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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is packed with your favorite Mediterranean ingredients and gluten-free quinoa. Fresh vegetables, roasted red peppers, arugula, feta cheese, chickpeas and quinoa are tossed in a light lemony dressing. This salad is healthy, easy to make and perfect for weekday lunches or meal prep. 

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad on white plate

MEDITERRANEAN QUINOA SALAD 

I am back with another Mediterranean diet recipe for the new year.

Salads are a part of my weekly meal-prep on Sundays. I like to pick one or two salads and prep them for the week.

Today’s Mediterranean Quinoa Salad, Mediterranean Lentil Salad and this Mediterranean Bean Salad are ones  I especially love making.

This salad is gluten-free, vegetarian and packed with protein from the chickpeas and quinoa. I love how light the salad is but still very filling.

Quinoa is something I try to use in my salads from time to time. A few favorites are this Greek Quinoa Salad,  Tomato Cucumber, Feta Quinoa Salad, Avocado Kale Quinoa Salad and this Zucchini Chickpea Quinoa Salad. 

When making these type of salads the nice thing is that you can customize them to your liking or what you have in your pantry and your fridge. 

I like to serve this salad alongside my Mediterranean Chicken or as an addition to these Chicken Shawarma Bowls.

If you want to make it more of a Zesty Mediterranean Quinoa Salad add fire roasted red peppers, chopped up jalapeños or a teaspoon of harissa to add more flavor. 

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad in large bowl

HOW CAN I MODIFY THIS MEDITERRANEAN SALAD?

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.

OTHER MEDITERRANEAN INGREDIENTS: Olives are always a nice choice in these types of salads. I especially like kalamata olives.

Peperoncinos are also something I will often add to Mediterranean Style salads. 

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with fork

WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF QUINOA?

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 SALAD AHEAD OF TIME?

Yes, you can make this salad ahead of time.

I will store it in the fridge in an airtight container or mason jars for 3-5 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.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with wooden serving utensils

WHAT SHOULD I SERVE THIS MEDITERRANEAN SALAD RECIPE WITH?

This salad would be nice with a light fish like this Black Sea Bass or this Baked Cod with Lemon. 

Pair this quinoa salad with Lebanese Meat Pies or Spinach Meat Pies along with my Lebanese Hummus Recipe and yogurt. 

Light salads are always a nice match for grilled chicken, grilled steak or grilled shrimp skewers.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with white plate and fork

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad on white plate

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

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

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is packed with your favorite Mediterranean ingredients and gluten-free quinoa. Fresh vegetables, roasted red peppers, arugula, feta cheese, chickpeas and quinoa are tossed in a light lemony dressing. This salad is healthy, easy to make and perfect for weekday lunches or meal prep. 

Ingredients

  • FOR THE SALAD:
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 - 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup roasted red peppers, drained, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 english cucumber, diced {about 2 cups}
  • 2 large handfuls of your favorite greens {I suggest kale, arugula or spinach or a combination}
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese {optional}
  • Handful of fresh mint, chopped
  • Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • FOR THE DRESSING::
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional spices: 1 teaspoon of any spice you like {try sumac, za'atar or oregano}
  • Crushed red pepper for extra spice

Instructions

    Rinse the quinoa under water using your hands to make sure it all gets rinsed well.

    In a medium pot boil the 1 cup water. Add the quinoa and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil.

    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.

    While the quinoa cools chop your other vegetables and combine in a large mixing bowl. Add the chickpeas, feta and greens.

    In a small mixing bowl or a mason jar combine the ingredients for the juice. Shake or whisk well.

    Add the quinoa into the salad once cool and toss the dressing in until the salad is covered. Taste and adjust the lemon juice and seasonings to your tastes.

Notes

HOW CAN I MODIFY THIS MEDITERRANEAN SALAD?

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.

OTHER MEDITERRANEAN INGREDIENTS: Olives are always a nice choice in these types of salads. I especially like kalamata olives. Peperoncinos are also something I will often add to Mediterranean Style salads. 

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