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Greek Quinoa Salad

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This Greek Quinoa Salad is a gluten-free, vegetarian salad that is simple to make. Quinoa is mixed with fresh vegetables, roasted red pepper, kalamata olives, feta cheese, peperoncinis and tossed in a light Greek dressing. It is perfect meal-preparation for lunches and side dishes throughout the week.

Greek Quinoa Salad in a white bowl    

GREEK QUINOA SALAD 

A few weeks ago I shared a recipe for a Mediterranean Quinoa Salad in celebration of the new year and healthy eating.

I was looking through my old recipes and I realized that I had created a Greek Quinoa Salad way back when I started blogging.

The pictures needed to be updated but the recipe is a winner and I knew I had to update it and reshape it with you guys. 

It is a combination of my Mediterranean Quinoa Salad and this Greek Orzo Pasta Salad.

When Mike and I traveled to Greece a couple of years ago we fell in love with the food.

The Greek salads were of course my favorite.

I love how fresh the vegetables and ingredients are that they use in their salads.

Not to mention the creamy feta paired with kalamata olives. 

Below is a Greek Salad we got in Naxos, Greece.

I noticed that depending on where in Greece you are, the Greek salads are slightly different, for example this version uses capers.

I loved that salty addition! 

Greek Salad in white bowl

Today’s Greek Quinoa Salad mixes gluten-free quinoa with fresh vegetables, feta cheese, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, fresh herbs and a light dressing.

This salad is an easy addition to meal-prepping and can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

In Greece I would often eat Greek salads with the view below in front of me.

The landscapes in Greece were just stunning. We can all make Greek style salads here at home and daydream about such beauty, right?

Santorini, Greece at Sunset

HOW CAN I MODIFY THIS GREEK QUINOA SALAD?

There are a lot of ways you can modify this salad and changes things up. Here are some of my favorites:

BEANS: I love adding beans to salads to take the protein up a notch. This salad is a great place to use beans.

I like chickpeas but white beans in this salad. 

 

CHEESE: I added a creamy, crumbled feta cheese to this salad.

You could try goat or any of your favorite cheeses. 

GRAIN: You can swap quinoa for brown rice, bulgur wheat, farro, sorghum, barley or amaranth.

VEGETABLES: The best part of a salad in my opinion is the fresh vegetables.

Other ideas for this salad are zucchini, artichokes, zucchini, carrots, celery, radish and mushrooms.

GREENS: Greens are always a nice addition to salads.

I especially like kale, arugula or spinach. 

SPICES: Get creative with your dressing by mixing in your favorite spice.

I love sumac or za’atar in my dressing but many people don’t have those spices.

You can use other spices like oregano, cayenne pepper, thyme, paprika or an Italian seasoning bend. 

Greek Quinoa Salad with fork

WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF QUINOA?

There is a lot to love about those tiny littles pieces of quinoa. They are packed with healthy benefits.

Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat. 

It is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids. It also contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains, is rich in iron and magnesium.

If you are looking for a grain to add to your diet quinoa should be on your list!

It works nicely in salads and also in soups. I will often cook a big batch for the week and keep it in my fridge to add to bowls and other meals throughout the week.

 

CAN I MAKE THIS QUINOA SALAD AHEAD OF TIME?

Yes, you can make this salad ahead of time! It the perfect meal-prep salad.

I store it in the fridge in an airtight container or mason jars for up to 5 days.

I think it actually tastes better after sitting for a day or two. When you are ready to eat this salad add more olive oil and lemon juice to taste.

Greek Quinoa Salad in clear bowl

WHAT SHOULD I SERVE THIS GREEK QUIONA SALAD RECIPE WITH?

This salad would pair really well with your favorite chicken dish. I like to match it up with this Mediterranean Chicken, Greek Chicken or this Skillet Lemon Chicken Recipe

Beef is a nice match for Greek flavors. These Beef Kafta Meatballs, Grilled Beef Kafta Kebabs or this Greek Beef Souvlaki would be great. 

Light seafood dishes pair nicely with this Greek Quinoa Salad recipe. I especially love this Easy Baked Fish Recipe, Baked Cod with Lemon, Mediterranean Salmon or this Salmon with Lemon and Dill

Greek Quinoa Salad

Yield: 6-8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

FOR THE SALAD

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed 
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed, diced 
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted, halved 
  • 1/3 cup roasted red peppers, chopped 
  • 1 medium english cucumber, diced 
  • 1/4 cup peperoncinis, chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled 
  • 5 green onions, white and green parts chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped {optional}

FOR THE DRESSING

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar 
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice 
  • 1 teaspoon honey 
  • 1 garlic clove, minced 
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper

Instructions

    1. Rinse the quinoa under water using your hands to make sure it all gets rinsed well.
    2. In a medium pot boil the 1 cup water. Add the quinoa and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil.
    3. When the water begins to boil, turn the heat to low and simmer with the cover on for about 10-15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and let cool.
    4. While the quinoa cools put the bell pepper, tomatoes, olives, roasted red peppers, cucumber, peperoncinis, feta cheese, green onions, parsley and mint in a large mixing bowl. Mix together until everything is combined.
    5. In a salad dressing container or mason jar combine the dressing ingredients and shake or whisk to combine.
    6. Add the quinoa to the salad and the dressing. Toss gently to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning to your tastes.

Notes

There are a lot of ways you can modify this salad and changes things up. Here are some of my favorites:

BEANS: I used chickpeas but white or black beans would work nicely in this salad.

CHEESE: I added a creamy, crumbled feta cheese to this salad. You could try goat or any of your favorite cheeses.

GRAIN: You can swap the grain for brown rice, bulgur wheat, farro, sorghum, barley or amaranth.

VEGETABLES: The best part of a salad in my opinion is the fresh vegetables. Other ideas for this salad are zucchini, carrots, celery, radish and mushrooms.

GREENS: I added a mixed green combination to this salad but feel free to add any greens you want. Arugula and spinach are always great choices in salads.

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