Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Healthy, easy and SO delicious, this fresh Mediterranean quinoa salad comes together quickly and makes a perfect side dish for so many meals (or better yet, a tasty, meatless lunch or dinner)!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

After posting this delectable meat marinade a couple weeks ago, I had questions about that mysterious salad in the background of the pictures.

Some of you awesome kitchen sleuths even guessed that it was a Mediterranean quinoa salad! Way to go on that one. Five million bonus points for you!

And what a wonderful little quinoa salad it is.

Not only is it simple, simple, but it’s packed full of tasty vegetables, crunchy textures, and delicious flavors.

That dressing? Yeah, it’ll only take you about 3 1/2 minutes to shake together.

I’m telling you, this Mediterranean quinoa salad is the perfect summer side dish.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Or maybe the perfect lunch (or breakfast??)? I, for one, have eaten this salad an extraordinary number of times for lunch when I’ve hoarded the leftovers from dinner.

Yes, I’m a leftover hoarder. And while I’m not necessarily proud of that fact (as Brian and the kids have to fend for themselves), it is what it is.

Good leftovers deserve to be hoarded. I actually feel as though I’m honoring them by doing so.

Rationalization at its finest. I’ll never tell where my secret refrigerator hiding spots are. Never.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

This Mediterranean quinoa salad is seriously delicious served with a simple grilled entree (like these tender pork chops or this lemon garlic grilled chicken).

It’s also really great paired with a roasted pork tenderloin or baked chicken.

And of course it would be a great option for your next potluck or BBQ where you have to show up with a salad.

You know, it wasn’t too long ago when a quinoa salad at your every day potluck would have been met with skepticism and a bit of side-eyeing, but I think I can safely say that in most social situations now, a quinoa salad is a very, very solid option for what to bring.

We’ve come a long way as a society, haven’t we?

I hate to brag, but I’ve been a fan of quinoa salads for quite a while now (like this mango and black bean favorite). It’s about the only thing I’ve ever been progressive about in my life, especially in regards to food. #oldfashioned

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

While this salad does have a lot going on in terms of color and texture and flavor, all the ingredients play nicely together.

It’s a keeper – and so easy to put together. Plus, you could definitely play around with the vegetables and add-ins to match your mood (perfect example: black olives vs kalamata olives).

I hope this quinoa salad makes you happy, and if it brings you to the point of leftover hoarding, give me a call. We can start a support group together.

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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

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Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/3 cups chicken broth (I use low-sodium)
  • 1 cup chopped olives (6-ounce can, drained and sliced in half)
  • 1 cup diced roasted red bell peppers (8-ounce jar, drained)
  • 1 cup diced cucumbers, about 8 ounces
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes, about 8 ounces (I use cherry tomatoes and cut in half)
  • 2-3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro or basil
  • 1/2 cup (or more to taste) feta cheese, crumbled, about 4 ounces

Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste, start with about 1/4 teaspoon each and add more, if needed

Directions:

  1. Rinse the quinoa very well in a fine mesh strainer; drain well. Combine the quinoa and broth in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 14-15 minutes until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Let it rest off the heat, covered, for 10-15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool to room temperature (see note about using already cooked quinoa).
  2. In a large bowl, add the cooled quinoa, olives, roasted red peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions and fresh cilantro or basil.
  3. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Toss to combine.
  4. Sprinkle with the feta cheese and toss lightly.
  5. Serve immediately. If refrigerating to serve later, consider making extra dressing to drizzle over the salad before serving as it may dry out a bit in the refrigerator as the quinoa absorbs the dressing.

Notes:

If using already cooked quinoa, you’ll want about 1 1/2 to 2 cups.

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Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe