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My Big Fat Greek Quinoa Salad

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Let’s make My Big Fat Greek Quinoa Salad recipe! This healthy salad is packed with bright colors and bold flavors. It’s perfect for meal prep, bbqs, picnics, and more!

white serving bowl of vegan Greek quinoa salad

In the summer months, we thrive on easy, light low-cook or no-cook dinners, and these days that means lighter fare, like salads, smoothies, grilled foods, and plenty of fruits and veggies.

This yummy salad is a perfect example–I’ve been making this mediterranean quinoa salad recipe since 2017! Loaded with fresh vegetables, fluffy quinoa, and a lemony greek-style dressing, we’ve taken to calling it My Big Fat Greek Quinoa Salad (after the movie). I can’t get enough of it, especially in the summer!

A big batch makes the perfect light dinner or healthy lunch throughout the week, especially as a side dish to grilled chicken or fish. It’s also a great recipe to bring to a cookout or potluck since it works for gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian diets.

Bright colors, bold flavors, and simple ingredients? Count me all the way in. Here’s what you need to get started…

ingredients for Greek quinoa salad

Simple Ingredients To Start

  • Cooked Quinoa. This salad starts with a quinoa base. We LOVE this method for cooking quinoa–it’s perfectly cooked and fluffy every time!
  • Chickpeas. I love making Greek quinoa salad with chickpeas. Sometimes labeled garbanzo beans, these add fiber and some plant-based protein. A great way to fill out the salad!
  • Bell Pepper. Any color you like will work here, but I usually reach for a yellow bell pepper for the color. (Orange and red bell peppers are great, too!)
  • Baby Tomatoes. Then, some colorful grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes. So pretty!
  • Cucumber. Crisp cucumbers are refreshing and lovely here. I use English cucumbers or Persian cucumbers most often since they have smaller seeds and thinner skin. Keep an eye out for them next time you go to the grocery store!
  • Kalamata Olives. Black olives can absolutely work in a pinch, but I love the tangy brine of kalamata olives. (No pits, please!)
  • Red Onion. This kind of onion can have some bite, so I like to dice it small so I don’t overpower the salad.
  • Fresh Herbs. When you have them, I love to add some fresh basil or fresh oregano (or even fresh parsley). Something bright green to liven the salad up!
  • A Simple Dressing. Our greek quinoa salad dressing is made from staples like olive oil, fresh lemon juice, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. It’s simple, light, and delicious!

More Mix-Ins To Try

Feel free to mix in some fresh avocado, salty feta cheese, a blend of olives, spinach, kale, or artichoke hearts when you’re looking for a change of pace.

My favorite variation is to add some grilled chicken on top (like this Lemon Garlic Chicken Marinade!). It’s a great addition when you’re looking for some extra protein!

making Greek quinoa salad step by step

How To Make This Greek Quinoa Salad, Step By Step

As always, you can find the full recipe with ingredient amounts, step-by-step instructions, notes, and more in the recipe card below!

  1. First, Make The Dressing. In a small bowl or jar, combine olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine well. (Dressing can be made 1-2 days in advance)
  2. Combine Salad Ingredients. In a large bowl, combine cooked cooled quinoa, chickpeas, bell pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, onion, and fresh herbs.
  3. Drizzle The Dressing Over The Salad and gently stir to combine until everything is evenly coated and well-blended.
  4. Taste & Adjust. Taste the salad and add more salt, pepper, herbs, or lemon juice, as desired. Enjoy right away or store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge 3-4 days.
colorful greek quinoa salad in a white serving bowl

FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The Best Greek Quinoa Salad

Eating With Kids? Serve It A La Carte. I’m big-time into build-your-own dinners, so while I often serve this all mixed up when I’m bringing it to a party or get-together, you can put the toppings in little bowls at dinner and let everyone build their own salads. One child loves chickpeas and olives, while the other loads up on cucumbers.

Try It With Chicken! Turn up the protein even more by adding some grilled chicken. Dice it up and add it with the other salad ingredients or plate it on a bed of this simple salad to make Greek Quinoa Salad Bowls!

How To Cook Quinoa For Quinoa Salad. We swear by this easy stovetop method for cooking quinoa. I use it for all our quinoa recipes!

Not A Quinoa Fan? You can double the dressing and try it with orzo! (Use gluten-free orzo to keep the salad gluten-free!)

colorful mediterranean quinoa salad in a white bowl

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white serving bowl of vegan Greek quinoa salad

My Big Fat Greek Quinoa Salad


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  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 7 cups salad 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This mediterranean quinoa salad combines colorful fresh veggies, fluffy quinoa, and a bright Greek dressing. It’s bright, fresh, and so delicious! (Gluten-Free & Vegan, too!) 


Ingredients

Scale

For The Quinoa Salad:

  • 3 cups cooked, cooled quinoa (from 1 cup dry quinoa)*
  • 1 (14.5oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)*
  • 1 cup baby tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup diced cucumber (I like English cucumber)
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1/4 cup finely minced red onion
  • Fresh herbs–2-3 Tablespoons fresh basil, minced or 1 Tablespoon fresh oregano

For The Dressing:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. First, Make The Dressing. In a small bowl or jar, combine olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine well. (Dressing can be made 1-2 days in advance)
  2. Combine Salad Ingredients. In a large bowl, combine cooked cooled quinoa, chickpeas, bell pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, onion, and fresh herbs.
  3. Drizzle The Dressing Over The Salad and gently stir to combine until everything is evenly coated and well-blended.
  4. Taste & Adjust. Taste the salad and add more salt, pepper, herbs, or lemon juice, as desired. Enjoy right away or store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge 3-4 days.

Notes

  • To Cook Quinoa, rinse 1 cup uncooked quinoa then add to a saucepan with 2 cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and boil uncovered 5 minutes, then turn off the heat, cover the pan with a lid and let it steam 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and cool completely before making the salad. 
  • Get Colorful. I like to use a yellow bell pepper and colorful cherry tomatoes to add even more bright color to this salad. 
  • More Protein. For more protein, feel free to add crumbled feta cheese or grilled chicken (obviously, not vegan!) 
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Recipe originally shared June 2017. Fully updated May 2024.

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