Perfect for summer cookouts and easy dinners, this Greek Quinoa Salad is filling, healthy, and full of savory Greek flavors.
This recipe was originally published on June 9, 2020. It was updated on May 12, 2021.
A savory, herby, and crunchy salad, this Greek Quinoa Salad is the perfect easy recipe for warm summer months. Bring it to your next barbecue or cookout or make it for meal prep this week!
Anyone else super surprised that it's already MAY?!
I guess I shouldn't be that surprised, given what a time vortex this last year or so has felt like. I mean, how has time gone both slowly and quickly at the same time?!
But, given my shock, and the weather that's suddenly sunny and warm, I've decided it's finally time to slow my roll on the baking, allow my kitchen to cool off and get together some good summer barbecue and cookout recipes!
And what's better for summer barbecues than a fresh and veggie-filled versatile salad (Ok, ok, aside from some freshly smoked or grilled meat or fish, that is 😉 the whole family will love?
Because this salad is easy to make (it only takes a few basic steps), transports easily, and goes with so many sides (smoked meats or fish, anyone?).
You also can pack the leftovers of this salad for lunch the next day, or just enjoy at home -- 'cause, well, some of us still need to make the best of working from home, right?
And even if no small barbecues are on your schedule, who says this large vegetarian salad can't make a delicious light summer dinner? After all, it doesn't heat up the whole kitchen and you can top it with some grilled chicken or fish or stir in some garbanzo beans or lentils for more staying power.
Either way, let's treat ourselves for making it to summer this year. And celebrate in all the meaningful ways -- big and small, especially with some good food. 💗
Table of contents
- Perfect for summer cookouts and easy dinners, this Greek Quinoa Salad is filling, healthy, and full of savory Greek flavors.
- This recipe was originally published on June 9, 2020. It was updated on May 12, 2021.
- This Greek Quinoa Salad is...
- Quinoa Greek salad ingredients:
- Recipe substitutions:
- How do you make this quinoa salad recipe:
- Recipe pro-tips:
- Cold quinoa salad FAQs:
- Dietary preferences adaptations:
- Additional quinoa salad recipe mix-ins:
- Quinoa salad serving suggestions:
- Storage directions:
- Tools needed to make this recipe:
- More cookout salad and grilling side dish recipes:
- Grilling recipes to serve with this quinoa salad:
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Roasted Tomato & Burrata Salad
- Chickpea & Grilled Corn Salad
- Mom's Tuna Macaroni Salad
- Roasted Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad
This Greek Quinoa Salad is...
Nutritious and delicious need not be mutually exclusive! This light salad is chockfull of good-for-you goodies while boasting the flavor you crave!
Quinoa Greek salad ingredients:
- Red wine vinegar
- Lemon juice & zest - fresh juice is best but bottled also works
- Dried oregano & dill
- Red onion
- Olive oil
- Sweet peppers
- Feta cheese - purchase pre-crumbled cheese or a large chunk and crumble it yourself
- Pitted kalamata olives
- Fresh dill and oregano - just substitute 1 ½ teaspoons fresh chopped dill and 2 ¼ teaspoons fresh oregano for the dried herbs
- Dijon mustard - this is listed as an optional ingredient in this recipe, as it isn't a typical Greek ingredient. It does add great depth to the dressing, however, so add it if you please but don't stress if you don't have it on hand.
- Tomatoes - diced Roma plum or sandwich tomatoes can substitute for the halved baby tomatoes
- Quinoa - steamed rice, couscous, Israeli couscous, and orzo can all work in place of the quinoa in this recipe
- Vinegar & lemon juice - if you don't have both the vinegar and the lemon juice, you can substitute all of one or the other
How do you make this quinoa salad recipe:
- Rinse the quinoa and cook it according to the package directions. Cool the quinoa until at least at room temperature.
- Whisk the salad dressing ingredients together until combined.
- Place the quinoa, veggies, olives, and feta on a large serving platter or in a large serving bowl.
- Drizzle the salad dressing over the salad and toss the salad until all the vegetables are evenly mixed in.
- Chill the quinoa salad until serving or serve right away. Enjoy!
- Dice the veggies uniformly - this helps all the flavors to evenly distribute through the salad and makes it easier to eat
- Use decent quality extra virgin olive oil - it will add the purest flavor to the salad. Greek olive oil works well but isn't mandatory.
