Easy Quinoa Salad

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Sharing my go-to quinoa salad recipe with a simple lemon dressing, as well, a variety of quinoa salad recipes to try! 

Since discovering how to make quinoa ages ago I have been hooked on making quinoa salads. I’ve made so many over the years that I’ve built up quite the collection, but I still have a favorite that I’ll always make time and time again.

That’s the recipe I’m sharing today. 

Bowl of quinoa salad with feta, spinach and tomatoes.

Quinoa is so easy to prepare, incredibly versatile, high in protein and fiber and can be served for just about any meal! I love using it for a variety of recipes, but where quinoa really shines is in salads!

While this salad is my go-to, I have a ton more including Greek Quinoa SaladRoasted Broccoli Quinoa Salad and Southwestern Quinoa Salad.

Side by side photos. One is of quinoa and water in a pot. The second is of cooked quinoa in a pot with a spoon and topped with parsley.

Cooking Quinoa for Salad

When it comes to cooking quinoa to use for salad, it’s basically the same process as normal, but I like to make my quinoa a day in advance, let it cool and chill it in the fridge overnight and then use it for the salad the next day.

Prepping it in advance is just so the quinoa doesn’t heat up the other salad ingredients. Of course it’s fine to cook it the same day and just let it cool a bit before using. I do this all the time when I’m in a rush!

Quinoa, tomatoes, avocado, feta, spinach, lemon juice, spices and red onion measured out in bowls.

Ingredients Needed: 

Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious (and super easy) quinoa salad:

  • baby spinach – baby spinach has a mild flavor and texture that works perfectly in this quinoa salad. I like thinly slicing it or shredded it so the pieces are bite-size and easy to eat. 
  • cherry tomatoes –  these little guys add such great flavor to the salad. 
  • red onion – the perfect way to add a bit of flavor and crunch. You can use yellow onion if needed. 
  • lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt and pepper – instead of an elaborate dressing, we’re using these four items to add a light and refreshing flavor to the salad. 

Want to add more protein to this salad? Each serving of this salad already has 8 grams of protein, but you could always add more by tossing in about 1/2 cup of chickpeas or white beans or adding in some chopped grilled chicken. 

Side by side photos. First is a bowl of avocado, onion, quinoa, spinach, feta and tomatoes. The second photo is of all the quinoa salad ingredients tossed together in the bowl.

What to Serve with Quinoa Salad

Honestly, this salad pairs well with just about anything! It’s my go-to side for cookouts and potlucks and I always get asked for the recipe. Here are some pairing ideas:

How to Store Quinoa Salad

This salad stores super well!

To make it in advance: I would recommend leaving the avocado out and adding that in right before serving. The rest of the salad can be fully assembled and stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. 

To store leftovers: Store any leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. 

Bowl of quinoa salad with feta, spinach and tomatoes.

More Quinoa Recipes to Try:

Easy Quinoa Salad

4 from 189 votes
This easy quinoa salad is packed with spinach, tomatoes, red onion, avocado and feta with a simple lemon dressing. It’s the perfect healthy side dish!
Bowl of quinoa salad with feta, spinach and tomatoes.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chopped baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 ripe avocados, chopped or sliced
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions
 

  • Cook quinoa: Rinse and drain quinoa. Add quinoa and water to a saucepan and bring the water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool for 5-10 minutes. 
  • Toss: In a medium bowl, stir together cooked quinoa, chopped spinach, tomatoes, red onion and feta.
  • Whisk dressing: In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Add dressing and avocado: Gently stir in dressing and avocado chunks. 
  • Chill and enjoy: Serve immediately or let the salad chill in the fridge a couple hours before serving. If chilling, you can add the avocado right before serving to prevent browning.
  • Store: Store salad in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the fridge.

Video

Notes

  • Want to add more protein to this salad? Toss in about 1/2 cup of cooked chickpeas or white beans or add in some chopped grilled chicken. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of recipe Calories: 316kcal Carbohydrates: 23g Protein: 8g Fat: 23g Saturated Fat: 5g Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g Cholesterol: 11mg Sodium: 453mg Fiber: 7g Sugar: 2g
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: quinoa salad

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

Please leave a comment and star rating on this post and share on social media using the hashtag #eatingbirdfood. I love seeing your recipe shares!

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

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Recipe Rating




    192 comments
    1. SBERZ911
      August 4, 2022 AT 1:39 pm

      5 stars
      I have made/shared this recipe several times since I found it!
      I was looking for a salad dressing recipe today and found your blog again and figured I would give cred to this recipe as it is one I reuse often! 100%!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 4, 2022 AT 3:31 pm

        Aw yay! I am so happy to hear that this recipe is a hit! Thank you so much for your review + star rating, I really appreciate it.

    2. Catherine
      August 2, 2022 AT 11:02 am

      How do I make quinoa without clumps, like in your picture? I prefer the grains to be separate. Thanks.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 2, 2022 AT 11:51 am

        Hi Catherine – How are you cooking your quinoa? I always recommend rinsing and draining the quinoa then adding the quinoa and water to a saucepan and bring the water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork (this is key to breaking up the quinoa so you don’t have clumps) and let cool for 5-10 minutes. If you give this method a try, let me know how it works for you!

    3. Ruchira
      July 31, 2022 AT 11:56 pm

      5 stars
      My family has always been avoiding quinoa until this salad recipe came along.
      Thank you Brittany!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 1, 2022 AT 3:34 pm

        YAY! I am so happy that you and your family are enjoying this recipe, Ruchira. Thank you for your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

    4. Ruth
      July 7, 2022 AT 9:19 am

      5 stars
      This quinoa salad is da bomb! So flavorful and easy to make. When I made it I didn’t realize it was a side salad. Next time, I’ll adjust the recipe to make it a main. I also added chic peas, since my son loves them. The dressing is really delish!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 7, 2022 AT 7:37 pm

        Ahh yay! So glad you loved this salad, Ruth. Thanks so much for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it!

    5. Kyasi
      July 1, 2022 AT 11:32 am

      5 stars
      This is a keeper and so easy to make. I doubled the recipe and added some chopped celery for crunch. LOVED it! This is perfect as written but is also a great base salad to make and add whatever fresh vegetables I have on hand. Very versatile.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 1, 2022 AT 12:24 pm

        Thank you, Kyasi! I’m so glad you loved it. I appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment and review!

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