Summer Quinoa Salad

Quinoa (KEEN-wah) is an ancient, whole grain, or more accurately a seed, that has quickly gained popularity in the last several years. Originally from South America, quinoa is a small seed, but packs a lot of nutrition as it is high in protein. It is also low in carbohydrates and gluten free, making it a great addition to those with gluten intolerance.

There are several different varieties of quinoa, most noticeably white and red. Red quinoa has a nutty taste, where as white is more mild. For this recipe I prefer using white quinoa, both for it’s taste, as well as for it’s lighter color which allows the vibrant colors of the vegetables to stand out. This is a very flavorful salad, with a light, fresh dressing, that fills you up with out being heavy. Great for a summer picnic or a light lunch on a hot day.

summer quinoa

Summer Quinoa Salad


  • 4 cups cooked quinoa
  • small pint container cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 orange pepper, diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • small bunch of scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh dill or fresh cilantro, minced


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Cook quinoa according to package instructions, for a more flavorful option, cook in chicken broth instead of water.

Cool to room temperature, fluff grains with fork and refrigerate till cold. Prepare vegetables and combine dressing ingredients.

When quinoa is cooled combine vegetables, herbs and quinoa in a large bowl. Stir gently to combine. Add enough dressing to coat ingredients with out becoming mushy or soggy. If necessary, add more salt, pepper or fresh herbs to taste.

Serve immediately or refrigerate. Keeps well overnight. If you are serving it the next day, stir and add more dressing if necessary before serving.


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