Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is a crave-worthy dish with all the flavors you love: garbanzo beans, red onion, grape tomatoes, artichoke hearts, roasted red pepper, and kalamata olives, cucumber, dill, and quinoa. This protein-packed salad is perfect for meal prep, making it a great work-week lunch or easy dinner. It is gluten-free, vegetarian, and can easily be made vegan.
If you like recipes with big flavors, you will fall in love with this Mediterranean quinoa recipe.
One of my favorite things about quinoa salad recipes is that you can make them ahead of time. My whole week goes more smoothly when I have meals prepped.
This Quinoa Mediterranean Salad is one of my favorites (along with this vegan quinoa salad) because it holds up so well in the fridge. (It lasts for three to four days.) I can make it on Sunday and have easy lunches or dinners during the week.
Easy quinoa salads don’t get any better than this!
Ingredients for Making Quinoa Mediterranean Salad
- Quinoa: It takes about 1 cup of dried quinoa to get 3 cups of cooked quinoa. See this post on how to cook quinoa on the stove top. You can also cook it in a rice cooker or Instant Pot. Rinsing quinoa before cooking is important.
- Garbanzo Beans: Often referred to as chickpeas, you can find them canned or make your own from dried.
- Red Onion: Diced red onion is best here. If you are sensitive to onion, try soaking it in a little cold water for 15 minutes.
- Tomatoes: I used cherry tomatoes, but you could use grape tomatoes or diced tomatoes.
- Artichoke Hearts: Use canned artichoke hearts and reserve the remainder of the can for salads and bowls throughout the week.
- Red Pepper: I used roasted red peppers, but diced red bell peppers would also work.
- Olives: Kalamata olives are lovely here, but canned black olives could also be used.
- Cucumber: Look for a medium cucumber with small seeds. I like to seed my cucumbers before chopping them, but this is a matter of personal preference.
- Dill: Fresh herbs add a pop of flavor to any dish, and dill plays perfectly with the veggies in this recipe.
- Oil: Your best quality extra virgin olive oil will make this vegetarian quinoa salad shine.
- Lemon Juice: Fresh squeezed is best.
- Balsamic Vinegar: Red wine vinegar could be used if you prefer. If you want to make a lemon dressing, omit the balsamic vinegar and use additional lemon juice in its place.
- Garlic: Fresh minced garlic is best.
- Seasonings: Buy Mediterranean seasoning, or make your own. (See the FAQ below for how to make your own.) Use sea salt or kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.
Mix it Up
- Omit the dill and instead use parsley or cilantro.
- For an extra kick of heat in this Mediterranean quinoa dish, add ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper to the dressing.
- For a heartier salad, add in 8 ounces of protein. Vegan or Vegetarian? Gardein and Beyond Meat products are great. Or, use organic Tempeh. This looks like a great marinade to try for Tempeh.
- Add 2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts to the salad ingredients..
- Add ½ cup pepperoncini to your healthy quinoa salad to make your flavors pop even more.
Tips for Making This Recipe
- This recipe may be made up to four days ahead, making it perfect for meal prep. I like to freshen up leftovers with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
- If you are new to cooking quinoa, check out How to Cook Quinoa for stovetop instructions or How to Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker. You can also check out my Instant Pot Quinoa.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Quinoa on the Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating inspired by the traditional food culture of countries like Italy and Greece.
The diet emphasizes fresh, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and seafood and features olive oil as the primary source of fat.
Quinoa is a grain that has become popular in recent years for its nutrient-rich profile and versatility in the kitchen. While quinoa is not commonly consumed in Mediterranean countries, it does fit within the diet's parameters.
As a result, quinoa can be considered a healthy addition to the Mediterranean way of eating.
How Do You Make Mediterranean Seasoning?
Simply combine the following ingredients: oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Customize the flavor by adjusting the amounts of each ingredient to suit your taste. Once you've mixed everything, store the seasoning in a jar or container with a tight-fitting lid.
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Leftover quinoa salad can be stored in the refrigerator for three or four days.
To lift up leftovers, add a touch more dressing.
How to Make a Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl
Gather all of your ingredients.
Combine quinoa, garbanzo beans, red onion, grape tomatoes, artichoke hearts, roasted red pepper, olives, cucumber, and dill in a large bowl.
Make the dressing by combining olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic, Mediterranean seasoning, salt, and pepper in a blender.
Process until smooth.
Toss the dressing with the salad.
If desired, add crumbled feta cheese.
Serve at room temperature or chilled. The salad will keep in the fridge for up to four days.
More Salad Recipes to Try
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- 3 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 ½ cups garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
- ½ medium red onion diced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
- ½ cup artichoke hearts quartered
- ½ cup roasted red pepper diced
- ⅓ cup Kalamata Olives sliced
- 1 cucumber diced
- ¼ cup dill chopped fine
- feta cheese, for topping optional; use traditional or vegan feta
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon Mediterranean Seasoning
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Optional: ¼ cup crumbled feta or vegan feta
- In a large bowl, combine quinoa, garbanzo beans, red onion, grape tomatoes, artichoke hearts, roasted red pepper, olives, cucumber, and dill.
- To make the dressing, combine olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic, Mediterranean seasoning, salt and pepper in a blender.
- Process until smooth.
- Toss dressing with salad. If desired, top with crumbled feta.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature.
I'm still new to quinoa and am loving it especially with salads like this!
Kara Mathys @Wellnessgrit
Oh my! This mediterranean quinoa salad was delicious and so easy to make! Will have to try this for my family. Thanks so much!
Thank you! If you make it let me know how it goes.
I have made this salad several times and it is a big hit at work potlucks.
So glad you enjoyed it!
I subbed pearl cous cous for the quinoa and added a can of garbanzo beans. Delicious!
So glad you enjoyed it! Love the addition of garbanzo beans.
Love everything about this salad… and beautiful photos as usual!!!
Made this tonight, delicious. My “anti-quinoa” husband loved it! May have put more cucs than called for, flavors really worked, refreshing.
O....M....G!!!!! DINNER LAST NIGHT WAS AMAZING! My husband and I LOVED this. He's not big on trying new things but when I told him about how healthy quinoa is and had a way to make it that he'd like he went for it
Love the ingredients
Did I miss what they are for the Mediterranean Seasoning
I actually buy Mediterranean Seasoning. Here is a link that you could use to make your own: https://www.food.com/recipe/mediterranean-spice-mix-290157#activity-feed