Mediterranean Quinoa Salad


This quick and easy side dish pairs the bold Mediterranean flavors of lime, Feta cheese, Kalamata olives, and fresh parsley against the subtle backdrop of quinoa. Thanks to the naturally salty flavors of the olive brine and Feta cheese, this dish doesn’t need any added sodium to help balance the flavors.

However, for best results, you’ll want to make this dish in advance to give the flavors a chance to blend. You can make this the day before and pop in the refrigerator for serving later. It will keep 3 days in the frig.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: approximately 20 minutes

Serves 4


1 c. quinoa, uncooked
2 limes, zest and juice
4 oz. Feta cheese, crumbed

2 oz. Kalamata olives, chopped, with brine

¼ c. fresh parsley, stems removed and chopped

Optional: Black pepper, to taste

Tip: For an added layer of flavor, toast the quinoa over medium heat before cooking.* Each grain of quinoa (unless pre-washed) is covered in a soapy substance called saponin. It tastes bitter and will affect the taste of your quinoa if you don’t remove it.



  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Remove from heat and let cool briefly.
  2. Fluff quinoa with a fork and stir in lime zest, lime juice, Feta cheese, chopped olives, and fresh parsley until thoroughly combined. Season with black pepper, to taste.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

To toast quinoa:

  • Heat a big, heavy sauté pan on medium low.
  • Add (or leave) some water to the quinoa so that it is moist, and put a cup of the wet quinoa into the heated pan. (Make sure not to over-crowd.)
  • Using a wire whisk, quickly stir the quinoa around in the pan as it begins to toast.
  • Once the water is absorbed and the quinoa begins to pop, you will know that it is drying out. Keep whisking until the grains of quinoa start to brown. It will transform before your eyes and begin to smell nutty – and that’s when you know that your quinoa is toasted.
  • Toasted quinoa may be stored in the refrigerator, in an airtight container once it has cooled, so it can be helpful to toast enough at a time to use for multiple meals throughout the week. From Ancient Harvest


Here’s another idea for using your quinoa: Mediterranean Quinoa Salad can be converted into a Quinoa Tabbouleh with the addition of some tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, and fresh mint.

New to Quinoa? Try out these brands.: Bob’s Red Mill or Ancient Harvest. Both have certified gluten free varieties and are trusted brands in the celiac community.

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