Mediterranean Quinoa Salad


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This Mediterranean quinoa salad recipe with feta cheese combines so many amazing flavors into one bowl! Quinoa chickpea salad has simple ingredients and similar flavors to chopped Mediterranean salad, but with satisfying quinoa. Plate it with grilled meats, veggies, and Greek tzatziki sauce for a fresh and easy meal with just minutes of hands-on prep.

Why You’ll Love This Easy Quinoa Salad Recipe

  • Fresh, herby flavor
  • Crisp veggies with tender quinoa
  • Basic ingredients
  • Done in 30 minutes
  • Easy gluten-free side dish with lots of fresh vegetables
  • Perfect for weeknight dinners, potlucks, meal prep, and any Mediterranean-style meal
Mediterranean quinoa salad in a bowl with serving spoon.

Quinoa Salad Ingredients

This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for Mediterranean or Greek quinoa salad, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.

Quinoa Chickpea Salad:

  • Quinoa – I used white quinoa, but you can use variety of quinoa you prefer.
  • Diced Vegetables – I used red bell pepper and cucumber, but see below for other ideas.
  • Chickpeas – Use canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained. This is the most convenient option, but you could also cook your own.
  • Fresh Parsley – You could also replace this with other fresh herbs, such as fresh basil. Cilantro is also common in quinoa salads, but it doesn’t pair as well with the Mediterranean vibe of this one.
  • Feta Cheese – Adds tangy Mediterranean flavor. If you need to avoid dairy or want a vegan version, you can omit it.
  • Green Olives – Optional. The briny taste of olives adds another layer of flavor to this zesty salad.
  • Shallots – Optional. They add a subtle crunch to this recipe for quinoa salad. Finely diced white or red onion could work as a substitute.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Dressing:

  • Olive Oil – Use the highest quality extra-virgin olive oil you can. Avocado oil would also work, but olive oil pairs best with the other flavors in this salad.
  • Lemon Juice – Fresh squeezed juice tastes best in this cold quinoa salad with feta, but you can use bottled lemon juice if you need to. You can also substitute lime juice, but the flavor of lemon juice works better in this recipe.
  • White Wine Vinegar – You can also use apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar.
  • Dijon Mustard – Adds flavor and emulsifies the dressing.
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper
Quinoa salad ingredients in bowls.

How To Make Quinoa Salad

This section shows how to make quinoa Mediterranean salad, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique. For full instructions, see the recipe card below.

  1. Cook quinoa. Place quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse for about one minute. Transfer to a small saucepan and add water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed. Remove from heat, rest, then fluff with a fork.
TIP: Should you rinse quinoa?

TIP: Should you rinse quinoa?

Although some quinoa brands come pre-rinsed, this step ensures that the cooked quinoa will not taste bitter or “off” in any way.

  1. Assemble. Combine cooked quinoa, bell peppers, cucumbers, chickpeas, parsley, feta, green olives (if using), and shallots (if using) in a large bowl.
  2. Make dressing. Whisk all dressing ingredients — olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, sea salt, and black pepper — together in a small bowl.
Quinoa and vegetables in a large bowl.
Salad dressing whisked in a bowl.
  1. Toss. Pour dressing onto the quinoa salad and mix to combine. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, or place in the fridge for 1 hour to let flavors develop.
Quinoa salad with feta fully assembled in a bowl.

Variations

  • Add or change veggies – Try this salad with cherry tomatoes or different color bell peppers, or red onion and fresh garlic instead of shallot.
  • Change the chickpeas – Try substituting them with cooked lentils, canellini beans, or even black beans.
  • Swap olives – Use kalamata olives, black olives, or capers instead of green olives.
  • Add greens – Serve salad over fresh spinach or kale, or cook down greens and stir them directly into the salad.

Storage Instructions

Cover and store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Enjoy cold — no reheating needed!

Can You Freeze Quinoa Salad?

Quinoa salad recipes don’t freeze well, as the other included components will change in texture. However, you can freeze any plain leftover quinoa for up to 3 months.

Scoop of Mediterranean quinoa salad out of serving bowl.

What To Serve With Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Pair this salad with your favorite plain proteins, or add extra flavor with these easy dishes:

More Mediterranean Salad Recipes

Salad doesn’t need lettuce to be tasty! Try these fresh, simple, and flavorful ones next, all perfect for Mediterranean meals:

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Ingredients

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Instructions

Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.

  1. Place the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and run cold water over it for about a minute.

  2. Transfer quinoa to a small saucepan. Add 1/2 cup (118 ml) of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the quinoa absorbs all the water.

  3. Remove from heat. Cover with a lid and rest for 5 minutes, then fluff the quinoa with a fork.

  4. In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, bell peppers, cucumbers, chickpeas, parsley, feta, green olives (if using), and shallots (if using).

  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper.

  6. Pour the dressing over the salad, and mix to combine. Adjust salt and pepper to taste if needed.

  7. Serve immediately, or if you have time, preferably refrigerate for 1 hour to let the flavors develop.

Recipe Notes

Serving size: 1 cup

Nutrition Facts

Amount per serving. Serving size in recipe notes above.

Calories 194

Fat 12g

Protein 5g

Total Carbs 18g

Net Carbs 15g

Fiber 3g

Sugar 2g

Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.

© Copyright Maya Krampf for Wholesome Yum. Please DO NOT SCREENSHOT OR COPY/PASTE recipes to social media or websites. We’d LOVE for you to share a link with photo instead. 🙂

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