Cold quinoa salad FAQs:
To get rid of quinoa's soapy flavor, just rinse it before cooking it. I recommend adding it to a mesh strainer and running cool water over it for 15-30 seconds, or until all of the quinoa has been rinsed.
Cooking quinoa like pasta will create the fluffiest quinoa. Just add your rinsed quinoa to a large saucepan of simmering salted water and cook for 14-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Then drain the cooked quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and continue on with the recipe as directed.
Cool the cooked quinoa quickly by spreading it out on a large dinner plate and placing it in the fridge for 10-20 minutes.
You can serve this salad either way, so do so however you prefer!
Serving the salad warm makes it seem a bit heartier and more filling whereas serving it cool is more refreshing and cooling. See my recipe notes for how to prepare it both warm and cold.
Dietary preferences adaptations:
- Gluten-free - this recipe is naturally gluten-free
- Vegetarian - this recipe is vegetarian as-is
- Vegan - omit the feta cheese to make this recipe entirely plant-based
- Dairy-free - similarly, omitting the feta in this recipe will make it dairy-free
Additional quinoa salad recipe mix-ins:
Change up the flavor or add extra staying power to this salad by mixing in any of the following ingredients:
- Navy beans
- Grilled chicken, salmon, or shrimp
- Minced red onion
- Sundried tomatoes
- Green onions
- Spinach or baby leafy greens
Quinoa salad serving suggestions:
Serve this salad as-is for a light lunch or refreshing summer dinner. Make it a more filling meal with any of the following side dishes or toppings:
- Pita chips
- Warm pita or crusty bread
- Grilled Chicken
- Grilled Salmon
- Shrimp kebabs
I also love serving this salad over baby kale or spring greens to add some extra nutrition and flavor!
This salad is also delicious served with a nice glass of Chenin blanc, pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, or light lager beer.
Meal prep ideas:
Serve this recipe for meal prep throughout the week. Serve it..
- In a wrap
- On spring greens
- With fruit slices and whole wheat crackers
- With grilled or roasted protein (chicken, shrimp, salmon, steak, etc.)
- With roasted veggies
- Refrigeration: quinoa salad leftovers last covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
- Freezing: I do not recommend freezing quinoa salad.
More cookout salad and grilling side dish recipes:
- Italian Pasta Salad with Tuna
- Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Salad
- Cranberry & Edamame Brown Rice Salad
- Greek Penne Pasta Salad
- 5 Bean Salad (Vegan + Gluten-Free!)
- Mediterranean Chickpea & Orzo Salad
- Roasted Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad
- Avocado Blueberry Salad
- Mom's Tuna Macaroni Salad
Grilling recipes to serve with this quinoa salad:
Get all my recipes as they drop!
Tools needed to make this recipe:
- Medium-sized saucepan
- Medium-size mixing bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Citrus juicer
- Lemon zester or Microplane
- Cutting board
- Chef knife (this knife is amazing for the super affordable price!)
- Rubber or silicone spatula
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- 1 ½ cups quinoa, rinsed and cooked according to package directions*
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried dill
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup minced red onion
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 ½ cups chopped cucumber***
- 1 ½ cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1 large (or 2 halves) sweet yellow and/or red pepper, diced into ½" pieces
- ¾ cup pitted and halved Kalamata olives
- ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl whisk together all of the dressing ingredients until combined.
- In a large serving bowl or mixing platter, combined the cooled quinoa, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, sweet pepper, olives, and feta cheese.
- Drizzle the salad dressing over the salad. Lightly toss the salad until combined.
- Refrigerate the salad covered for 1-2 hours before serving or serve right away. Enjoy!
1.* Or, cook your rinsed quinoa in a large saucepan of salted water, just like you would pasta, for 14-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Drain in a fine-mesh strainer.
To quickly cool your quinoa pour it out on a large dinner plate and spread it out evenly. Then place in the fridge for 10-20 minutes, or until it's at least room temperature, and your quinoa is ready to go!
2. You can also substitute in a bottled Greek Salad dressing.
3. To serve your quinoa salad warm, just skip the quinoa cooling step.
4. This salad lasts covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. It does not freeze well.
Amount Per Serving Calories 245Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 16gCholesterol 13mgSodium 445mgCarbohydrates 11gFiber 2gSugar 2gProtein 4g
This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dieticians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.