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Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


This versatile quinoa salad recipe pairs crunchy veggies with a zingy dressing! It’s ideal as a side dish, for lunches, picnics, and more.


  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 cup finely chopped curly parsley
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 English cucumber, diced (peeled if using a standard cucumber)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 to 1 bunch Tuscan kale* (aka Lacinato or dinosaur kale), chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 3 green onions
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot or red onion, (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup feta crumbles, optional


  1. Make the quinoa: Rinse the quinoa using a fine mesh strainer, then drain it completely. Place it in a saucepan with 1 3/4 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer where the water is just bubbling for about 15 to 18 minutes, until the water has been completely absorbed. (Check by pulling back the quinoa with a fork to see if water remains.) Turn off the heat and let sit with the lid on to steam for 5 minutes, then fluff the quinoa with a fork. (This step can be completed the day before; refrigerate the quinoa until ready to make the salad.)
  2. Cool the quinoa to room temperature: If making the salad immediately after cooking the quinoa, here’s a trick: dump the quinoa onto a baking sheet and spread it in an even layer. Pop it in the freezer for 2 to 3 minutes until cooled to room temperature. 
  3. Chop and season the vegetables: Chop the parsley, tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, Tuscan kale, and onions as noted in the ingredient list above. Mix them in a large bowl with the remaining 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and the dried basil. 
  4. Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey or maple syrup, vinegar, and Dijon mustard. Slowly whisk in the olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time until fully combined and an emulsion forms. 
  5. Mix the salad: Stir together the quinoa, vegetables and dressing. Eat immediately, or marinate 30 minutes to 24 hours before serving (then taste and add additional salt if needed). Stores 3 to 5 days refrigerated. 


*Bunch sizes can vary, use half bunch if it’s very large or you prefer a lower ratio of kale in your quinoa salad.

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No cook
  • Cuisine: Salad
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Quinoa salad, quinoa salad recipe