A healthy, detox-like salad that is perfect for quick lunches or a simple dinner side!
Your lunch game is gonna be on point with this quinoa salad! Seriously, since I first made it, it’s been on repeat because it’s SO EASY, filling, and flavorful!
Middle Eastern Quinoa Salad was first inspired by an impromptu sunny Saturday lunch with my mom.
One of my favorite memories as a teen (and we’ve all been teenagers – there aren’t many ;)) is running errands with my mom. Sounds simple, right? Most of the time it was Target and grocery runs, enjoying the quality time together.
Other times though, it was trips to the mall, with lunch and lots of girl talk. Now that I’ve grown up, I make my own Target and grocery runs, but the Saturdays we’re able to spend together doing some “special shopping” sparks nostalgic joy within me.
And now we enjoy a glass of wine with our lunches. That’s winning with grown up life, isn’t it?
A while back, we were enjoying a day running around together and found ourselves quite hungry. Nearby, a Lebanese diner called our names. We had to give it a try.
Our plates were filled with falafel, tzatziki, hummus, pita, and the most surprisingly delicious quinoa salad.
It was bright, and flavorful, and absolutely not a boring quinoa salad. Anything but!
Naturally my food blogger brain started turning and I had to figure out how to recreate it – how perfect for the incredibly fleeting teacher lunch. I knew it’d hold me over for the rest of the day and give me quality energy that I wouldn’t crash from. Done, and done!
- Quinoa – I use rainbow for the fun colors, but you can go ahead and use what you have!
- Green Bell Pepper – the forgotten pepper, I know. It is never my pepper of choice, but the bit of spiciness it adds works out perfectly in this salad!
- Red Onion – adds a
bigof tang and crunch to the salad
- Parsley – bright and full of health benefits! Seriously, the parsley makes this salad “detox” worthy!
- Mint – a refreshing surprise.
- Garlic – you can’t be surprised
- Lemon – bright and refreshing!
- Dried cranberries – for a bit of sweetness, if you want
- Feta- if you just gotta have cheese, or leave it out for a vegan salad!
- Pistachios – if you need extra crunch (also optional)
How to Make Middle Eastern Quinoa Salad
Are you ready for this? It’s SO. EASY.
Take all the ingredients. And stir them together.
Yes, seriously. You will have to cook the quinoa, and that’s all the effort it takes. I even included some Instant Pot instructions for cooking the quinoa. This could not be an easier recipe – especially one that’s making meal prep life SIMPLE.
What to Eat with Quinoa Salad
Many lunches I often eat it by itself – it’s that good and filling! I pair it with a bright orange on the side and call it a meal. Ready to get through the rest of the afternoon.
It goes great as a side with a sandwich, too! Add some fresh veggies and dip as a side…the possibilities are really endless!
If you make this recipe remember to take a pic and tag me over on Instagram, Facebook, or send an email! I LOVE seeing recipes come to life in your kitchen!
Middle Eastern Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup dried quinoa1 small green bell pepper finely chopped1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped2/3 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped1 lemon, juiced1 TBSP high-quality olive oilSalt and pepper, to tasteOptional: 1/3 cup dried cranberriesOptional: 1/3 cup feta crumblesOptional: 1/3 cup chopped pistachios
- Cook quinoa according to package instructions. For the Instant Pot: place dried quinoa with 1 1/4 cup stock or water in the pot. Cook on high pressure for 1 minute and quick release the steam carefully. Drain out excess water after either cooking method. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to toss with the lemon juice and olive oil. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or store in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days.