This Mediterranean quinoa salad is perfect as a light lunch or a show stopping side! Made fresh herbs, juicy veggies and a tangy lemon garlic dressing, it’s loaded with flavor and easy to make.
If you attend a cookout at my house, you can pretty much count on a big bowl of his Mediterranean quinoa salad being served.
This is partly because it’s always a hit — with all those fresh veggies and herbs, this salad is a total flavor bomb. But also, I love eating the leftovers for lunch. Side dishes that double as awesome lunches are the best!
What You’ll Need
- Uncooked quinoa. You can also use leftover cooked quinoa if you happen to have some hanging around. You’ll need 4 cups.
- Olive oil. You could technically sub another type of oil here, but olive will give your salad the best flavor.
- Lemon juice. Please use fresh squeezed!
- Red wine vinegar. White vinegar will work in a pinch.
- Chickpeas. Your chickpeas need to be canned or precooked.
- Kalamata olives. You can substitute another variety of olive if you’d like.
- Fresh herbs. We’re using parsley, mint, and scallions.
How to Make Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!
- Cook your quinoa first. Need some guidance on how to do that? Check out my tutorial on how to cook quinoa.
- Prepare your dressing by stirring together some olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, and salt.
- When your quinoa has cooled, place it in a large bowl with diced cucumber, tomato, Kalamata olives, and chopped fresh herbs. Pour in the dressing.
- Stir everything up until the salad is well mixed and evenly coated with dressing. Give it a taste-test and season it with additional salt (if needed) and some black pepper.
- Serve your quinoa salad immediately, or cover it up and chill it for later.
- Tip: Chilling your salad for a bit will give the flavors a chance to meld.
Shelf Life & Storage
This dish will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 3 days, depending on how fresh your herbs and veggies were when you made it.
Frequently Asked Questions
This dish makes a great side, and it’s perfect for picnics and cookouts. Try pairing it up with a vegan burger or some baked tofu. It also makes an excellent light main dish and is perfect for lunch! I like to add some tofu feta cheese for extra protein.
Any color! In fact, red, white, and black quinoa are all the same in terms of taste, so use whichever variety strikes your fancy.
More Quinoa Recipes
- Tex-Mex Quinoa Burgers
- Quinoa Lentil Tacos
- Curried Quinoa Fried Rice
- Vegan Stuffed Zucchini
- One-Pot Quinoa Chili
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 ¾ cups water
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste (I used ¾ teaspoon)
- 2 cups diced cucumber (about 1 medium cucumber)
- 1 cup diced tomato (about 1 medium tomato)
- 1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
- ½ cup chopped scallions (about 3 scallions)
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley, lightly packed
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint, lightly packed
- Black pepper, to taste
- Rinse the quinoa well under cold running water (you can skip this if the package tells you it’s already rinsed).
- Stir the quinoa and water together in a small saucepan, then place it over high heat.
- Bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat and cover. Allow the quinoa to simmer, covered, until all of the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
- Remove the pot from heat and allow to sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
- Transfer the cooked quinoa to a medium bowl and allow it to cool completely.
- To make the dressing, stir the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, and ½ teaspoon of salt together in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup.
- Add the cucumber, tomatoes, chickpeas, olives, scallions, parsley, and mint to the bowl with the quinoa.
- Pour the dressing over the ingredients in the bowl, then stir until the ingredients are evenly mixed and coated with the dressing.
- Season the salad with additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately or chill for later.