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Easy and Delicious Quinoa Salad Recipes

Updated on February 18, 2014

The Gluten Free Grain You Will Love

I discovered quinoa about a year ago and tried it as a change from eating rice and pasta all the time.

Since then I have been experimenting with lots of different quinoa salads and have come up with some firm favourites.

I have shared my 2 most popular salads here and have also included my 10 favourite quinoa salads by other chefs.

I hope you enjoy experimenting with this super food. Your body will thank you.

Quinoa is high in protein, fibre, magnesium and iron making it a perfect food for healthy eating

What is Quinoa?

and why is it good for us

Quinoa is quite similar to couscous in that is has a similar fluffy texture and is cooked using a similar method but it has a slightly nutty taste. It is one of the only grains that contains significant amounts of protein making it a great food for vegetarian and vegan diets.

Along with being gluten free Quinoa contains good amounts of magnesium, iron and dietary fibre.

It is simple to prepare and can substitute for rice, couscous or pasta in many recipes. You can use it as a breakfast food in place of porridge and even bake it as a crust for a pie or as patties for a veggie burger.

Quinoa is a super versatile food and these salad recipes are a great way to get started eating more of this healthy ancient grain and introduce it to your family and friends.


This salad can be prepared a few hours ahead of time and served warm or cold. The flavours develop well when left for an hour or two before serving

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: 4


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 large red pepper / capsicum chopped into cubes
  • 1 red onion - quartered
  • 1 medium sized sweet potato - diced into cubes
  • 2 zucchini - sliced into finger thick discs
  • 2 finger eggplants - sliced into finger thick discs
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of stock - chicken is great but vegetable stock is fine also
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 -2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 75 grams toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley


  1. 1. Soak quinoa in water for 15 minutes - this helps remove any bitter taste - processed quinoa does not need soaking
  2. 2. Place quinoa and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes until all the water has evaporated
  3. 3. Roast all the Vegetables in a nonstick baking dish, add some olive oil if you wish.
  4. 4. Remove quinoa, fluff with a fork and leave covered for a further 5 minutes
  5. 5. Add the dressing items; lemon juice, olive oil, stock, garlic and pepper.
  6. 6. Place on serving plate, arrange vegetables on top of salad and sprinkle with pine nuts and parsley.
Cast your vote for Quinoa and Roast Vegetable Salad

How do you pronounce Quinoa

A rice cooker is a great way to prepare Quinoa

Cooking quinoa in the rice cooker makes it even easier

Aroma Housewares 16-Cup (Cooked) Digital Rice Cooker and Food Steamer, Stainless Steel
Aroma Housewares 16-Cup (Cooked) Digital Rice Cooker and Food Steamer, Stainless Steel

I love my rice cooker, at first I thought why buy an appliance for something I can prepare on the stove or in the microwave but I am so glad I did. Cooking things like quinoa and brown rice in the rice cooker takes all of the guess work out of it and gives you perfectly cooked grains every single time.


How to cook Quinoa - A beginner's guide

365 Quinoa recipes to get you started

This book is a must have if you are a gluten free eating quinoa lover. There are so many really easy and super tasty recipes here from breakfast to entertaining these recipes will quickly become favourites.

For some people avoiding gluten is really important.

Learn about how gluten can negatively effect the body for people who are gluten intolerant, have gluten allergies, or celiac disease.

This website on the side effects of gluten is a great place to educate yourself.

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: 4-6

Saffron and Date Quinoa Salad - A Middle Eastern favourite

  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Large red onion
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 8 finely chopped fresh dates
  • 2 carrots julienned
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 50 grams pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley


  1. 1. Cook quinoa in water on simmer until all liquid has evaporated (approx. 15 minutes) - see method above for full details
  2. 2. In a fry-pan heat oil and fry the onion until soft.
  3. 3. Add tomato paste and cumin, coriander and cinnamon and stir over low heat for a 3 minutes
  4. 4. Add saffron and cook for another 2 minutes
  5. 5. Set aside until the quinoa is cooked.
  6. 6. Combine quinoa with dates, juices, extra olive oil and parsley
  7. 7. Sprinkle with pine nuts (or any other nut you prefer) just before serving

Keep quinoa in the refrigerator to maintain freshness

All Quinoa is not the same! - Uncle Bob's is fantastic

Quinoa needs to be washed to remove the outer shell which gives it a bitter taste. Uncle Bobs is carefully prepared so the outer is removed and there is rarely any hull or other bad bits in the bag.

Uncle Bob's is organic, well washed and well-priced when you buy it in bulk like this. It's not the cheapest but it is the best I have found.

What to learn just how great

Quinoa is - Check out this page on Whole food websites

The 10 Best Quinoa Salad Recipes on the internet - My favourite quinoa recipes

Interested in trying more Quinoa? Below are my favourites so far. I would love to hear which your favorite is, leave me a message below in the comments.

Quinoa originated in South America

The Incas referred to quinoa as chisaya mama or "mother of all grain"

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Have you tried Quinoa?

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    • SusanRDavis profile image

      Susan R. Davis 5 years ago from Vancouver

      Yes! I have a bunch of recipes, including a Quinoa salad recipe that is a lot like chicken pasta salad. It makes a great substitute for pasta and rice in cold salads.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 5 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      I discovered quinoa a couple of years ago when someone brought a quinoa dish to a potluck I attended. It is such a delicious, versatile food so I'm always delighted to find new recipes to try. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      Bobbeleh 6 years ago

      I love quinoa. I use the white, red and a tricolor blend of white, red and black (they all taste the same, but the effect can be stunning). I've enjoyed looking over some of your recipes and plan on trying some of them soon.

    • MyTimeAlone profile image

      MyTimeAlone 6 years ago

      I've been eating quinoa for about two years, always looking for new recipes to try. Thanks.

    • domain19 profile image

      domain19 6 years ago

      looks so delicious...

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 6 years ago

      No, this is all new to me.

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 6 years ago

      I have never tried Quinoa but it sounds delicious.

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 6 years ago

      I haven't tried this one yet. But I have read about it.

    • profile image

      ernad18 6 years ago

      the food was tempting, please equipped how to cook. great lens.

    • hirephp lm profile image

      hirephp lm 6 years ago

      cool lens

    • profile image

      ifuturz 6 years ago

      Good Lens

    • jackieb99 profile image

      jackieb99 6 years ago

      I love healthy and delicious!

    • profile image

      entertainmentev 6 years ago

      This is news to me. I learned a lot and must give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      I am just hearing about Quinoa for the first time right now, I think.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      enjoyed viewing this today, another cool recipe that has enlightened me!

    • profile image

      shoefiend 6 years ago

      great lens i loved it

    • KarenTBTEN profile image

      KarenTBTEN 6 years ago

      I've eaten quinoa -- I don't cook it as often as I should because it takes longer than the whole wheat couscous and costs more at Trader Joe's. I keep hearing it's a super food, though. SquidAngel blessings for original recipes (and original short reviews for the Amazon products).

    • profile image

      lftypjk900 6 years ago

      gonna buy some and try it sounds great!

    • best-intentions profile image

      best-intentions 6 years ago

      I love "keen-wah". The protein content is over the top!

    • DuaneJ profile image

      DuaneJ 6 years ago

      Sounds good!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I haven't tried quinoa yet, keep meaning to and now I have some recipes to try , thanks