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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

This healthy quinoa salad recipe is perfect for lunch or for a refreshing summer dinner. Made with seasonal and colorful ingredients, it's naturally vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Lunch, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 375kcal
Author: Sara @ Gathering Dreams


For the quinoa salad:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained - (15 ounces)
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, cut in half

For the dressing:


  • Rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh colander. Combine it with 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Add half a teaspoon of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and let it cook for about 15 minutes until the quinoa has absorbed all the water. Remove from the heat, cover, and let it rest for 5 minutes to make it become soft and fluffy.
  • Wash all the veggies then chop the red onion, cucumber, and yellow bell pepper into small chunks. Cut the cherry tomatoes and black olives in half. Drain the chickpeas and rinse them well. If using cooked chickpeas, you'll need around 1 1/2 cup.
  • While the quinoa cools a bit, prepare the dressing. Squeeze one lemon, and finely chop the basil leaves. In a small bowl or a small jar combine the extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, the juice of one lemon, and apple cider vinegar. Whisk or shake well until blended.
  • Add the quinoa to a serving bowl, then add the chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, red onions, cucumber, yellow bell pepper, and black olives and drizzle the dressing on top. Mix well, taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  • If you have time, let it rest for 10 minutes before serving to allow the dressing to infuse the salad with its fresh summery taste.
    This salad is great served at room temperature, or you can prepare it in advance and serve it chilled.


How to store Quinoa Salad

You can keep this salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. It's perfect served at room temperature, or cold straight out of the fridge if it's a hot summer day.
This quinoa salad is perfect for meal prep or for a summer picnic in the park. I love to store it in these beautiful jars and take it with me on our days out.

How to eat Quinoa Salad

I love eating this quinoa salad for lunch or dinner on its own. It's filling and naturally packed with good proteins from the quinoa and chickpeas. If you are going to eat it as your main, these ingredients will be enough for 2-3 people. But you can also serve it as a small side salad with some fish, chicken or tofu.

Mix it up

I love this refreshing salad as it is, but feel free to mix it up and add your favorite ingredients to it. If you have any other leftover veggies in the refrigerator, feel free to get inventive. You can add black beans, green beans, avocado, sundried tomatoes, and also sprinkle some feta cheese on top.


Calories: 375kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 307mg | Potassium: 535mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 454IU | Vitamin C: 68mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 3mg