Greek Quinoa Salad
This 30 Minute Greek Quinoa Salad is loaded with tons of vegetables and tossed with lemon and olive oil! This Mediterranean style recipe makes a great light lunch or healthy dinner! This delicious recipe is a copycat version of Panera’s Modern Greek Salad with Quinoa. The tangy lemon and olive oil dressing keeps this salad very light while the added feta cheese adds a punch of flavor.
Looking for more Healthy Salad Recipes? Try my Chopped Kale Quinoa Avocado Salad, my Berry Spinach Salad or my Mexican Kale Salad!
I have been on a kale and quinoa kick every since I made this Chopped Kale Quinoa and Avocado Salad. The crunch of the kale and the protein from the quinoa make this the perfect healthy lunch or light dinner in the Summer. We love meal prepping this salad and eating it all week for lunches. This is one of those salads that get even better the longer it sits. It also goes great with grilled chicken, beef kabobs or salmon.
This vegetarian salad is loaded with tons of vegetables such as kale, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and red onion. Kale is loaded with protein and is full of essential vitamins and minerals. Quinoa is high in fiber and protein making this a super healthy salad!
This quinoa salad comes together so fast. While the quinoa is cooking I like to chop up all of my vegetables then toss everything together and serve. It takes less than 30 minutes to put together from start to finish.
Greek Quinoa Salad Ingredients
- Quinoa: Use your favorite type of quinoa. Red quinoa can be substituted in this recipe and would add a pretty pop of color!
- Kale: You can use either baby kale or regular curly kale. I’ve used both and they both work great. Just make sure to remove stems off of both. You can also make this salad with half kale half spinach or romaine.
- Veggies: Tomatoes, cucumbers and red onion are added.
- Olives: I like to use Kalamata olives however black or green olives can also be used.
- Fresh Parsley: You can substitute 1 teaspoon dried parsley in place of the fresh.
- Lemon juice: Adds a nice tang and acidity to the salad. If you don’t have any lemon juice on hand substitute lime juice, apple cider or red wine vinegar.
- Olive oil: Along with lemon juice create a light and healthy dressing for the salad.
- Feta cheese: If you are vegan omit the feta cheese.
How to Cook Quinoa
Believe it or not there is a right and a wrong way to cook quinoa. Cooking and prepping quinoa correctly creates light and fluffy quinoa!
- Wash quinoa: Thoroughly before adding to the pot. Why is it important to rinse quinoa? According to The Kitchn quinoa has a natural coating called saponin. It has a distinctive bitter taste that can remain after cooking. That is why it is recommended to thoroughly give your quinoa a wash under cold water for 1-2 minutes.
- Cook: Add quinoa and water to the pot at the same time. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. I use a ratio of 2 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa. To add extra flavor to the quinoa feel free to substitute chicken or vegetable stock in place of the water.
- Fluff: Just like with rice quinoa needs to be fluffed with a fork as well. Fluffing the quinoa adds in some air and allows the grains to separate and not clump together.
How to make Greek Quinoa Salad
Add the cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, kale, olives, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice to a large bowl. Add in the cooked and cooled quinoa and toss to coat the quinoa and veggies in dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of feta cheese or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Variations For This Recipe
- Top this salad with protein if desired: Salmon, chicken or shrimp would all be delicious on top of this Greek salad!
- Add some nuts for crunch! I love adding pepitas, walnuts or slivered almonds.
- Substitute chicken broth or vegetable broth: In place of the water for extra flavor.
- Adjust to your taste: Want it a little sweeter? Add in some honey! Want more tang? Add in more olives or lemon juice! You could also add in a splash of red wine vinegar.
What To Serve With This Greek Quinoa Salad
This salad makes a great lunch to meal prep ahead of time. I like to make it at the beginning of the week then have it for easy lunches! You can also serve this quinoa salad as a side dish. Here are some suggestions on what to serve with it:
- Hummus (I love Inspired Taste’s recipe!)
- Chicken Shawarma
- Greek Hummus Phyllo Bites
- Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges
- Easy Grilled Steak Kabobs
- The BEST Grilled Chicken
- Honey Garlic Salmon
Here Are Some More Healthy Salad Recipes To Try!
- Strawberry Spinach Salad with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing
- Summer Fruit Salad with Mint and Lime Juice
- Easy Berry Fruit Salad
- Mexican Salmon Salad
- Easy Mexican Kale Salad
- Chopped Kale and Quinoa Salad
- Italian Chopped Salad
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Greek Quinoa Salad
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup baby kale stems removed
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes quartered
- 1/2 cup cucumber diced
- 1/4 cup red onion minced
- 2 tablespoons kalamata olives
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- feta cheese for topping
- Add water and quinoa to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile add the rest of the ingredients to a medium bowl. Toss in cooked quinoa. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of feta cheese or refrigerate until ready to serve.