This Greek Quinoa Salad features tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta, and a homemade Greek dressing. Packed with protein and nutrients, this light quinoa salad makes a perfect light lunch or side dish.
Quinoa is a staple grain at my house, as it cooks up fast and is loaded with protein and fiber. While I love to use it as a base for grain bowls and in Quinoa Burgers, my favorite way to enjoy quinoa happens to be this Greek Quinoa Salad.
Dressed with a tangy, briny, Greek vinaigrette and filled with tons of fresh vegetables and herbs, this grain salad is satisfying and full of textures and flavor. But it is also really easy to make and perfect for meal-prepping in advance.
In fact, I often make a big batch of this Greek Quinoa Salad on a Sunday and enjoy lunch for the week. Not only is it nutritious and keeps me full for hours, but it also packs well and can be enjoyed both cold or at room temperature.
Whether you are looking for a flavorful grain salad, a hearty side dish, or a healthy lunch, you've got to try this Greek Quinoa Salad.
Notes on Ingredients
- Quinoa: You can use any variety or color of quinoa you desire.
- Greek Dressing: The dressing is made with red wine vinegar, olive oil, dried herbs, and capers. The capers will add so much zing and flavor to the dressing. And because the dressing is blended, you won't bite into a whole caper which can be overwhelming.
- Toppings: Feel free to use your imagination and pick and choose any vegetables and herbs you like, such as diced English cucumber, roasted red peppers, Kalamative olives, grape tomatoes, and artichoke hearts, fresh parsley, and crumbled feta cheese. Keep in mind that if using a regular cucumber or vine-ripened tomatoes, you will want to deseed them to keep the salad from becoming watered-down.
How to Make Greek Quinoa Salad
- Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse really well. Don't skip this step. Rinsing the quinoa will rid it of its natural coating, called saponin, which can make it taste bitter.
- To cook the quinoa, you can opt to simmer on the stovetop or use my method for Instant Pot Quinoa. I prefer using the instant pot method, as it is a bit faster and hands-off, but I have included instructions for both methods.
- Once the quinoa has cooked, fluff it with a fork, to separate the grains and keep it light and fluffy, and allow it to cool slightly while you prepare the dressing.
- Place the red wine vinegar, capers, garlic, olive oil, and seasonings into a blender or mini food processor and blend or process until well combined and the capers are broken down.
- Once the quinoa is cooled slightly, pour half of the dressing over the quinoa and toss to coat. The cooked, slightly warm quinoa will absorb the dressing immediately, flavoring the quinoa from the inside out.
- At this point, allow the quinoa to cool fully to room temperature, or transfer to the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before assembling.
- Once the quinoa is cooled, add in the remaining dressing and chopped vegetables, olives, and parsley.
- Toss everything together until well combined.
- At this point, it is best to cover the quinoa salad and chill for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
- When ready to serve, give the salad a good stir and then sprinkle with feta cheese if using.
Storage/Meal Prep Instructions
This Quinoa Salad can be assembled and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
If taking to work or in a school lunch, I suggest portioning out the quinoa salad into individual containers so that you can grab and go without any effort.
- Vegan-Friendly: Leave the feta cheese off this Greek Quinoa Salad, and it becomes dairy-free and vegan-friendly.
- Add More Protein: To really amp up the protein in this Quinoa Salad, add diced-up Greek Chicken or canned, rinsed chickpeas to the salad.
More Quinoa Recipes
If you enjoyed this simple Greek Quinoa Salad, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
Greek Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup dried quinoa
- water for cooking quinoa see instructions
For the Quinoa Salad
- 1 large roasted red pepper diced
- ¼ cup chopped kalamata olives
- 1 large English cucumber diced
- ½ cup chopped tomatoes
- ½ cup artichoke hearts chopped
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ½ cup feta cheese optional
For the Greek Dressing
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 minced garlic glove
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon capers
Stovetop Quinoa Instructions
- Combine the quinoa and salt with 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Place a lid on the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it sit, covered for 10 more minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Instant Pot Quinoa
- Combine the quinoa and salt with 1 cup of water in the inner pot of the instant pot. Cook on high pressure for 1 minute. Allow the pressure to release naturally on its own for at least 10 minutes. Open the pressure cooker and fluff with a fork.
- While the quinoa is cooling, prepare the dressing by placing the red wine vinegar, olive oil, oregano, garlic, capers, salt, and pepper into a blender or food processor and blending until the capers are broken down and well combined.
- Once quinoa is cooled slightly (about 10 minutes), pour half the dressing over the cooked quinoa.
- Once the quinoa has reached room temperature, pour the remaining salad dressing over the quinoa. Add in the cucumbers, feta, if using, olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and parsley. Toss together until everything is well distributed.
- Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to come together.
This recipe was orginally published in 2018 but was updated in 2022 with new tips.