There's nothing quite like a summer salad to cool you down and fill you up. This Caprese Quinoa Salad is light, refreshing, and perfect for potlucks, BBQs, and picnics. You can make this easy vegetarian salad in minutes with just a few simple ingredients.
Caprese salads are a summertime classic, and this Caprese Quinoa Salad is the perfect blend of flavors you love combined with nutrients you need!
With quinoa, olives, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and red onions topped off with a delicious balsamic dressing, this is sure to become a favorite.
Ingredients for Making Caprese Quinoa
- Balsamic Vinegar: Use a good quality vinegar - it will make a difference in the final taste!
- Garlic: I like to use fresh garlic, but you could also use garlic powder.
- Maple Syrup: This helps to balance out the acidity of the vinegar.
- Dijon Mustard: Another ingredient that helps balance the flavors.
- Sea Salt: Just a little bit to help bring out all the flavors.
- Olive Oil: I like to use a good quality olive oil, but any type will work.
- Quinoa: This pseudo-grain is so versatile and perfect for salads! If you've never tried it, now is the time!
- Red Onion: I like to use red onions in this salad because they are not as strong as white onions. You could also use green onions if you prefer.
- Tomatoes: I like cherry tomatoes because they are sweet and bite-sized, but you could also use chopped regular tomatoes.
- Kalamata Olives: These are my favorite olives, but you could use any type you like.
- Basil: Fresh basil is a must in this salad!
- Mozzarella Balls: I like mini mozzarella pearls, but you could also use chopped mozzarella. For a vegan option, you could use Nut Cheese.
Tips & Tricks
- If you are cooking quinoa to make this salad, I recommend cooling it on a baking sheet before proceeding. This will help it to cool down quickly and prevent it from becoming mushy.
- If you don't have balsamic vinegar, you could use red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
- If you are short on time, you could use a store-bought dressing. Just be sure to taste it before adding it to the salad so that you can adjust the other ingredients accordingly.
This Caprese Quinoa Salad is delicious, but it would also be great with a protein. It would also be good served over a bed of greens.
Frequently Asked Questions
Caprese Quinoa Salad is a light, refreshing salad made with quinoa, olives, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and red onions. It's perfect for potlucks, BBQs, and picnics!
Yes, Caprese Quinoa Salad can be made ahead of time. Just cook the quinoa and mix everything, then store it in the fridge until you're ready to serve.
Caprese Quinoa Salad can be made vegan by using Nut Cheese instead of mozzarella balls.
Yes, Caprese Quinoa Salad is gluten-free.
Tools Needed to Make Quinoa and Mozzarella Salad
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- Blender or Immersion Blender
- Large Bowl
Leftover Caprese Quinoa Salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. I do not recommend freezing this salad.
How to Make Caprese Quinoa Salad
First, start by making the dressing.
Combine vinegar, garlic cloves, maple syrup, dijon, and sea salt in a blender and process until well combined.
With the blender running, add olive oil in a steady stream.
Next, cook the quinoa according to the package instructions. Once it's cooked, allow it to cool on a baking sheet.
While the quinoa is cooling, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Chop the tomatoes, red onion, and olives. Chop the basil and mozzarella.
Once the quinoa is cooled, add it to a large bowl along with the chopped tomatoes, red onion, olives, basil, and mozzarella.
Toss the quinoa mixture with the desired amount of dressing. Reserve the remaining dressing for drizzling.
More Vegetarian Salad Recipes to Try
- Fresh Herb Salad is a simple salad with elevated flavors. Try it once, and you will be hooked.
- Looking for a delicious seasonal side dish? This Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese is always a hit.
- When you are looking for a delicious lunch recipe that is so satisfying, give this Balsamic Quinoa Salad a try!
- Apple Broccoli Salad works just as well on your holiday table as it does for a simple weeknight meal. It is quick and easy to make and always a hit.
- If you like this Caprese Quinoa Salad, don’t miss this delicious Caprese Pasta Salad.
Caprese Quinoa Salad
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 6 garlic cloves minced (more or less to taste)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup Pompenian olive oil
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- ¼ cup red onion chopped fine
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- ½ cup kalamata olives pitted and chopped
- ½ cup fresh basil torn
- 8 ounces mozzarella balls for vegan option use nut cheese
- Make the dressing by combining vinegar, garlic cloves, maple syrup, dijon and sea salt in a blender and processing until well combined. With the blender running, add olive oil in a steady stream.
- In a large bowl combine quinoa, red onion, tomatoes, olives, basil, and mozzarella. Toss with the desired amount of dressing. Transfer to serving bowl and drizzle with balsamic reduction.