This Zesty feta cheese quinoa salad recipe is simple, nutritious, easy to make, and packed with flavor. In less than 30 minutes, you can serve this salad as your side dish or enjoy it as a light lunch or dinner.
What to expect when you make this quinoa salad? Crunchy, salty, zesty, citrusy, and packed with flavor. This salad is made with simple and fresh veggies, combined with cooked quinoa, crumbled feta cheese, kalamata olives, and then tossed in a zesty lemon and herb dressing. Serve this feta cheese quinoa salad as a side dish with your main protein meal, or on its own as a light lunch or dinner. It’s a great vegetarian dish that’s nutritious and wholesome with the added quinoa.
Why you should make this quinoa salad
- Easy to make: With just 30 minutes, you can have this salad ready. While your quinoa is cooking, chop up the veggies, add to a bowl, make the dressing, and boom! So easy.
- Filling: This salad isn’t going to be a light meal. The fiber and protein from the quinoa will keep you full. It has the right amount of everything.
- Healthy and nutritious: this salad is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It can serve as a meal on its own or as a side dish. Either way you go you will enjoy it.
Ingredients needed to make this quinoa salad
- Quinoa: You may cook the quinoa ahead. Follow package directions.
- Water: to cook the quinoa
- Vine tomatoes: or use cherry or grape tomatoes
- English cucumber: or Persian cucumbers
- Bell pepper: we used yellow, But any would work
- Crumbled feta cheese: Get a block of feta is possible and crumble some with your hands. You can also use store-bought already crumbled feta.
- Pitted Kalamata olives: or you can use green olives.
- Honey: this will be used for the dressing. You can swap it with agave, but not maple syrup.
- Extra virgin olive oil: or avocado oil. Olive oil does taste better for this salad.
- Lemon: you will need the zest as well as the juice so don’t use bottled lemon juice
- Garlic: use fresh garlic
- Seasonings: Salt and pepper, and dried Oregano.
How to make this zesty quinoa salad
Rinse the quinoa under cold water, then add the water and a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 12-15 minutes. Allow the cooked quinoa to completely cool.
Meanwhile, prepare all the veggies for the salad and place them in a large bowl.
Add the feta cheese, olives, and quinoa. In a small jar, add the ingredients for the dressing and shake vigorously to combine.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
Recipe notes and tips
- Use multi-colored quinoa if desired. Cook the quinoa according to package directions.
- If you do not have olive oil, use avocado oil.
- Do use pitted olives, you can also swap the kalamata olived for green olives.
- Do not use bottled lemon juice. We feel like this just doesnt bring out the best zesty flavor we are looking for in this salad. Using fresh lemons will give the best flavor
- Store the remaining quinoa salad in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. We do not recommend that you freeze this salad.
- Add in other crunchy veggies like finely chopped cauliflower or broccoli.
Frequently asked questions
Theres so much you can have with quinoa salad. It can serve as a side dish or add any grilled protein to it to make it a complete meal like grilled chicken, grilled salmon, kabobs, grilled shrimp skewers and so on. We will be linking some great recipes that goes well with this quinoa salad further down below.
Depends on whats in the salad. Most quinoa salads are best served cold especially if they have veggues like cucumbers and tomatoes. You can cook the quinoa ahead, or allow the quinoa to cool completely before adding it with the other ingredients. You do not have to reheat any quinoa salad the followind day and can be enjoyed cold.
For salads, it is best to either not season the quinoa with anything at all or just add a tad bit of salt. In general if you are making quinoa for any other reason other than to add it to a salad, you may season the quinoa with some chicken or vegetable buillon, salt and pepper, cumin, or tumeric.
More salad recipes you may like
- Waldorf Salad
- Vegetarian Italian Pasta Salad Jar
- Crab Pasta Salad
- Persian shirazi Salad
- Jennifer Aniston Salad
- Greek Chicken Pasta Salad
- Avocado Chickpea Tuna Salad
Main meals that go well with this side salad recipe
- Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken
- Grilled BBQ Chicken Skewers
- Miso Glazed Salmon
- Healthy Shrimp Scampi
- Grilled Chicken Kafta
- Italian Grilled Chicken Breast
- Lemon Garlic Salmon
- Lemon Chicken Skewers
- Mediterranean Baked Salmnon
- Lemon Garlic Shrimp Skillet
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Zesty Quinoa Salad Recipe
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 3/4 cup water
- 8 oz vine tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
- 1 English cucumber
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
For the zesty dressing:
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large lemon zest, and juice of
- 1 clove garlic pressed
- 1/2 tsp kosher fine salt
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 2 tsp honey
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- Rinse the quinoa under cold water, then add the water and a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 12-15 minutes.
- Allow the cooked quinoa to completely cool.
- Meanwhile, prepare all the veggies for the salad and place them in a large bowl.
- Add the feta cheese, olives, and quinoa.
- In a small jar, add the ingredients for the dressing and shake vigorously to combine.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
- Use white or multi-colored quinoa
- Please use only fresh veggies for the best flavor.
- You may use avocado oil in place of olive oil
- Cherry or grape tomatoes can be swapped with the vine-ripe tomatoes