Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is healthy and delicious, made with ingredients like feta, tomatoes, kalamata olives, and mint. There is so much fresh flavor in this easy side dish!
This is one of those recipes that I come back to again and again for stocking my fridge. It’s awesome on its own, or even bulked up with Grilled Chicken Breast for some added protein.
I always need something healthy on hand to eat when I’m hungry, to keep me from reaching into the pantry for some chips! Things like Broccoli Salad, Corn and Avocado Bean Salad, or even a big fresh batch of Coleslaw.
This recipe keeps really well, and the Mediterranean flavor theme is one of the best combinations of ingredients ever. It’s quite compatible with the nutty flavor of quinoa.
The star flavors we’re adding to the quinoa here are tomatoes, crumbled feta, kalamata olives, and mint, but I also love adding toasted chia seeds.
Beyond the nutritional value that chia seeds bring, they also add a wonderful crunch and flavor to the quinoa, since we’ll be using them toasted.
If you haven’t tried Chia Seeds, they have a really nutty, toasty, sesame seed-like flavor to them. They’re awesome. And in addition to their flavor, they have healthy omegas, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium.
How to Make It Step by Step:
Start by toasting the chia seeds in a dry pan, which will enhance their flavor:
Then add them to a pot of cooked quinoa.
The instructions on how to cook the quinoa are in the recipe below, but basically you just cook quinoa with boiling water for about 15 minutes, until fluffy:
Then add some cherry tomatoes, feta, red onion, kalamata olives, and mint:
I like authentic Greek feta crumbles the best, but feel free to use whatever your favorite is.
And you can also try different kinds of olives. Lately I’ve been loving lecino olives.
These Quinoa Cakes are another great quinoa-based side dish, as well as these Quinoa Stuffed Peppers. Enjoy!
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups quinoa (uncooked)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1.25 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/3 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion (you can cook it if you'd like, to take the raw edge away)
- 1/4 cup loosely packed chopped mint (can also do oregano)
- 4 oz feta cheese crumbles
- 3 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp good quality vinegar (apple cider, sherry vinegar, etc)
- Bring the water to a boil, then add the quinoa and salt.
- Bring the quinoa back to a boil, then reduce the heat to hold a simmer, and cover the quinoa with a lid (preferably a glass one, so you can see inside).
- Cook the quinoa at a simmer for 15-20 minutes, until all of the water has been absorbed.
- In a skillet over medium heat, toast the chia seeds for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until they brown slightly. Be careful not to let them burn.
- Fluff the quinoa with a fork, and add the chia seeds, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, red onion, mint, feta, olive oil, and vinegar.
- Stir well, then taste, to determine if it needs more salt, pepper, or more oil or vinegar. Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
Post updated July 2019. Originally published April 2014.
6 Comments on “Mediterranean Quinoa Salad”
This was delicious! I didn’t have chia seeds but will make sure I try it with them next time. Your recipes always have amazing flavour!
This is my favorite kind of lunch or light dinner, so delicious!
This is my kind of salad! Love these flavors!
Loving the chia seeds! Such a pretty salad!
This looks so good Joanne! True confession…I’ve never worked with chia seeds OR quinoa. how can I even call myself a food blogger?? 🙂 I will have to try this out, I’ve never heard anyone describe them as tasting like sesame before. Yum. Pretty pictures!
I’m surprised to hear that because you have such a wide variety of recipes! You should totally make a quinoa creation soon =)