Healthy and easy, this Greek Quinoa Salad with homemade vinaigrette features fresh vegetables, cannellini beans, and feta cheese topped with a zesty homemade Greek vinaigrette. Serve with grilled meat for dinner or as a potluck side dish.
An Easy & Healthy Quinoa Salad
This Greek quinoa salad may be one of my favorite ways to enjoy quinoa. Loaded with fresh vegetables and protein from the quinoa and beans, it’s super filling while not being heavy. It’s lightly dressed with a homemade Greek vinaigrette that adds flavor and zest to the salad.
A simple combination that’s all but addictive! Once I make this, I want it again and again. Luckily for me, leftovers store really well, so I love making extra for lunch throughout the week!
Not only is this salad easy, but it’s also super versatile too. You can enjoy it with some grilled meat for dinner, keep it vegetarian with some tzatziki, enjoy as-is for a light but filling lunch, or serve it at the next potluck! Just keep the recipe close because everyone will be asking for it!
What You’ll Need
This Greek quinoa salad is made with quinoa, fresh vegetables, white beans, and feta, all topped with a simple homemade dressing.
For the Salad
- Quinoa – Any brand or type of quinoa will work for this recipe, just be sure to follow the instructions on the package.
- Tomatoes – Cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered, are the perfect size for this salad. You can also dice larger tomatoes.
- Cucumber – You can either dice or slice and quarter the cucumber. Depending on the size, I use between a half to one whole cucumber.
- Red pepper – I like the sweetness of red bell peppers but you can easily swap the color or increase the heat with other peppers of your choice.
- Cannellini beans – Drain and rinse thoroughly before adding to the salad.
- Feta cheese – Crumbled feta adds a delightful salty flavor to the salad and pairs well with the Greek vinaigrette.
For the Vinaigrette
- Apple cider vinegar – Provides the tangy base to this vinaigrette.
- Lemon – The acid in the lemon juice is essential to this recipe. I prefer fresh but bottled works too.
- Olive oil – Adds some healthy fat and provides a more satisfying mouthfeel in every bite.
- Red onion – Diced into small pieces. Can be swapped for a softer sweet onion too.
- Seasonings – Garlic, dijon mustard, parsley, oregano, salt, and black pepper are all you need to make this bright and zesty Greek vinaigrette.
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How to Make Greek Quinoa Salad
This salad is one example of a healthy dish that’s easy and flavorful! It comes together quickly but remember to allow plenty of time for the quinoa to cool or prepare it in advance.
- Cook the quinoa. Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions. Allow to cool completely.
- Make the vinaigrette. Add all ingredients in a jar with a lid. Shake vigorously until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Assemble the salad. Add the vegetables, cannellini beans and feta to the quinoa. Pour half of the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to combine.
- Chill. Cover and refrigerate the salad for at least 30 minutes. Add the remaining vinaigrette and then toss to combine.
- Serve. Serve chilled or at room temperature with grilled meat or fish, or with pita and tzatziki for a vegetarian option.
How Much Quinoa Do I Need?
Quinoa, like most grains, expands significantly when cooked. This easy quinoa salad calls for 1 cup of quinoa, which may not seem like a lot to serve 4-6 people – however, it ends up being 3.5 to 4 cups of cooked quinoa.
I like to calculate 3/4 to 1 cup per serving for dinner, especially when serving this salad with grilled meat. For a potluck, double the recipe and allow 1/2 to 3/4 cup servings as a side dish.
Tips for Success
While this recipe is easy and pretty straightforward, there are a few things to keep in mind for a fresh, flavorful salad – and a few ways to make it even easier!
- Rinse the quinoa before cooking. Whether the package includes it in the directions or not, quinoa (like rice) should always be thoroughly rinsed before cooking to remove any dirt or impurities.
- Cool the quinoa completely. Make sure that the quinoa is completely cooled before adding the other ingredients. Otherwise, it can easily turn mushy.
- Use leftover quinoa. Leftover quinoa is perfect for making quinoa salad, as long as other ingredients haven’t been added to it. It’s already cooked and cooled, which makes assembling this salad even easier.
- Make the vinaigrette in advance. You can also make the Greek vinaigrette up to a week in advance and keep it in the fridge. Allow to come to room temperature before using.
- Shake the vinaigrette to reincorporate the ingredients. It’s normal for some of the ingredients to separate and settle to the bottom after the vinaigrette sits for a bit. Just shake for a few seconds before serving.
This healthy Greek quinoa salad is super versatile. You can enjoy it on its own as a quick and easy lunch – it’s great for meal prep because it will last for several days in the fridge!
I most often serve this quinoa salad with grilled beef, chicken or fish. Sticking with the Greek theme, you could even serve it with this chicken shawarma. For a vegetarian option, this salad can be served with tzatziki and fresh pita.
It also makes an excellent potluck side dish because it can be served cold and room-temperature. Plus, it’s a nice change from your typical potluck sides!
How to Store Leftovers
Leftover quinoa salad will last for up to 5 days in the fridge when stored in an airtight container. Before serving, just toss it well to ensure the flavors of the vinaigrette are well-incorporated throughout the salad.
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For the Salad
- 1 cup dried quinoa
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
- ½ to 1 whole cucumber, diced (or sliced and quartered)
- 1 sweet red pepper, diced small
- 12 ounces cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
For the Vinaigrette
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- Juice of 1 medium or large lemon
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon parsley
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Cook the quinoa according to package instructions. Remove from heat and cool
- Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette: in a jar with a lid, combine all of the ingredients. Place the lid on the jar and shake vigorously until all of the ingredients are incorporated. Set aside.
- Add the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, cannellini beans, and feta to the quinoa.
- Pour half of Greek vinaigrette over the quinoa & veggies, then toss to combine.
- Cover and refrigerate the quinoa mixture for a minimum of 30 minutes to 1 hour, then pour the remaining vinaigrette over top and then toss again to combine.
- Serve with your favorite grilled meat or fish, or serve with pita and tzatziki if desired.
- Be sure to thoroughly rinse the quinoa before cooking to remove any dirt or other impurities.
- Make sure that your quinoa is completely cooled so that it doesn’t turn mushy when you add in the rest of the salad ingredients. Better yet, use leftover cooked, cooked quinoa.
- One cup of dried quinoa should expand to 3.5-4 cups when cooked. Allow for ¾-1 cup per serving for a smaller dinner. Double the recipe and allow for ½-¾ cup servings if using as a potluck side dish.
- This salad lasts up to 5 days in the fridge when stored in an airtight container. When ready to serve, remove from the fridge and toss again to ensure that the flavors of the vinaigrette are well-incorporated into the salad.
- The vinaigrette will separate a bit as it sits. That’s normal. Just shake to reincorporate all of the ingredients.
- If desired, you can store the vinaigrette in the refrigerator for up to a week. When you’re ready to use it, remove it from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature on your counter. Give it a good shake to re-combine all of the ingredients before serving.
- This salad makes an excellent potluck side dish served both cold and room-temperature.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 432Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 680mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 6gSugar: 12gProtein: 13g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix and is for general information purposes only. For the most accurate information, calculate using your select brands and exact measurements.
For the step by step version of this recipe, check out the Greek Quinoa Salad Story.