This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is made with fresh herbs and vegetables and topped with a lemon dressing for a refreshing and hearty summertime salad.
I hope you all had restful weekends that included a little bit of fun adventure. I spent most the weekend working, which is not so bad considering I love my job and because now I get to bring you another easy and refreshing summer salad.
Today I’ve got this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with a Lemon Pepper Dressing. This salad is one of my go-to lunches in the summer because it’s hearty yet refreshing and 100% delicious! I think you’re going to love it, too!
Let’s take a closer look?
Recommended Ingredients & Equipment
- Quinoa – Quinoa is one of my favorite superfoods. It is hearty, delicious, and so good for you. Read all about the benefits of quinoa.
- Tomatoes – I prefer using cherry tomatoes but you can use any type of tomato you’d like.
- Parsley – Either flat leaf or curly parsley will do.
- Red Onions – These can be omitted if you don’t like raw onions.
- Kalamata olives
- Avocado – Getting a ripe avocado is key. Learn how to pick the best avocados every time.
- Lemon Pepper Dressing – This is a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt, and pepper.
Check out the full list of my recommended kitchen tools and gadgets.
How to Make Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Step One – Cook the Quinoa
Cooking quinoa is very similar to cooking rice. To begin, quinoa should always be first rinsed in a fine-mesh sieve until water runs clear. This is key for getting a clean, nutty flavor. Otherwise, quinoa can sometimes taste dirty and gritty.
Once it’s rinsed, drain the water and transfer it to a saucepot. Add 2 parts water for every 1 part quinoa and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the water is completely absorbed about 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and let it sit an additional 5 minutes before uncovering and fluffing with a fork. Once the quinoa is cooked, transfer it to a shallow bowl and place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to let to quinoa cool down before adding the remaining salad ingredients.
Step Two – Prepare Everything Else
While the quinoa cooks, prepare the remaining ingredients. Chop the vegetables and herbs and whisk together the ingredients for the Lemon Pepper Dressing.
Step Three – Assemble and Serve
Once the quinoa has cooled down, you can add the vegetables, top it with the dressing, and return to the refrigerator for another hour to allow the flavors to marinate and the salad to cool.
Serving And Storing
Serve chilled as part of a summer potluck or for a light lunch or afternoon snack. Let the salad chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving. This allows the salad to cool and lets the flavors marinate.
Store leftover quinoa salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Quinoa is naturally gluten-free, making it a great dish for people who need to limit their gluten and a perfect party dish that everyone, despite their dietary restrictions, can enjoy it.
Quinoa has such a delightfully nutty taste and fluffy texture, it pairs so well with most vegetables, nuts, fruits, and all sorts of herbs and spices.
Yes! This salad is best when made 2-4 hours in advance. This allows the quinoa to chill all the way through and the flavors to marinate. However, this salad should be eaten the same day it’s made.
More Quinoa Salad Recipes
- Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad
- Strawberry and Mint Quinoa Salad
- Southwest Quinoa Salad
- Vegan Quinoa Salad with Asparagus and Peas
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Cook the quinoa according to packaged instructions.
- While the quinoa is cooking, chop the parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, onions, and olives.
- Combine the ingredients for the Lemon Pepper Dressing and set aside.
- Once quinoa is done, remove from heat and allow it to cool for 30 minutes. Once cool, mix with prepared vegetables and toss with lemon pepper dressing. Refrigerate until ready to use.