Easy Quinoa Salad Recipe with Lemon Vinaigrette

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A delicious Quinoa Salad recipe with Mediterranean inspired flavors – tomatoes, peppers, red onion and fresh basil along with the cooked quinoa are combined with a fresh and zingy lemon vinaigrette for a light and fresh salad.

Summer is all about fresh ingredients and outdoor meals for us, that’s why this Quinoa Salad is perfect for the hot days that are still ahead! It uses just a few ingredients to transform plain quinoa into a delicious side dish (or main meal if you want to add protein like grilled chicken) and although we make this more in the summertime, you can definitely enjoy it on cooler days as well. 

You can customize the salad to your tastes too, so if you prefer zucchini over cucumber or cherry tomatoes over peppers, feel free to throw em in.

The dressing is just as simple as the salad itself, and can be used on a variety of green salads as well! So grab your ingredients and pack your picnic bag, it’s time to make this yummy Mediterranean inspired Quinoa Salad.

Fresh chopped vegetables and dry quinoa on wooden cutting board

Frequently asked questions

If you have a question that isn’t answered below please leave a comment or email us so we can answer it for you!

How long does quinoa salad last

We love to prepare ingredients for the salad ahead of time and keep it undressed in the fridge, generally this can be for up to 4 days. If yours is already dressed with the vinaigrette you will want to use it within 24 hours so it doesn’t get too soggy.

How to prepare quinoa salad

This salad is so easy to prepare – simply boil and cook the quinoa while you chop your vegetables and basil. Once finished allow the quinoa to cool until it is no longer hot and you can add the chopped veggies. Top with dressing about 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend.

How to season quinoa salad

Quinoa will absorb any flavor you cook it with so we prefer to cook ours in vegetable broth rather than water alone. This ensures a flavorful bite each time. Think of it like pasta – you would never eat pasta that hasn’t been cooked in salted water right? It would just be too bland without that injection of flavor!

Once the quinoa has been cooked and cooled it is always nice to add in a fresh herb along with the vegetables to really amp up the taste.

Be sure to PIN THIS QUINOA SALAD so you have it for later!

Did you make this recipe? Please be sure to rate it 5 stars and leave us a comment below and let us know what you thought!!

Easy Quinoa Salad Recipe with Lemon Vinaigrette

Mediterranean inspired flavors like tomatoes, peppers, red onion and fresh basil make this quinoa salad and lemon vinaigrette a delicious lunch option.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword Mediterranean Recipes, Quinoa Salad, Summer Salad
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings 6
Author Melissa

Ingredients

  • 1 c Dry Quinoa Rinsed under cold water
  • 1 c Water
  • 1 c Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 lg Cucumber diced
  • 1 lg Red Pepper diced
  • 1/2 Red Onion diced
  • 3 tbsp Fresh Basil or parsley if you prefer chopped
  • Salt

Dressing

  • 1/4 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil the good stuff guys, you don’t want it to be bitter!
  • 1/4 c Lemon Juice fresh is best but concentrated is fine!
  • 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 3/4 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 Garlic clove minced
  • pinch of Salt

Instructions

Salad

  • Place medium pot over medium heat for about 2 mins to warm, add in quinoa and give a quick “toast” by swirling in the pot for 1 minute. Add in your water and broth with a pinch of salt and allow to come to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid is absorbed (about 10-12 minutes). Remove from heat and place in your serving bowl. Place in fridge to cool.
  • Once quinoa has cooled add in remainder of the salad ingredients and toss.

Dressing

  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, whisk until well combined.
  • Pour 1/2 of the dressing over the salad and add the remainder right before serving.

Notes

Prepare Quinoa ahead of time (even the day before) so it can cool.
Also be sure to check out our Mediterranean Tuna Melts to go with it!

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Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette- Perfect side dish for picnics and BBQ's! #Salad #Quinoa #PicnicFood
Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette- Perfect side dish for picnics and BBQ’s! #Salad #Quinoa #PicnicFood


42 thoughts on “Easy Quinoa Salad Recipe with Lemon Vinaigrette

  1. Gloria says:

    I just love cooking with quinoa. That nutty flavour is so delicious, not to mention how healthy it is to. The perfect meat replacement….and this salad sounds nice and hearty too. Great for lunch or dinner.

  2. Celeste says:

    Your salad is filled with some of my favorite ingredients and Quinoa is one of my favorite grains, unfortunately I forgot to wash it once and had a very bad reaction. Washing it before cooking is a very important step.

    • oliveblogger says:

      Ohhh no! Yes we always wash/rinse any grain we cook, it is so important! Hopefully that didn’t deter you from trying it again though 🙂

  3. Veena Azmanov says:

    Quinoa is such a healthy alternative to eating rice.I think salad such a refreshing way to eat quinoa. This lemon vinaigrette sounds delicious. Saving for later.

    • oliveblogger says:

      Thanks so much Veena!! We try to substitute different grains and seeds for rice often, it is nice to change it up!

  4. Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness says:

    I love a good quinoa salad! My go-to is kale and quinoa salad, but maybe I will give this one a go!

    • oliveblogger says:

      Mmm yes we love kale too!!! When we do our kale and quinoa salads we often do the quinoa crunchy (puffed) so it adds to the texture!

  5. Marisa Franca says:

    We use lots of quinoa. In fact, we buy it in the huge bags so we don’t run out. The nutty flavor is perfect in salads. I love the touch of lemon that you give your salad. Perfect for a light summer meal.

  6. Noel Lizotte says:

    I can’t have too many salads! Summer is sooo hot, I don’t want to eat anything that’s full of heat … so it’s a lot of cold salads on our table. This looks light and filling!

  7. Heather says:

    I never really thought about adding quinoa to a cold salad but what a great idea! Lovely flavor combination and the lemon vinaigrette really helps pull this together into the perfect light meal.

  8. Priya Srinivasan says:

    That is a wonderful salad ! We love quinoa and always looking for interesting recipes to include them in our meal! This is a fresh salad and a definitely a favorite to enjoy during summer!!!

  9. Natalie says:

    I absolutely love quinoa but haven’t eat it for a while now. I somehow forget that I have it in my pantry. Thanks for this lovely delicious salad recipe and reminder to eat more quinoa. I will definitely make it next week for lunch.

  10. Mimi Desir says:

    As much as I love quinoa I have never had it cold. I can’t wait to try this delicious recipe. Thank you for sharing.

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