This Greek Quinoa Salad combines so many of my favorite things into one yummy, healthful salad: quinoa, fresh veggies, feta, herbs, lemon and garlic.  It’s the perfect thing for a light summer supper or potluck side dish.  Every time I bring this salad (or the pasta variation, see tip below), people love it and I rarely get  to have any leftovers.

Not only is this salad healthful and delicious, the quinoa and feta provide protein, which means this salad really is a meal in a bowl.  It’s perfect for a summer evening, especially paired with a dry Italian white wine or French rose.  Keep in mind quinoa doesn’t go wonky in an acidic dressing the way pasta does.  Therefore leftovers make a great lunch or snack the next day.  If you make the pasta version, it’s best to eat it within a day or so before the pasta goes mushy.

 

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Here’s What You Need to Make Fresh, Fabulous Greek Quinoa Salad

 

For the Salad:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 English or 4 Persian cukes, diced
  • 1 colored bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup roasted red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup sliced pepperoncini
  • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced
  • 4 oz. feta, crumbled

For the Dressing:

  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. minced fresh herbs, such as basil, oregano and mint or a combo
  • 1/2 tsp. ground sumac, optional

Ingredient Note:

Ground sumac is a Middle Eastern seasoning made from ground, dried sumac berries.  But don’t worry, it’s not the kind of sumac that can give you a rash!  This kind of sumac imparts a fresh, tart, slightly fruity flavor while it adds a pretty pop of color.  Basically, you can think of it as Middle Eastern paprika.  Sumac is inexpensive and can be found in Middle Eastern and international/ethnic grocery stores or ordered online.

 

Here’s What to Do

In a large stainless or glass bowl whisk together garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper and sumac, if using.  Add all the veggies and toss.  Next, fold in the quinoa.  Before adding the herbs and feta, taste and adjust seasonings, keeping in mind feta will add a lot of salt.  Lastly, fold in herbs and feta, being careful not to break up feta too much.  Chill an hour or two before serving in order for flavors to blend.

Variation to Greek Quinoa Salad:

As previously mentioned, this Greek Quinoa Salad is also delicious as a pasta salad.  To make the pasta version, all you need to do is substitute 2 cups cooked orzo for the quinoa.  Of course, you can use any pasta shape you want, but the orzo is so darn cute and doesn’t steal the visual glory from all the colorful veggies.  Remember –  pasta tends to get mushy in an acidic dressing, so this variation is best eaten the day it’s made.

Enjoy!

Elizabeth

Greek quinoa salad with veggies, feta and herbs

Greek Quinoa Salad

Author Elizabeth at thewildolive.org

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 English or 4 Persian cukes - diced
  • 1 colored bell pepper - diced
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes - halved
  • 1/2 cup roasted red pepper - diced
  • 1/4 cup sliced pepperoncini
  • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives - sliced
  • 4 oz. feta - crumbled

For the Dressing:

  • 1 garlic clove - grated
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. minced fresh herbs - such as basil, oregano and mint or a combo
  • 1/2 tsp. ground sumac - optional

Instructions

  • In a large stainless or glass bowl whisk together dressing ingredients. Add all the veggies and toss. Fold in the quinoa. Taste and adjust seasonings, keeping in mind feta will add a lot of salt. Gently fold in feta. Chill an hour or two before serving.

Notes

Variation:
Substitute 2 cups cooked orzo for the quinoa. This variation is best eaten the day it's made as pasta tends to get mushy in an acidic dressing.