This easy Greek Quinoa salad is loaded with vegetables and feta cheese and topped off with a red wine vinaigrette. You won't believe this tasty combination is also good for you!
This recipe is yet another way to address the fascination with the superfood quinoa and our love of all things Mediterranean. After the success of Quinoa Fruit Salad and adding quinoa to this Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili recipe, it's been a staple of our pantry. Check out the quinoa archives in our recipe index for even more uses!
When it comes to this seed-like grain, I've found that there are two distinct camps: 1) those who know all about the health benefits, have tried it, and love it, and 2) those who say...what??? What's quinoa? I aimed to unify two such groups at a recent family gathering with this Greek Quinoa Salad loaded up with tasty vegetables, like artichokes, cucumbers and tomatoes, and tossed in a red wine vinaigrette. Luckily, we ended up a happy, satisfied bunch.
How to Make Greek Quinoa Salad
One of the nice things about this salad is that it can be made ahead time and served cold.
The quinoa is bathed in a red wine vinegar dressing (which, by the way, is also very tasty on greens.) It is loaded with grape tomatoes, artichokes, red onion and cucumbers and topped with feta cheese crumbles (leave those off for a vegan version.) Red peppers, carrots and hearts of palm peek through when I have them on hand. Are you an olive fan? Throw those in too. Chock full of goodies is just how I like my salads.
This is a closer look at the cooked version. It's done when the grain is soft and translucent and the germ ring is visible around the edges. Quinoa is more like a seed, which makes it gluten free. It's high in protein and fiber. Read more about this "complete protein" grain in The The Seven Reasons Quinoa is the New Health Food Superstar by Diana Herrington.
Of special note, the grains have a bitter film on them until they are thoroughly rinsed. However, you can buy quinoa that has been pre-rinsed. Guess which route I took? 🙂
Putting all the health benefits aside, the best thing about Greek Quinoa Salad is that it just tastes great!
Greek Quinoa Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette
- 1 cup quinoa well-rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 14 ounces quartered artichoke hearts 1 can, drained and chopped
- ½ red onion cut into thin slices
- 1 cucumber peeled and cut in quarters
- 4 ounce crumbled feta cheese, optional leave off for vegan version
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Place quinoa and water in a pot and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed. Grains will be soft and translucent and the germ ring will be visible on the outside of the grain.
- Transfer quinoa to serving bowl, fluff with fork and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
- To prepare vinaigrette, combine ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously.
- Stir in vinaigrette and vegetables.
- Cover and refrigerate for about an hour to allow the flavors to blend if possible.
- Top with feta cheese before serving, if using.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a jar with a tight lid. Shake well.