This flavorful Greek Quinoa Salad is even healthier than a Classic Greek Salad. And more filling as well. All due to the protein-packed quinoa!
If you like Greek Salads, then this Greek Quinoa Salad is one you should definitely try. And even though the flavors are similar to that of Greek Salad. There are a few differences.
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For one, feta is optional because this salad is already so flavorful that it doesn't really need it at all! But if you want to add some feta be my guest and sprinkle some crumbled on top. I do so myself sometimes.
For two, instead of cucumbers, we're using grilled zucchini. Which adds so much more flavor to the salad and no additional calories. And in case you're wondering how many calories are in Greek Quinoa Salad, I'm mentioning all about it below.
The ingredients you need to make this super tasty salad are: cooked quinoa (I'm using white quinoa, but rainbow quinoa works equally well), tomatoes, zucchini, bell pepper, onion, pitted Kalamata olives, and capers. Plus herbs, such as parsley and dried oregano.
Ingredients to make the dressing for this salad are extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, a small amount of lemon juice, lemon zest, plus dried oregano for flavoring.
How To Make
To make a Greek Quinoa Salad, first, we need to cook quinoa. And here's how to cook extra yummy quinoa.
Cook quinoa along with a pressed garlic clove. It will make the quinoa so much more flavorful before you even add anything more to it!
To cook quinoa, add it to a saucepan with 1 ¾ cups of water. The usual ratio when cooking quinoa is 1:2, meaning 1 cup of quinoa per 2 cups of water. But since this is meant for a salad I prefer to keep it a little bit more "al dente".
Add also a little bit of salt to it and the garlic clove. Simmer over low heat until it absorbs all of the water. Towards the last minutes of cooking, when the water is almost drained from the saucepan, I stir the quinoa a couple of times with a spoon. So the quinoa that's on the surface absorbs equal moisture to the one sitting at the bottom.
Prepare the veggies, both zucchini and pepper are grilled slightly for extra flavor. If you have a grill pan use that. Otherwise, you may use a non-stick pan and let it get smokey hot over medium heat before adding the veggies. And if it's a cast iron skillet even better!
So once the veggies are grilled, let them cool enough to handle and dice them into ½ cm (¼ inch) pieces.
Next, make the dressing. To make this salad dressing the tomato insides are scooped and blended along with red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and dried oregano.
Finally, dice the tomato skins the same size as the zucchini and peppers and add them to a mixing bowl along with all of the remaining ingredients.
Add the dressing to the quinoa while the quinoa is still slightly warm. This way it will absorb it better resulting in a stronger flavor.
Servings And Calories
This Greek Quinoa Salad serves 6 people as a side dish and 3 as a main salad meal. If you serve it as a main meal the calories for each serving are 489. With 52 g carbs, 12 g protein, 28 g fat. Most of the fat comes from olive oil so it's healthy fat. If you want to break this down use a tablespoon less olive oil. Since just one tablespoon of olive oil contains 126 kcal and 14 g of fat.
How Long Will It Keep?
So if you're wondering how long does quinoa salad last in the fridge? Then the answer is up to 3 days. Plain-cooked quinoa can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days. But when mixed into a salad with raw vegetables the flavor will start to get not-so-good after 3 days.
The best way to store cooked quinoa in the fridge whether it's in a salad or plain cooked quinoa, is in an airtight food container (glass or plastic one).
What To Do With Leftovers
When I get leftovers from this salad, I like to turn them into Mediterranean quinoa patties that taste a bit like pizza. For half salad leftovers, I add one medium-sized egg, 2 teaspoons tomato paste, and 1 teaspoon fresh + chopped (or dried) oregano.
I mix and squeeze the mixture with my hands (to mash the veggies as much as possible). Then shape into small flattened patties, place on a parchment paper-covered pan, and bake at 180°C / 356°F until set and nicely colored on top.
If the mixture is too thin to shape you may add a small amount of either quinoa flour, plain flour, corn flour (not starch), or chickpea flour.
Serve this Greek Quinoa Salad as a side to Chicken Souvlaki (Chicken Skewers), Spatchcocked Chicken, or with these Salmon Cakes. Or simply add some crumbled feta cheese on top and an extra sprinkle of dried oregano and enjoy!
Greek Quinoa Salad Recipe (Vegan)
For The Salad:
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 large garlic clove pressed
- ⅓ teaspoon salt
- 280 grams (2 medium) zucchinis cut into ½ cm thick long slices
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ⅓ teaspoon dried oregano
- 100 grams (1 small) green bell pepper cut into ½ cm thick sticks
- 450 grams (4 medium-small) tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon chopped capers
- 90 grams (1 small) red onion finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 70 grams pitted Kalamata olives chopped
Cook The Quinoa:
- Add quinoa to a saucepan together with the garlic clove, ⅓ teaspoon salt, and 1 ¾ cups water. Bring to a boil then drop the heat to low and simmer until it absorbs all of the water stir a bit towards the end. Remove from heat and set aside.
Prepare The Veggies:
- Heat a grill pan or non-stick pan over high heat. Drizzle the zucchini slices with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and ¼ teaspoon oregano. Toss and rub to spread. Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side. They should get some color but retain their crispness. Transfer to a cutting board.
- In the same pan grill the pepper sticks for 1 minute on each side. Transfer to a cutting board as well and let cool.
- Dice both the zucchini and the peppers into ½ cm (¼ inch) pieces. Add to a mixing bowl.
- Remove stems from the tomatoes. Slice in half and scoop the insides with a teaspoon (do not discard the insides).
- Dice the tomato skins the same size, and add to the bowl with the veggies.
Make The Dressing:
- Add the 4 tablespoons of olive oil, the red wine vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of oregano together with the tomato insides in a small food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.
- Add the dressing to the quinoa which should be lukewarm. Stir to combine.
- Transfer the quinoa to the bowl with the veggies and add also the capers, olives, parsley, and onion. Mix well.
- Refrigerate for about an hour or until the salad is cooled.
- Serve with a sprinkle of dried Greek oregano on top and some crumbled feta cheese if you like!