Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

I love a big salad for lunch.  One that includes grains, vegetables, seeds or nuts and a little cheese.  This mediterranean quinoa salad is a perfect example.  It doesn’t take long to make.  While the quinoa cooks, chop your vegetables and then toss everything with a vinaigrette.  The artichokes and olives give it a mediterranean flair.  The red pepper, celery and sunflower seeds give it a satisfying crunch.  And since quinoa is a protein packed grain, it makes a very filling salad.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Some Notes About Quinoa:

Quinoa needs to be rinsed before you cook it.  There is a bitter coating on the quinoa that needs to be rinsed away.  Rinse it in a fine mesh sieve under running water for a minute or so.

I’ve had a hard time cooking quinoa in the past – it would turn out mushy.  I think the secret to cooking quinoa is once the cooking time is up and all the water has evaporated from the pan, is to turn the quinoa out on to a baking sheet to cool. This will leave the quinoa delicate and fluffy – definitely not mushy.  Just make sure that all the water has evaporated in the pan before turning it out onto a baking sheet.  If there is any water in the bottom of the pan then drain it using a fine mesh sieve – then turn it out on to the baking sheet.

Make a big batch of quinoa and leave it in the fridge.  You can add it to any salads, stir fries or chili that you make during the week.


Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

A mediterranean quinoa salad with artichokes, olives and red pepper. A satisfying and filling quinoa salad.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 1x


  • Salad:
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 red pepper
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 20 kalamata olives
  • 1 cup of marinated artichoke hearts
  • 4 scallions – green part only
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tbs sunflower seeds
  • Dressing:
  • 6 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Rinse quinoa and cook as per package instructions. I like to add a veggie bullion cube. Once finished cooking, turn quinoa out on to baking sheet to cool.
  2. Finely chop red pepper, olives and celery and add to a bowl.
  3. Give marinated artichoke hearts a rough chop and add to the bowl.
  4. Use the green part of the scallions only – discard white part. Chop scallions thinly and add to the bowl.
  5. Add feta cheese and sunflower seeds.
  6. Whisk olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper together.
  7. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine.

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6 comments on “Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

  1. Nancy in NYC

    What a great suggestion to cool the quinoa on a baking sheet! I did that this evening and it turned out light and fluffy instead of mushy and sticky. 🙂

    Since I was optimistic about the cooling technique, I made a big batch. So in addition to my delicious salad (which was something in between this recipe and the one for the Israeli couscous salad with summer vegetables), I now have some perfectly cooked quinoa to use throughout the week. I’m very pleased! Thanks for your great recipes and helpful guidance!

    1. Geraldine Post author

      Hi Nancy – it makes such a difference to the quinoa by letting it cool on a pan! I also make a big batch of quinoa and then keep it in the fridge to add to salads or stir fries during the week – such a time saver. Hope you had a nice holiday weekend!

  2. Jill Ridgway

    I loved this salad! It would be great to take on a picnic or to a potluck! I used the rainbow quinoa and roasted it in a bit of Olive oil before adding the liquid, but I did follow the suggestion to cool it on a cookie sheet. It came out perfectly!


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