An easy, gluten-free and vegetarian salad that's fresh, flavorful and satisfying! It's great on its own for a simple lunch or as a side dish as it pairs with so many other dishes or any protein of choice.
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Simple, Fresh and Delicious!
So excited for you to try this simple, gluten-free Mediterranean Quinoa Salad!
It’s fresh tasting, savory, salty, satisfying and so delicious!
And it’s naturally gluten-free!
It’s also easy to make and is so versatile!
It can be served warm or cold, and it’s one of those salads that pairs with everything and works equally well for lunch, as a side dish, for a weekday meal or for entertaining.
The funny thing is, it’s a salad I’ve been making for years but adding feta, warm chickpeas and kalamata olives to our Quinoa Tabbouleh to make it more of a meal… so I decided it needed it’s own place on the website!
So let’s make it!
It is simple in both ingredients and ease of making it.
It’s made with 12 real, whole food ingredients:
salt and pepper.
And it comes together quickly.
There’s very little cooking involved for this salad, just a little chopping, and cooking the quinoa, so it’s quite quick to assemble!
You can prep all the veggies while the quinoa cooks and the entire dish can be ready in 20 minutes.
Lets start with the quinoa. I get lots of messages about how to cook quinoa.
I follow the directions on the package and make the quinoa by combining 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water and bringing to a boil.
Then reduce to simmer and cover for 15 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.
Works every time.
Pro tip: you could cook your quinoa a day ahead or any time earlier in the day before assembling the salad.
Now let’s saute the chickpeas.
You could just used chickpeas straight from the can, drained and rinsed but I love the flavor of the sauteed chickpeas and if you’re serving it with warm chickpeas, it’s really delicious!
All you do is saute the chickpeas with some olive oil and kosher salt.
This is my favorite way to enjoy chickpeas and I probably do it a few times a week and add it to lunch salads! Super quick and easy!
Then all you do is place all the ingredients in a large bowl, add the dressing and toss together!
It’s fresh, light and flavorful!
And it’s adaptable to tastes and availability of ingredients.
For instance, you could add more or less of any vegetable or ingredient.
And you can chop the cucumber and tomatoes as small or big as you like!
The one thing I never switch up is the simple dressing!
It’s just lemon juice, olive oil and kosher salt.
It’s fresh and works so well with this salad.
One of the reasons we love this salad is that it pairs well with so many other salads and a protein of choice.
We’ve served it with grilled chicken, steak and salmon. For a vegetarian option, I’ve served it with everything from a green salad to grilled portobello mushrooms to hummus and avocado!
Finally, this salad also makes a large quantity so perfect for a crowd or meal prep.
1 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (approximately 1 bunch)
½ -1 cup, chopped flat-leaf parsley (to taste)
1 cup chopped cucumber, unpeeled
1 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
½ cup crumbled feta
½ cup kalamata olives, halved
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
⅛ - ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ tsp kosher salt or more to taste
Prepare quinoa (I often make this earlier in the day and set aside)
Place quinoa and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover and cook until water is absorbed and quinoa tender, approximately 15 minutes.
Let cool a few minutes, the fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Set aside.
In a small to medium saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil (or more to cover base of pan if needed) until shimmering but not burning. Add rinsed chickpeas, sprinkle with salt and saute on medium heat 5-7 minutes or until warm and starting to get crisp. You can cook for as little or as much as you like! You could also use chickpeas, not heated in olive oil and salt but I find the warmed chickpeas add a nice flavor.
In a large bowl, mix prepared quinoa with ½ dressing.
Add scallions, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, pepper, feta, warmed chickpeas and olives. Toss to combine with additional dressing. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Serve warm or cold. Enjoy!
Stores well in a sealed container in the refrigerator for a few day
Hi! My name is Karen, and I’m the mom in our Healthy Gluten-Free Family. My posts and pictures here and on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter are labors of love that allow me to share a very personal journey with you, one our family has taken together — learning, experimenting and sharing how to raise a healthy happy gluten-free family. Read more ...