Mediterranean flavors combined with quinoa makes a healthy salad in this 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.
When I had it mixed altogether they wanted the whole salad. I made them wait. I needed some pictures first. Every few minutes they would ask, "Can we have some now?"
Finally, I was able to divvy up the salad. They gobbled it up and came back 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!
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 and cherry tomatoes.
When using quinoa, always rinse your quinoa well first before cooking. 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.
Check out this post on how to cook quinoa.
Other Great Recipes with Quinoa
Other Delicious Salads
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @beyondthechickencoop
Check out all my salad recipes!
- 1 cup cooked quinoa (cooled)
- 1 small orange or yellow bell pepper (sliced thin)
- ½ 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 ½ lemon
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In a large bowl, combine quinoa, bell pepper, olives, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.
- Squeeze lemon juice over mixture.
- Add fresh ground pepper.
- Taste salad. Add more lemon juice or pepper if needed. Add salt, if needed.
- Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate to serve later.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and should only be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. To obtain the most precise nutritional information in a provided recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the exact ingredients you are using when preparing the recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Beth C Cook says
How did you arrive at the calories on this? When I enter it in MyFitnessPal it's showing 650 calories per serving of 4 rather than 157.
We use an API system that calculates the calories. It is an estimate, but it is pretty accurate. I entered my recipe into MyFitnessPal (MFP) and also came up with the 650 calories per serving. However, if you look at the details, it does count exact measurements. For example, my recipe calls for 1/2 cup of olives. If you look at MFP it is measuring for 1 cup of olives, not 1/2 cup. The same goes for the mozzarella cheese - they are calculating at 1 full 12 oz container, not just 1 cup of mozzarella. It is calculating a whole lemon, not just the juice and a full bell pepper.
I'm not certain how they came up with the calories for the already cooked quinoa - many sites list the calories for one cup of cooked quinoa at 222 calories - not 626 that MFP reports.
I hope that helps,
Danielle @ So Munch Love says
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. 🙂
The rinsing really does make a difference.
Kennedy Cole says
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! 😀
Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks says
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!
The mozz and kalamata is awesome together!
Emanuele @ guyslovecooking says
It looks great and everyone should eat Quinoa. I am glad your kids do and that they like it.
Simple and good 🙂
Yep, they are great eaters and not too picky...most of the time!
Martha @ A Family Feast says
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!
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 =)
Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen says
Wow! What an Amazing looking quinoa salad! So fresh and YUM!
Kathy @ Living A Creative Life says
Wow, I just purchased some cherry tomatoes and small mozzarella balls yesterday... It's a sign! I look forward to trying this. Thanks, Kathy!!
I agree...it is certainly a sign for you to make this Quinoa Salad!