This Greek Quinoa Salad recipe is a tasty and nutritious dish that’s filling enough to serve as a complete meal yet light enough to enjoy as a side. Tender cooked quinoa gets combined with fresh veggies, creamy feta cheese, and tangy Kalamata olives. Tossed with a vibrant olive oil dressing, this salad is ready in 15 minutes and makes enough to feed a crowd.
Recipe Highlights: Quinoa the Mediterranean Way
This Greek Quinoa Salad is so flavorful and sure to become a healthy recipe staple for you because it:
- Utilizes a wide variety of healthful, real-food ingredients including nutrient-dense quinoa
- Requires minimal prep time and a total time of just 15 minutes
- Stores well in the fridge for a few days, meaning it’s great for meal prep
- Is naturally gluten-free, nut-free, and vegetarian
- Contains a great balance of fiber-rich carbohydrates, healthy fats, and plant-based protein
- Is colorful and perfect for summer potlucks, picnics, and packed lunches
Say Goodbye to Boring Salads, Say Hello To Greek Quinoa Salad
We love a hearty salad recipe that is both nourishing and satisfying. Whether we’re preparing a side dish to bring to the neighborhood potluck or getting ready to meal prep healthy meals for the week, hearty salad recipes always hit the spot. The key to making a delicious and nutritious salad recipe is to load it up with ingredients that offer a variety of tastes and textures. Then, to ensure it’s filling, aim to include a balance of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. his Greek Quinoa Salad checks off all those boxes. Soft, cooked quinoa, crisp veggies, and an herbed olive oil dressing combine for a Mediterranean-inspired dish that’s pretty in appearance and satisfying to eat!
Ingredients to Make This Salad
This quinoa salad recipe utilizes key components of the Mediterranean Diet for a vibrant, flavorful dish. Here’s everything you’ll need from the grocery store along with simple substitutions so you can make it today:
- Fresh spinach – you’ll use spinach to form the base of the salad while packing in lots of vitamins and nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin A, B vitamins, manganese, folate, and copper; may sub arugula or any fresh greens of choice
- Cucumber – we recommend English cucumbers, but you can also use Persian or hot house cukes, or sub in a yellow squash or zucchini
- Tomatoes – grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes work best as they’re sweeter than other, larger varieties; chopped heirloom tomatoes will also work great
- Red onion
- Artichoke hearts – use canned, jarred or frozen artichoke hearts
- Crumbled feta cheese – included to add a tang, creamy texture, and calcium
- Kalamata olives – these add a delightful brininess that contributes to an authentic Greek salad
- Quinoa – tip: cook the quinoa ahead of time so it has plenty of time to cool before you assemble the salad
- Avocado oil – our go-to is Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil; may sub extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh oregano – may sub 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Lemon juice
- Salt and black pepper
Find the ingredient list with exact measurements in the recipe card below.
Ingredient Spotlight: Quinoa
With a list of 16 healthy quinoa recipes, it’s pretty clear we’re big fans of using quinoa in a variety of dishes. Not only is this pseudocereal extremely versatile, but it’s also full of health benefits!
For example, quinoa is:
- A complete source of plant-based protein
- An excellent source of fiber
- High in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B6, folate, copper, iron, manganese, zinc, potassium, and phosphorous
How to Make The Best Greek Quinoa Salad Recipe
Here are the steps to make this quinoa salad recipe in a matter of minutes:
- Combine the salad. If you haven’t cooked the quinoa ahead of time, start by cooking the quinoa. In a large bowl, add all the salad ingredients, and set it aside.
- Prepare the salad dressing. Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or a jar with a lid until smooth.
- Toss the salad. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients, and gently toss to combine.
- Chill. Store the quinoa salad in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
For the complete directions and ingredient amounts, scroll down to the recipe card below. All of our recipes include complete nutrition information, listing calories, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, sodium, cholesterol, and more per serving.
Tip! Serving Suggestions
Feel free to jazz up this Greek quinoa salad with extra mix-ins, such as bell pepper, fresh parsley, or other fresh herbs or green onions. You could also add a hint of heat or tang to the dressing with a dash of red pepper flakes, Dijon mustard, or red wine vinegar. Or, swap out the homemade vinaigrette for your favorite store-bought dressing.
In addition, if you want to turn this side dish into a complete meal, try incorporating extra protein from the addition of grilled chicken, shrimp, or keep it vegetarian by adding a can chickpeas or white beans.
Frequently Asked Questions
Made with healthful ingredients, this Greek quinoa salad is low in saturated fat, high in plant-based protein, and full of vitamins, nutrients, and fiber for a nutritious, well-rounded recipe you can feel good about eating and serving to others. Additionally, it’s gluten-free, nut-free, egg-free, and vegetarian, so people following these special diets can enjoy it as well.
Quinoa has a fairly mild taste, meaning it’s a wonderful canvas for adding other high-flavor ingredients, especially those that complement quinoa’s slight natural bitterness. In this salad, we’ve combined quinoa with tomatoes, olives, artichokes, and feta for a variety of flavors. To enhance the flavor of plain cooked quinoa, try cooking it in chicken broth or vegetable stock instead of water.
Both rice and quinoa can be part of a healthful diet. In terms of nutrient profiles, quinoa is slightly higher in minerals than white or brown rice. In addition, quinoa has more fiber and protein than rice.
Yes, once combined, this quinoa salad recipe can be transferred to an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
Nearly all foods provide a variety of nutrients, so it’s a misnomer to label a foods as a “carb” or “protein”. Quinoa, for example, contains both carbohydrates and protein. A 1-cup serving of quinoa contains 39 grams of carb and 8 grams of protein.
Make It Dairy-Free
For a dairy-free salad, replace the 1/2 cup feta cheese with extra avocado or your favorite vegan feta cheese alternative, or simply omit the feta cheese.
Make It Vegan
To make this recipe vegan, simply omit or replace the feta cheese crumbles. If you want to serve it as a main course, you could add additional protein by stirring in a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas or white beans.
Greek Quinoa Salad with Avocado
This Greek Quinoa Salad features a variety of delicious Mediterranean flavors, including briny Kalamata olives and feta, as well as flavor-popping tomatoes, crunchy cucumber, and creamy avocado. It’s perfect for lunch packing, potlucks and picnics, serving as a tasty side dish, or even as a vegetarian main-dish salad.
For the Salad:
- 4 cups spinach or mixed greens (about 4 handfuls)
- 1 cup sliced cucumber
- ¾ cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup sliced red onion
- ½ cup canned, jarred, or frozen artichoke hearts (drained or thawed)
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup pitted and halved kalamata olives
- 1 small avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
- 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa*
For the Dressing:
- 1/3 cup avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, roughly chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
- Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients. Set aside.
- In a small bowl or jar with lid, whisk (or shake) together the dressing ingredients. Pour over salad and toss gently to coat.
- Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.
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*To make quinoa, follow package instructions or see our easy step-by-step guide for cooking perfect quinoa every time.
May use 1/3-1/2 cup Primal Kitchen Greek Vinaigrette instead of making the homemade vinaigrette
- Serving Size: 1/5 of recipe
- Calories: 275
- Fat: 18 g
- (Sat Fat: 4 g)
- Sodium: 420 mg
- Carbohydrate: 18 g
- (Fiber: 5 g
- Sugar: 2 g)
- Protein: 6 g
- Cholesterol: 8 mg
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Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter.
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