Mediterranean quinoa salad is a wonderfully healthy side dish or meatless main meal. Tender quinoa is tossed with fresh basil pesto, artichokes, Kalamata olives, and cherry tomatoes. Filling and flavorful!
If you are following a gluten free diet, quinoa has a texture and flavor similar to that of bulgur wheat. I often use it in this Tabbouleh. It’s also high in protein, fiber and magnesium. (This post was originally posted on February 13th, 2013 and has been updated to contain nutritional information. As an Amazon Affiliate, I may earn a small commission on qualifying purchases)
How to cook Quinoa.
If you can make rice, you can make quinoa! The 2 to 1 ratio of water to quinoa is the same as rice. Bring 3 cups salted, cold water and 1 1/2 cups quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan. When the water boils, reduce heat to low and cover. The quinoa will take about 15 to 20 minutes and will be light, fluffy and tender. Turn off heat and leave lid on another couple of minutes. This will yield about 4 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa which is just about what you need for this recipe.
What makes this salad “Mediterranean”
I have to admit, I love all the flavors of the Mediterranean. We grow basil year round, so I love to make pesto and add it to salad dressing, pizza, pasta salads and bruschetta.
This salad also has Kalamata olive and Feta cheese from Greece. Artichokes are typically grown in France and Italy. Of course tomatoes and bell peppers are a garden staple and grown throughout the Mediterranean!
The addition of the pine nuts is also distinctly Mediterranean. If you have difficulty finding pine nuts, feel free to omit them or add another nut.
Some of the items used in this post are available at my Amazon Affiliate Store
Artichoke And Pesto Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- 4 cups cooked quinoa*
- 1/3 cup homemade or store-bought pesto
- 1 12 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts drained
- 8 ounce Greek feta cheese crumbled
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives sliced
- 1/2 cup diced purple onion
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 1/4 cup toasted pinenuts
- Juice of half a lemon
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- For Quinoa
- 1 1/2 cup quinoa rinsed
- 3 cups cold water
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Bring water, rinsed quinoa and salt to a boil over a medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 15-20 minutes or until quinoa is light and fluffy. Turn of heat and cover for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Make the quinoa several hours ahead of time and chill until needed.
- Toss gently with pesto to coat, add remaining ingredients, toss. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice
Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma) says
YUM! I am liking the looks of this salad! 🙂 Thanks for kicking off a great party this week! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂
Thanks for linking back to the Gluten Free Fridays post!
We have a giveaway next week!!
Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com
Made this for a “Girls Night In” gathering last night and it was a hit! The only thing I changed was to add a sprinkling of cayenne to give it a little zip….’cause we’re a zippy bunch of ladies! 🙂
Glad to hear you liked it Amy! I’m all in favor of zipping stuff up!
Kristi ~ Necessary Indulgences says
Thank you! I can’t wait to try this!
I am sitting her eating quinoa with feta and lentils. I love recipes like yours, delicious!! Tweeting!!
Thanks for a fantastic recipe. I can’t wait to try it!
Let me know what you think kate!
Joanne T Ferguson says
G’day! looks like a healthy salad indeed! Never use quinoa before, but it is on my list!
Joanne, it’s pretty popular here in the states. Let me know what you think!
Aunt Bee says
That looks SO GOOD! Can you believe I have never made quinoa? This looks like a delicious recipe to start with! <3
We love it Brandi, it’s a nice sub for cracked wheat.
This is wonderful and fast.
Kristen Chidsey says
Cynthia–EVERYTHING about this is screaming to me!! Love it!
Suzy | The Mediterranean Dish says
This is of course a dish after my own heart!
Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes says
You got to love it when you discover a winning recipe with the family! I have quite a few fails lately. This looks amazing!
This looks delicious, I need to try it!
Why do you list 4 cups cooked quinoa and one cup quinoa rinsed in the ingredients? I’m so confused.
Hi Rachelle, I listed the ingredients for the salad, (4 cups cooked quinoa) and also the ingredients to make the quinoa from scratch. I’ve gone back and bolded the ingredients and reiterated the amounts in the instructions. Hope that makes it a bit more clear? Sorry for the confusion. It would be like saying, “4 cups of cooked rice” versus, “1 cup of raw rice, cooked (makes 4 cups)”.
Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says
Definitely adding this to my lunch plans!
Taylor Kiser says
This salad is perfect for Meatless Monday! Looks delicious!
mimi rippee says
Great salad. I love all of the ingredients, except for quinoa! It’s just not my favorite. But of course I can substitute just about anything else, and I don’t worry about gluten, fortunately. I discovered ivory lentils a couple years ago, and they look pretty in a salad. Love these Mediterranean ingredients!
I’d love to try ivory lentils! Since I have a wheat sensitive daughter, I love to sub quinoa for bulgur wheat and pasta.
Susan Crum says
Truly enjoyed this salad. Loved the pesto!
awesome Susan! So perfect for the summer!
Looks great. Thanks for sharing.