Salad/ Side Dish

Quinoa Salad

This quinoa salad has the simplest ingredients and is so delicious.  I intended this to be a side-dish for dinner.  It never made it that far.  My kids were hovering when I made this.  They kept coming by and snatching a bell pepper slice, then an olive, then a mozzarella ball.  Finally when I had it mixed all together they wanted the whole salad.  I made them wait.  I needed some pictures and that can take some time.  Every five minutes or so they would ask, “Can we have some now?”  Finally, I was able to divvy up the salad. They gobbled it up and came in looking for more!  Needless to say, there wasn’t any left for dinner.  I guess I can’t complain.  That was a pretty healthy snack they had!  This salad is easy enough to throw together so I can make it again soon…..next time I’d better double…or maybe even triple this salad!

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

I had been searching for a great recipe for quinoa salad.  I never found one where I loved all the ingredients so I decided to create my own.  When I started throwing this salad together, I added just the lemon juice and then tasted it.  I found it didn’t need anything more, except a bit of fresh ground pepper.  It was perfect with just lemon juice as a dressing.  This is so much healthier than a dressing with added oils and it really is super yummy.

This salad uses kalamata olives and fresh mozzarella cheese.  Both items can be found in the deli area of a grocery store.  Not all stores carry an olive bar, but when they do, they often carry fresh mozzarella too.  These mozzarella balls are small, about the same size as the olives or cherry tomatoes.

When using quinoa, always rinse your quinoa well first. Otherwise you will be left with a bitter tasting quinoa.  To do this,  I measure out the amount I need into a large bowl.  Then fill the bowl with water.  I use my fingers to gently massage the small quinoa together.  The water will become a bit murky.  I then pour the quinoa into a very fine mesh strainer and rinse under water.  Then cook according to package directions.

5 from 1 vote
Quinoa Salad
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Quinoa Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

Quinoa, bell peppers, olives and mozzarella

Course: Salad
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Kathy
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa cooled
  • 1 small orange or yellow bell pepper sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives pitted and halved
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella balls quartered
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves sliced thinly
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, bell pepper, olives, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.
  2. Squeeze lemon juice over mixture.
  3. Add fresh ground pepper.
  4. Taste salad. Add more lemon juice or pepper if needed.
  5. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate to serve later.
Recipe Notes

Fresh mozzarella balls can often be found in the deli section where fine olives are sold. You want small sized balls, similar in size to cherry tomatoes.

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Kathy @ Living A Creative Life
    July 11, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Wow, I just purchased some cherry tomatoes and small mozzarella balls yesterday… It’s a sign! I look forward to trying this. Thanks, Kathy!!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      July 11, 2015 at 10:00 am

      I agree…it is certainly a sign for you to make this Quinoa Salad!

  • Reply
    Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen
    July 12, 2015 at 5:12 am

    Wow! What an Amazing looking quinoa salad! So fresh and YUM!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      July 12, 2015 at 5:28 am

      Thanks, Anu.

  • Reply
    Laura
    July 13, 2015 at 4:43 am

    I love it when a side dish becomes dinner. My kids are like that too, if they are hungry, they are going to snatch at those mozzarella balls too. But this totally looks hearty enough for dinner. Yum. I’d bet eating it too =)

  • Reply
    Martha @ A Family Feast
    July 13, 2015 at 6:14 am

    Sounds simple and delicious and perfect for a healthy summer meal! And with fresh veggies – there’s no need to go too heavy on the dressing! Yum!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      July 13, 2015 at 8:42 am

      Thanks, Martha!

  • Reply
    Emanuele @ guyslovecooking
    July 13, 2015 at 7:00 am

    It looks great and everyone should eat Quinoa. I am glad your kids do and that they like it.
    Simple and good 🙂

    • Reply
      Kathy
      July 13, 2015 at 8:43 am

      Yep, they are great eaters and not too picky…most of the time!

  • Reply
    Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks
    July 13, 2015 at 8:02 am

    I love a quinoa salad and this one sure seems perfect for your whole family! It sounds like you probably should double it next time – or lock your kids out of the kitchen! 🙂 I’m digging the mozz and kalamata combo!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      July 13, 2015 at 8:42 am

      The mozz and kalamata is awesome together!

  • Reply
    Kennedy Cole
    July 13, 2015 at 10:54 am

    YUM! I LOVE quinoa! It looks so delicious in this caprese flavored salad! My father absolutely adores kalamata olives, so I will definitely have to make this for him! Thanks for sharing, Kathy! 😀

  • Reply
    Danielle @ So Munch Love
    July 13, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    Great recipe, Kathy! I love quinoa! Great tip on rinsing first. I usually am too lazy to rinse and always end up chewing on sand and thinking I have lost half a tooth. 🙂

    • Reply
      Kathy
      July 14, 2015 at 5:23 am

      The rinsing really does make a difference.

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