.
How to Make This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Recipe
For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.
Combine the salad ingredients: Toss the quinoa with the beans, vegetables and kalamata olives in a large bowl.
Make the dressing: Whisk the extra virgin olive oil with the lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper.
The finishing touches: Toss the salad with the dressing, add the feta cheese to the quinoa salad, and toss again, then serve garnished with fresh herbs.
Substitutions and Variations
This Mediterranean quinoa salad recipe is highly adaptable and you can add anything you want in there. Garbanzo beans are good in place of, or in addition to, the cannellini beans.
Anything from toasted pine nuts to celery or sun dried tomatoes would work, or you can use roasted red peppers instead of fresh, roasted cherry tomatoes instead of raw, or even top the Mediterranean quinoa bowl with grilled chicken or steak.
Add a splash of balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar to the dressing if you like, or sub garlic paste for the garlic powder.
How to Serve Quinoa Salad Recipes
Since this is such a customizable recipe, you can either make it as it is and have it as a side dish, or you can add some meat or another protein and enjoy the wonderful Mediterranean flavors as a main course. This honey chilli chicken, pork chops or Italian beef would pair well.
Actually, the quinoa and beans make it filling enough to have for lunch, either alone or with some crackers or a piece of fruit.
How to Store Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Leftovers
Store: If you want to meal prep, combine the salad ingredients and whisk the dressing ingredients and keep them separate. You can do this up to a day ahead. If you have leftovers of the finished, combined Mediterranean quinoa salad, they will be fine for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Freeze: It’s not worth freezing quinoa salad because the vegetables thaw out with a mushy texture instead of staying fresh and crisp. You could freeze quinoa salad without veggies in it, but that isn’t what we are making here, with this vegetable rich cold quinoa salad.
Healthy Quinoa Salad Recipe FAQs
Actually, that’s pretty easy to do. Just sub your favourite vegan-friendly cheese for the feta cheese and everything else in the recipe is vegan. It’s also a nice dish to make for a buffet spread, since anyone who isn’t vegan or vegetarian can add their own protein to the quinoa salad.
This is already a nutritious recipe, but you can always add your favourite greens to make it even healthier. Anything from baby spinach to kale, arugula or mixed salad leaves would work. However, don’t toss the salad with the dressing until you’re ready to serve it, otherwise your greens will go soggy.
As for more vegetables, take a look in your crisper drawer and feel free to add anything that looks like it needs to be used up, such as celery, broccoli, extra cherry tomatoes, or anything else you spot in there. This salad is so easy to tweak and a wonderful way to use up those veggies getting beyond their prime in the fridge.
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Recipe
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
For The Salad
- 1 Cup quinoa white, cooked
- 1 Can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 1 ½ Cups cherry tomatoes chopped
- 1 cucumber diced
- 1 red pepper chopped
- ½ Cup olives Greek, sliced
- ½ red onion diced
- ½ Cup feta cheese crumbled
- basil Fresh, chopped for garnish
- parsley Fresh, chopped for garnish
For The Dressing
- ¼ Cup olive oil
- ½ Teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ Teaspoon pepper freshly cracked
- ½ Teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 lemon juice only
- 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.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
This Mediterranean quinoa salad is just bursting with all the best Mediterranean flavours, offering plenty of nutrients and flavour in every mouthful. Quinoa salad recipes are fast and easy to prepare, ideal for a buffet at any type of get-together, and you can mix and match the ingredients to personalize it to your heart’s content.
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Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.