This Quinoa Cucumber and Tomato Salad is packed with protein, it’s super refreshing and perfect for making ahead of time! It has a simple lemon and olive oil dressing, and with the addition of feta and olives, this salad gets a perfect Mediterranean twist.
This quinoa cucumber and tomato salad is my take on a traditional Greek salad we all love. I added the quinoa for some more nutrition and protein, and to make it even more Mediterranean, I added kalamata olives and a refreshing olive oil and lemon dressing.
To save up on time, I love preparing the quinoa over the weekend and storing it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. This is super handy not just for this salad but for other lunch boxes or different meals.
How to cook the perfect quinoa?
I’ve made quinoa many times, and there’s one valuable tip that everyone should know. To get fluffy and evenly cooked quinoa every time, use a bigger pot and don’t fill the pot with more than 1inch/2.5cm of water and quinoa. Adding a large amount of quinoa to a small pot will result in mushy quinoa.
- In a pot, add the previously rinsed and drained quinoa along with the water and a bay leaf. Turn the heat to medium.
- Once the water starts to bowl, lower the heat down to medium-low, cover the pot and let it simmer until all the water has been absorbed.
- Take the quinoa out of the heat and let it steam with the lid on for another 10 minutes. Optionally you can add a clean towel on the top of the pot and put the lid back on. The towel will absorb the steam and make sure the water doesn’t go back into the quinoa.
- After 10minutes – season the quinoa with salt and fluff it using a fork.
Once the quinoa has been cooled completely, you can mix it into the salad or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The steps outlined above apply to all quinoa types.
A few questions that I often get regarding this quinoa qucumber and tomato salad are:
Quinoa provides a decent amount of protein, so this salad makes a great meal on its own. However, I love serving it with grilled or roasted chicken breasts, with roasted veggies on the side, or any other slow-cooked meat
All types of quinoa work for salads, so this is really a personal preference. However, I often buy white quinoa, so that’s what I used for this recipe.
Absolutely! You can make this salad up to 12h in advance! If you follow these simple steps, the salads will stay fresh, and it saves so much time the next day:
– make sure to clean and dry the vegetables before cutting them;
– add all the ingredients in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator (don’t overfill the container, so the vegetables don’t get smashed;
– add the salad dressing before serving the salad;
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Quinoa Cucumber and Tomato Salad
- 100 g 1/2 cup uncooked 1 cup/200g cooked quinoa
- 240 g 1 cup water
- 1 bay leaf
- salt to taste
For the salad:
- 300 g 2 cups cherry tomatoes 2-3 regular tomatoes
- 1 cucumber
- 50 g 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 1/2 red onion or two spring onions
- 100 g crumbled feta cheese
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- salt to taste
- If you already have quinoa, you can skip this step and assemble the salad following the steps below. Rinse the quinoa using a colander and drain it well.
- Transfer the quinoa rinsed quinoa to a medium pot, add the water along with one bay leaf and cover the pot with a lid. Add the pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium.
- Once the quinoa starts boiling turn the heat down to medium-low and boil for around 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.
- Turn the pot off the heat, add the lid on completely and let it steam for another 10 minutes.
- Once the 10 minutes have passed, season the quinoa with salt and fluff it up using a fork. Let the quinoa cool down completely before adding it to the salad
Assemble the salad:
- Cut the tomatoes into desired pieces. I like to cut them in half and then on wedges and the wedges in half again.
- Cut the cucumber lengthwise and then cut those widthwise into half rounds, and you can adjust the thickness as desired.
- If you are using pitted olives then just cut them in half. If not you can gently press the olives with the flat side of the knife and cut the olive halfway through and remove the pit.
- Slice the onion into wedges.
- Add all the vegetables to a bowl along with the quinoa, and add the crumbled feta on top.
- In a small bowl add the olive oil, lemon, and salt, then mix well.
- Toss the desired amount of the dressing into the salad, and mix well to combine.