Mediterranean quinoa salad Recipe

By Rena |

This flavorful Mediterranean Quinoa Salad recipe is a healthy, refreshing gluten-free dish. This dish is full of hearty quinoa, crisp vegetables, creamy feta, salty olives, and tossed in a tangy simple Mediterranean dressing that is a colorful addition to any meal!

top view of quinoa salad in a white bowl with red spoon in it

This flavorful protein-packed, high-in-fiber quinoa salad will quickly become a staple in your house! Loaded with a variety of fresh classic Mediterranean vegetables, filling quinoa, creamy feta, and rich kalamata olives is a simple dish with a Mediterranean twist. Yes, this easy quinoa salad recipe is tasty, easy to make, packed with nutrients, and is oh-so-satisfying!

Serve this gluten-free Quinoa Salad Recipe as a satisfying light and fresh lunch or dinner, or pair as a side dish with grilled chicken or salmon

Need to make this quinoa salad vegetarian? Omit the feta or use your favorite vegan feta cheese brand.

Why You will love this healthy Mediterranean salad

  • Healthy and nutritious: This dish is full of protein, fiber, and healthy vegetables to keep you full for hours. Keeps uou full and satisfied.
  • Bright and colorful: This salad is wholesome, full of color, and will help you to “eat the rainbow.”
  • Quick and easy: After the quinoa cools, this recipe comes together in under 30 minutes. Prep and chop the ingredients and simply combine them all in a bowl.
  • Make ahead: This is a perfect recipe for meal prep! Can be made one day in advance and gets better the longer it sits!
Close up of quinoa salad.

ingredients you will need for this Mediterranean quinoa salad

  • Quinoa: Is inexpensive, easy to make and is a packed with protein, fiber, and is gluten-free. Plus, it’s inexpensive and easy to make! Feel free to use white or tricolor quinoa in this recipe.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: Add a lot of sweetness to this salad.
  • Persian Cucumbers: Are small, tender cucumbers with smooth, thin skin, very few seeds, and tend to be less watery. Feel free to use English cucumbers if you can’t locate.
  • Kalamata Olives: Add a briny, salty flavor that pairs nicely with the sweetness of the tomatoes.
  • Red Onion: Adds a crisp texture, mild flavor, and a pop of red color.
  • Feta Cheese: Adds a fresh, creamy tanginess that compliments the saltiness of the olives and the crispness of the veggies.
  • Parsley: Fresh chopped parsley adds a flavorful freshness to the salad.
  • Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil adds a peppery undertone to the dressing. Use your favorite brand.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: You can use raw-unfiltered with the mother or filter apple cider vinegar.
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper: Used to taste. Feel free to use table salt, keeping in mind you’ll need to use less as the flavor is more concentrated.
Ingredients for Mediterranean salad on a white table.

how to make this simple mediterranean quinoa salad with feta cheese

In a large bowl, vigorously whisk all the dressing ingredients together.

Mediterranean salad dressing ingredients in a circular white bowl.

Place all of the prepped salad ingredients on top of the dressing and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Prepped quinoa salad ingredients on top of dressing in circular white bowl.

Right before serving, toss all the ingredients together, and enjoy!

Mediterranean quinoa salad in a circular white bowl.

recipe notes and tips

  • Precook the quinoa ahead of time and refrigerate for a huge time saver!
  • Feel free to add yellow or red bell peppers and baby spinach for added color and nutrition. 
  • Prepare a batch of this Mediterranean quinoa salad at your meal prep on Sunday; to enjoy as a hearty lunch throughout the week.
  • If making ahead, place dressing in a separate container. Do not mix until you are ready to serve.
  • To make this quinoa salad vegan-friendly, skip the feta or use your favorite vegan brand feta.
  • For the dressing feel free to substitute lemon for the apple cider vinegar. If using lemons, we recommend using fresh lemons and not the bottled lemon
  • You can add a tablespoon of honey to balance out the acidity of the vinegar. 
  • For more protein and fiber, you can add in some chickpeas.
Tossed quinoa salad in circular white bowl.

frequently asked questions

How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftover quinoa salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. We do not recommend freezing this quinoa salad. If you can, do not mix it with the salad dressing until you are ready to serve.

Does quinoa need to be rinsed?

Yes, quinoa needs to be rinsed before cooking to remove the saponin that coats the seeds and will leave a bitter taste in the mouth.

Is this quinoa salad recipe vegan?

This quinoa salad is almost vegan. To make it vegan-friendly, skip the feta or add in your favorite vegan feta or crumbled cheese.

What is a quinoa salad made of?

The base of a quinoa salad is what it sounds like, quinoa. But there are many variations of quinoa salads in which you can add in any veggies of choice or make it into any flavors like Asian, Italian, or Mediterranean Style. Veggies that could be added to make a quinoa salad can be cucumbers, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, chickpeas, and other veggies of your choice.

Can you eat quinoa raw?

We do not recommend eating quinoa raw because it may cause digestive issues that you will not be too happy about. It is better to cook your quinoa and another way of serving quinoa is puffed. If you do not want to cook your quinoa, you may soak it with warm water for 2 hours.

Close up of Mediterranean quinoa salad in circular white serving bowl.

more side salad recipes you may like

Overhead shot of quinoa salad in circular white serving bowl.

more healthy mediterranean recipes to try

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Tossed quinoa salad in circular white bowl.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Flavorful easy-to-make Mediterranean Quinoa Salad, full of hearty quinoa, crisp veggies, and creamy feta cheese tossed in a simple Mediterranean dressing.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Diet: Low Calorie, Low Fat, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 375kcal
Author: Rena

Ingredients

For The Salad

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • cups mixed cherry tomatoes halved
  • 3 Persian cucumbers chopped
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives halved
  • 1 small red onion diced
  • ½ cup feta cheese crumbled
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped

For The Dressing

  • cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, whisk all the dressing ingredients.
  • On top of the dressing, arrange all the prepped ingredients for the salad.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, toss well to combine and enjoy!

Notes

  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 
  • This salad can be made 1 day ahead of time and stored in the fridge. 
  • To make this vegan, use your favorite vegan brand feta cheese or leave the feta off completely.
  • Add in a tablespoon of honey to balance out the acidity of the vinegar in the dressing. 
  • Servings size one bowl- about 1.5 cups 
  • Substitutions
    • Use any variety of tomatoes
    • Feel free to use white onion if you are not fond of red
    • Add in yellow or red bell pepper as well as baby spinach for added color and nutrition
    • For the dressing, use lemon in place of the vinegar. 

Nutrition

Calories: 375kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 495mg | Potassium: 431mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 784IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 3mg
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