A Must-Have Quinoa Salad

This Quinoa Salad, served in the form of a deli, is a salad that can do it all. After years of trial and error, we’ve settled on the best method for preparing a salad with this airy grain. This salad is a riot of crunch and color, with fluffy quinoa grains and a zingy Dijon mustard vinaigrette for a delightfully light and refreshing meal. Its high vegetable content makes it perfect as a side dish for supper, a lunch option, or a contribution to a potluck or picnic. Feel the enchantment for yourself!

The Quinoa Salad’s Yummy Ingredients

This decade has seen quinoa become the most popular whole grain, despite the fact that it is not a true grain at all. Despite being a seed, it is often referred to as a “psedograin” since it is consumed in the same manner as grains. How’s this for an old grain: it originated in South America and was originally consumed by the Incas in the Andes almost 7,000 years ago.

This delectable seed can be used as a filling for enchiladas or as a side dish. However, it really shines when used in a salad, tossed with vegetables and a dressing like you would with rice, bulgur, or pasta. What’s the salad’s biggest selling point? Toss the cooked quinoa and chopped vegetables with the dressing and serve. Before getting started, there are just a few things to keep in mind. The ingredients for this quinoa salad are as follows:

  • Quinoa Tomatoes with Parsley Dry
  • The English cucumber is a seedless type with a mild flavor and tender flesh that doesn’t require peeling. If you’re going to use a regular cucumber, peel it first.
  • Scarlet pepper
  • We like Tuscan kale’s mild flavor to that of spicy curly kale, and it’s simple to locate in the supermarket (often under the name Lacinato or dinosaur kale).
  • Onions, green
  • Sea salt and basil leaves
  • To make the sauce: Honey, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and Dijon mustard.
  • Crumbs of feta cheese (optional).

How to properly prepare and chill quinoa

Cooking perfect quinoa can be challenging, even for experienced chefs. It may turn out saturated and drenched. Here are some pointers for making perfectly fluffy quinoa for this salad:

  • Use our suggested amount of water to achieve light and airy grits. Most quinoa recipes call for 2 cups of water for 1 cup of quinoa, however this might result in a soggy dish. Extensive testing led us to a new ratio of 1 cup quinoa to 1 34 cups water. When cooked, the grains become airy and not at all soggy.
  • Here’s a tip: let it cool before adding it to the salad. The heated and soggy grain can’t be tossed directly into the salad. Instead, try this: spread it out in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze it for two or three minutes. Then the quinoa can be used immediately after coming to room temperature.
  • Or prepare the quinoa ahead of time. You may prepare the quinoa up to a day ahead of time and store it in the fridge; if you do this, you won’t need to wait for it to cool before serving.

Dishes that go well with this quinoa salad

  • Serve it as a side with your next meat, fish, vegetarian, or vegan meal.
  • A great option for a healthy lunch that will keep in the fridge for up to five days.
  • Use it as a part of a salad platter for a picnic.
  • Make it ahead of time and bring it to the potluck.
  • Grilled foods: sprinkle it on before serving

Quick Glances


  • 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
  • ¼ 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
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup feta crumbles, optional


  • How to Cook Quinoa: Drain the quinoa thoroughly after rinsing it in a fine mesh strainer. Combine it with 1 3/4 cups water and a 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt in a saucepan. Get it boiling, then turn the heat down low. Simmer, covered, at a low boil for 15–18 minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed. (Pull the quinoa apart with a fork to see whether any water is left behind.) Remove from fire and let steam for 5 minutes with lid on; fluff with a fork. (You can do this the day before you plan on making the salad; just store the quinoa in the fridge.)
  • Bring the quinoa to room temperature. If you want to make the salad right after cooking the quinoa, here’s a tip: spread the quinoa in a uniform layer on a baking sheet. Cool it down to room temperature in the freezer for a couple of minutes.
  • Get the veggies chopped and seasoned: Prepare the salad by chopping the listed ingredients: parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers, red peppers, Tuscan kale, and onions. Combine them with the remaining 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt and the dried basil in a big bowl.
  • Prepare the condiment: Mix the honey/maple syrup, vinegar, and Dijon mustard in a medium bowl and set aside. Add the olive oil a tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly, until the mixture is smooth and an emulsion develops.
  • Shake up the salad: Combine the quinoa, vegetables, and dressing in a bowl and mix well. Consume right away, or marinate for up to 24 hours before serving (taste, and add more salt if necessary). Keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Nutritional Facts

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