MEDITERRANEAN QUINOA SALAD (Easy & Vegan)

This Mediterranean quinoa salad recipe is perfect if you’re looking for a light but satisfying, healthy meal. There’s the main recipe for you, plus a cheeky quinoa salad dressing recipe to go with it. The dressing really adds to the flavor and brings an extra depth of flavor which is absolutely yummy!!

Quinoa is so good for you! Added with all of the veggies and the healthy oil-free dressing, this recipe is an absolute powerhouse of nutrition.

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two images of the quinoa salad, the top is a close up and the bottom is the salad in a bowl with the dressing next to it. Text in the centre reads 'mediterranean quinoa salad, easy recipe'

What Equipment Do I Need to Make this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad?

It’s a simple salad so nothing is needed to make it but a few simple kitchen items…

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Knife
  • Pan and spoon for stirring
  • Colander
  • Large salad bowl
dressing being poured over the mediterranean quinoa salad from a jar

Recipe Ingredients and Easy Swaps

It may look like there are quite a lot of ingredients in this recipe, but most of them are veggies so there’s nothing fancy or difficult to get hold of!

  • Quinoa
  • Turmeric and Cumin – This is to give the quinoa a bit more flavour by itself and a nice yellow colour. If you don’t have either of these then don’t worry, the salad will still taste great without them.
  • Cucumber, scallions, celery – If you don’t have any of these, you can swap for other fresh veggies like bell peppers, radish, beetroot, or carrots.
  • Sweet gem lettuce – Any similar type of lettuce will work, just steer clear of iceberg.
  • Black olives – Fresh or from a jar, either is good. I love black olives because they have such a specific flavour, but if you prefer green olives, go with it!
  • Sundried tomatoes – This is where the Mediterranean flavour really comes from in this recipe so use sun-dried tomatoes if you can. Fresh tomatoes are the next best option but are sure you get a variety that’s full of flavour.

For the dressing, there’s not many options for swapping besides these two things…

  • Apple cider vinegar – You can swap this out for rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar (any mild vinegar could work), just done use regular white vinegar! It’s far too strong tasting.
  • Agave – maple syrup, coconut sugar, or raw cane sugar would also do the trick! If using dry sugar, you will likely need a little more – just try the batter once it’s mixed and adjust to your own preference.
a close up of the the mediterranean quinoa salad with dressing poured on

How to Make This Vegan Quinoa Salad

Quinoa takes about half an hour to cook and then a further 20 minutes to cool completely. Make sure you leave time for cooling so that it doesn’t wilt the salad when you add it.

You can hurry up the cooling process by giving the quinoa a couple of stirs while cooling and leaving it in a cool place. Don’t stir too often though as it may go mushy!

All of the veg can take a while to chop if, like, me you’re not the fastest chopper! There should be plenty of time for this, and making the dressing while you’re waiting for the quinoa to cook and cool.

Serving Suggestions

This Mediterranean quinoa salad is perfect as a side or as a main – it’s big on flavor so works well as both. I love it in a big bowl served with some warm flatbread… yum!!

If you’re looking to switch up this recipe a little, try this quinoa salad with vegan feta – the flavors work perfectly! Here are a few more ideas to try…

  • Chickpeas
  • Avocado
  • Creamy vegan cheese (like feta)
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Warm bread
a large bowl of the mediterranean quinoa salad

How to Store It

This Mediterranean quinoa salad keeps really well in the fridge for three to four days in a sealed container.

It’s perfect for meal prep and digging into for for a super easy (but still healthy!) lunch or snack. 

More Healthy Vegan Lunch Recipes

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the mediterranean quinoa salad with a serving spoon next to it
Yield: 4 people

MEDITERRANEAN QUINOA SALAD (easy & vegan)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cooling time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Easy, healthy, keeps well in the fridge - what more do you need from a yummy salad recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Quinoa, (200g)
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric
  • ½ tsp Cumin
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 4 Scallions, (spring onions)
  • 4 Celery sticks
  • ¾ cup Black olives
  • 1 Sweet gem lettuce, (or similar, small leafy lettuce)
  • 10 Sundried tomatoes

Dressing

  • 2 tbsp Tahini
  • 1 tbsp Cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 Lemon (juice of)
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1½ tsp Agave

Instructions

  1. Cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions (30 minutes is an average cook time).
  2. Add the turmeric and cumin to the cooking water at the start of cooking the quinoa - this will let the flavors cook into it.
  3. While the quinoa is cooking, chop all of the other veggies into easily edible chunks. ingredients for the mediterranean quinoa salad in a bowl
  4. Secondly, prep the dressing: simply add it all together and stir well.
  5. Pop the veg and the dressing in the fridge until needed.
  6. Once the quinoa is cooked, pop it in a large bowl - big enough to stir all of the ingredients and leave it to cool completely (about 20 minutes, but stir a couple of times to hurry this up if needed).
  7. Once cool, add in all of the veggies and the dressing and stir really well to combine.
  8. Serve and enjoy! dressing being poured over the mediterranean quinoa salad

Notes

Servings size is calculated for four people as a main dish. As a side salad, this recipe will serve way more people.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 183Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 852mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 6g

Nutritional information may not always be 100% accurate and will depend on the exact ingredients used.

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