This vegan, gluten free Mediterranean quinoa salad is the best make ahead recipe for a healthy lunch or dinner. It’s easy to make and super nutritious.
You know those meals that you just feel HAPPY eating? This is one of them for me. Everything about this Mediterranean quinoa salad just makes me feel good. It’s a quinoa salad you’d order at a cute vegan cafe, or grab and go for a picnic lunch.
This recipe is super easy to make, with no complicated ingredients. It’s vegan and gluten free, so you can share with loved ones who have dietary restrictions. Additionally, it’s so tasty, fresh, and filling on it’s own, but makes an excellent side dish, too.
What’s in this Mediterranean quinoa salad?
Here are all the ingredients you need to make this salad. Everything is plant based, and the summer vegetables are in season right now!
Quinoa: This pseudo-grain is the base of the salad. It has a mild, nutty flavor and slightly chewy texture. Quinoa also packs more protein than other grains. One cup cooked has 8 grams!
Cherry tomatoes: Choose the smallest ones you can find.
Cucumber: I recommend using English or greenhouse cucumber, because they have very few, small seeds.
Bell pepper: I used a red one, but any color will do.
How to make Mediterranean quinoa salad
Cook quinoa according to package instructions.
Chop the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, and red onion.
Mince the fresh herbs.
Slice kalamata olives in half.
Whisk together lemon juice and olive oil.
Mix everything together in a large bowl, and toss everything in the dressing with a generous shake of salt and pepper.
Tips for making this recipe perfectly
Salt the cooking water before cooking quinoa. This adds subtle flavor to the quinoa.
Wait until quinoa cools to mix into the salad. Prepare the quinoa ahead of time so it can cool completely before you make this salad. You can put it in the fridge to speed up the cooling process.
Chop veggies into small, uniform pieces. Smaller pieces mix up better in this quinoa salad than larger ones.