This Quinoa Salad with Feta is a delicious and healthy salad that combines fresh produce and vibrant flavors. It's packed with nutritious ingredients like kale, strawberries, and pistachios. Toss it with tangy poppy seed dressing for a perfect balance of textures and tastes.
Quinoa Salad with Feta is a true celebration of fresh, vibrant flavors. The combination of quinoa, kale, strawberries, feta cheese, and pistachios creates a salad that is rich, sweet, savory, and crunchy.
The poppy seed dressing adds a delightful tang and ties all the ingredients together beautifully. Whether you're enjoying it for lunch, as a side dish, or at a summer picnic, this quinoa salad with feta is a versatile and delightful addition to any menu.
Why I Love this Recipe
- Healthy lunch or side dish: Quinoa is a complete protein source, rich in essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. The addition of kale provides antioxidants and fiber. The strawberries offer a burst of vitamins and natural sweetness. And avocado contributes healthy fats and fiber to keep you full. It's a great meal prep recipe or complete meal for meatless Monday.
- Fresh: This simple salad features an ample amount of fresh produce from red onion, fresh herbs, strawberries, and avocado. Follow this recipe to use up all the summer produce. Grow it in your garden or find them affordably at the grocery store.
- Flavorful Combination: The marriage of tangy feta cheese, sweet strawberries, and crunchy pistachios creates a burst of flavor and texture.
- Great recipe to customize: This recipe allows for creativity and experimentation. You can easily modify the ingredients to suit your preferences or adapt it to what's available in your pantry or local market.
How to Make Quinoa Salad with Feta
Let's walk through the steps with some photos and a video so you can see how to make this healthy quinoa salad recipe. It features simple ingredients and only a few steps. It's a really easy recipe, but these step-by-step instructions will make sure they turn out every time. Jump down to the recipe card for exact measurements and printable instructions.
Make the quinoa: follow the package instructions to make 1 cup of uncooked quinoa or use 3 cups of leftover quinoa. Run the cooked quinoa under cold water. This is a cold quinoa salad (or can be served at room temperature), so mixing in warm quinoa isn't ideal.
Make the dressing: whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. You could also use store-bought poppy seed dressing if you're in a rush.
Toss everything together: Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl.
Video: Watch How to Make Quinoa Salad
- Greek Quinoa Salad: Swap the strawberries for cherry tomatoes, add some Kalamata olives, red bell pepper, black beans, green onions, herb vinaigrette. and garnish with fresh basil leaves. Or you can drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil dressing for a simple and delicious Mediterranean quinoa salad recipe.
- Tropical Delight: Replace the strawberries with diced mangoes, and add toasted coconut flakes and chopped macadamia nuts. Dress the salad with a lime and honey vinaigrette for a taste of the tropics.
- More fresh vegetables and herbs: use up what you have in your garden and toss in crisp cucumbers, fresh parsley, or event torn mint.
- Vegan Option: Omit the feta cheese and replace it with crumbled tofu or a vegan cheese substitute of your choice.
- Add chicken: make the perfect grilled chicken breast or baked chicken breast and serve it on top or on the side.
Frequently Asked Questions
Quinoa salad is generally a healthy and nutritious option. However, the calorie content may vary depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes used. The salad itself is relatively low in calories, but keep an eye on portion sizes and the quantities of higher-calorie additions like cheese and nuts.
Yes, quinoa salad keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days when stored properly in an airtight container. However, the texture of the salad may change slightly over time, especially the kale, which may become slightly wilted. For the best taste and freshness, it is recommended to consume the salad within the first couple of days.
This quinoa salad can be enjoyed as a light and refreshing meal on its own or served as a side dish alongside grilled chicken, blackened chicken, grilled ribeye, roasted vegetables, or even blackened salmon.
If you have leftover salad or want to prepare the salad in advance, it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. However, keep in mind that the kale may become slightly wilted over time. To maintain the freshness and crunch, store the dressing separately and toss before serving.
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Strawberry Quinoa Salad with Feta
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa or 3 cups of cooked quinoa
- 2 cups strawberries hulled and halved
- 8 ounces feta cheese crumbled or cubed
- 1 large ripe avocado pitted and diced
- 1 cup raw unsalted pistachios (Note 1)
- ½ small red onion diced
- ¼ cup fresh chopped basil
- 1 ½ cups shredded kale
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup light olive oil or avocado oil
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
- 2-3 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
- Large bowl
- Medium Saucepan
- Cook 1 cup of quinoa according to the package directions. They usually require you to rinse the quinoa well using a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clean. Add it to a medium saucepan with 1 cup of water Add 1 ¾ cup of quinoa, bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and allow it to cool almost completely. You can also use 3 cups of pre-cooked quinoao.
- Add the quinoa, strawberries, feta, avocado, pistachios, red onion, and basil to a large salad bowl. Toss the shredded kale with the olive oil and use your fingers to rub it into the kale. This helps soften the texture and makes it easier to work with.
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the quinoa salad and toss well to coat. Serve right away or store in the fridge for up to 3 day.