Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is healthy and delicious, and made with ingredients like feta, tomatoes, kalamata olives, and mint. There is so much fresh flavor in this easy side dish!

Mediterrnean Quinoa Salad - Easy Quinoa Recipe

The Mediterranean flavor theme is one of the best combinations of ingredients ever, and today we are bringing it to a healthy quinoa salad. This is one of those recipes that I come back to again and again for stocking my fridge.

You know, so there’s something healthy on hand for me to eat when I’m hungry, instead of reaching into the pantry for some chips 😉

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.

Quinoa Salad Feta - Mediterranean flavors with kalamata olives, tomatoes

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 Mediterranean Quinoa Salad:

Start by toasting the chia seeds in a dry pan, which will enhance their flavor:

Cooking with Chia Seeds - Toasted Chia Seeds for Quinoa Salad

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:

How to Cook Chia Seeds - for Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Then add some cherry tomatoes, feta, red onion, kalamata olives, and mint:

Quinoa Salad Mediterranean - with Feta, Tomatoes, Mint, and Kalamata Olives

I like authentic Greek feta crumbles the best, but feel free to use whatever your favorite is.

Quinoa Salad with Toasted Chia Seeds and Feta Recipe

These Quinoa Cakes are another great quinoa-based side dish, as well as these Quinoa Stuffed Peppers and these Turkey Quinoa Meatballs. Enjoy!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

This healthy and delicious Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is tossed with feta, toasted chia seeds, tomatoes, and mint. So much fresh flavor is in this easy side dish!

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1.25 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped kalamata olives (pitted)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion (you can cook them if you 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)

Directions

  1. Bring the water to a boil, then add the quinoa and salt.
  2. 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 what’s going on).
  3. Cook the quinoa at a simmer for 15-20 minutes, until all of the water has been absorbed.
  4. 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.
  5. Fluff the quinoa with a fork, and add the chia seeds, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, red onion, mint, feta, olive oil, and vinegar.
  6. Stir well, then taste, to determine if it needs more salt, pepper, or more oil or vinegar. Serve and enjoy!

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Recipe Notes

These Quinoa Cakes are another great quinoa-based side dish, as well as Quinoa Stuffed Peppers and Turkey Quinoa Meatballs

Nutrition Information Serves 6
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Post updated June 2018 with more writing and tips. Originally published April 2014.