When I think of Mediterranean Quinoa Salad… words like fresh, crisp, and light come to mind. Superfood meets veggies with a lemon dressing. This is a fantastic recipe for meal prep, as it holds up nicely and tastes even better as it sits and marinates in the fridge.
There are oodles of reasons on why I heart this recipe. It’s great on its own, served with crackers for dippin’, nestled alongside grilled chicken or salmon for a heartier meal, or stuffed inside wraps for a tasty lunch (and I recommend adding some crispy tofu for extra protein!). I’ll usually make a batch of this salad on Sunday afternoon and then we use it throughout the beginning of the week for an easy meal ideas.
Other make-ahead favorites include my Healthy Chicken Salad with Apples, this Mexican Street Corn Egg Salad (serve with chips!!), and my Homemade Antipasto Salad with Tangy Dressing (also fabulous inside wraps!).
Ingredients For Mediterranean Quinoa Salad:
Per the title, this is a “use what you have… aka kitchen sink” kinda recipe. I’ll list a few alternative options below, but here’s what I personally added to the mix:
- Veggie or Chicken Stock
- Great Northern Beans
- English Cucumber, cubed
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Red Onion
- Garlic & Herb Feta
- Italian Parsley
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Olive Oil
- Garlic Cloves
- Salt + Pepper
SWAPS & VARIATIONS:
I’m always using what I have on hand in recipes, just like these Mediterranean Quinoa Tabbouleh Mason Jars I made a few years ago (it’s a similar recipe but tastes drastically different… and it’s amazing as well!).
BEANS: We had Great Northern Beans and Butter Beans in the pantry. I opted for the Great Northern but honestly, either would taste great. Also, if you’d rather use chickpeas, go for it!
TOMATOES: I recently used sun-dried tomatoes in my Sun-Dried Tomato and Caper Chicken Meatballs with Feta recipe, so I already had a jar open in the fridge. However, you can totally use fresh tomatoes here if you’d like.
ONION: Any type of onion will do the trick… or even shallots! I had red onion on hand, so I opted for that. Pickled red onions go great here as well!
VEGGIES: The more the better! Ya’ll know I hate wasting extra ingredients, so I utilized some of the fresh carrots I had leftover from making my Easy Chicken Soup with Lemon & Thyme. I cut the carrot very thin with a handheld peeler and then chopped it into smaller pieces. I also used cucumber for extra freshness. Other veggies that would taste super delish include asparagus, celery, edamame beans, bell pepper, corn, peas, or green beans. Seriously, whatever you enjoy most!
HERBS: I used a mix of cilantro and Italian parsley. I’d totally add dill and/or oregano If I had some! The more herbs, the tastier!
OTHER SALADS YOU’LL SWOON OVER:
Seriously, think of these as awesome options for lunch, potlucks, picnics, road trips, or any type of travel!
- 1 cup Quinoa
- 2 cups Vegetable or Chicken Stock
- 1 medium English Cucumber, cubed
- 1 Carrot, thinly sliced & chopped
- ¼ cup Sun-dried Tomatoes, drained & chopped
- ¼ cup Chopped Red Onion
- 15 oz. can Great Northern Beans, drained & rinsed
- ½ cup Chopped Walnuts
- 3 oz. Garlic & Herb Feta
- ½ cup Italian Parsley, chopped
- ½ cup Cilantro, chopped
- 2 Lemons, juiced
- 1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
- ¼ cup Olive Oil
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- ½ tsp. each Salt + Pepper
- Cook the quinoa with vegetable or chicken stock according to the packaged directions. Between 15 - 20 minutes. Pour onto a plate and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Add the quinoa to a large mixing bowl with remaining ingredients. Mix all ingredients for the dressing in a small container and pour over the quinoa salad. Toss to combine.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed.
NOTES ON THIS RECIPE:
- I pour the cooked quinoa on a plate and place it in the freezer to cool down quickly. It should only take about 5 minutes.
- Personally, I’m obsessed with chopped walnuts in this recipe, but you can also use almonds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, or skip the nuts all together.
- Grabbing Garlic and Herb Crumbled Feta adds a boost of extra flavor. However, if you only have regular feta on hand, go ahead and use that! I’d probably add a few more herbs and spices with it for that kick of ohh-la-la.