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Quinoa Salad

This bright and refreshing quinoa salad is full of herby savory flavors. Simple wholesome ingredients and just 15 minutes to make it!

My fusion twist to classic Middle Eastern Tabouli ( Tabuli ) or Tabbouleh salad, this recipe is vegan, gluten free, dairy and soy free.

Tossed in a zesty fresh lemon juice, this plant based satisfying salad fills you up with delightful Mediterranean vibes. Travel is always a big influence and inspiration on my recipes. And this quinoa salad is certainly one of them.

Quinoa salad with herbs and lemon juice served in a white bowl.

Love Salads?

Healthy salads are my jam. I have so many different combinations, you can easily make a new salad everyday. There’s Chickpea Salad, Orzo Pasta Salad, Wild Rice Pilaf Salad, Italian Summer Salad, Barley Salad, Black Bean and Corn Salad or Tomato Peach Caprese.

So, load up on basic fresh veggies like cucumbers, tomatoes and red onions on your next grocery haul. Cook different whole grains. Then rock and roll with a series of “salad week” with different flavors, different add-in and different combinations.

With so much versatility, salads will never be boring ever! That’s a new mantra !!

A white salad bowl full of freshly made herb quinoa salad.

Healthy Quinoa Salad

This simple grain salad is a complete meal full of nutrients. It is low in fat, rich in plant protein and fiber and incredibly delicious! And it is highly customizable. It fills you up with “all good for you” type of food.

Quinoa is considered as a Superfood. Quinoa is considered a complete protein source, which means that it provides all nine essential amino acids. It also is rich in fiber and several minerals, including manganese, phosphorus, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, and zinc.

I love cooking with quinoa. Tex-Mex Quinoa, Curried Quinoa Pilaf and Lentil Quinoa Soup are some of my popular quinoa recipes. Why is Quinoa considered Superfood? This Healthline article explains it well.

An overhead shot of quinoa tabuli salad full of quinoa, fresh herbs, crisp veggies and lemon dressing.

Quinoa Tabuli / Tabbouleh Salad

If you are familiar with Middle Eastern food, you will notice that this salad closely resembles the popular Tabuli or Tabbouleh salad. It is one of our favorites. This simple salad is so vibrant and full of fresh herbs.

In this modified /fusion recipe, I am using quinoa instead of bulger which makes this salad gluten free. Typically there is lot more parsley used, which on a personal preference, I am reducing it to just enough to flavor without it overpowering or dominating the entire flavor. I am also not adding green onion which is typically used.

This quinoa tabuli salad recipe is full of wholesome goodies. I love it because it’s so simple, so vibrant and so delicious. And you can make it in 15 minutes or less. Healthy eating is made simple !

A scopp of salad showing grainy texture and tender veggies.

Healthy Meal Prep

This salad also is a great one to have in your back pocket for healthy meal prep. It stores well so you can make a big batch and use it for multiple meals.

Earthy quinoa and crispy veggies mingle with bright fresh parsley, and mint. Fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil keep the freshness quotient to the highest! It is droolicious!

Serving Suggestions

It is a stellar side dish for dinner or brunch. For dinner, pair it with Moroccan Lentil Stew , Vegan Split Pea Soup or Creamy White Bean Soup. It often is served as side for shawarma, burgers, falafel, or pita pocket sandwiches.

If you’re serving it for brunch, it pairs well with Sweet Potato Hash, Multigrain Dosa Waffles, Masala Toast Sandwich, Multigrain Flatbread -Thalipeeth or Bread Upma.

This salad recipe is incredibly versatile. Serve this fresh and flavorful quinoa salad either warm, at room temperature or chilled – it tastes amazing both ways !

You can easily double to triple the recipe as needed. It is perfect for big crowds and gatherings.

Think barbecue, picnics and cookouts.. the food stays out for a long time.. with this no dairy salad, you don’t have to worry about spoilage.

Healthy Quinoa Tabuli Salad served in a white serving bowl.

How to cook quinoa?

I am including instructions to make quinoa using stove top as well as electric pressure cooker like Instant Pot. I often make a big batch and store it in individual portions. Quinoa retains it’s form well and takes on pretty much any flavors.

  • Stove Top Cooking method – In a saucepan, bring quinoa and 1-1/2 cups of broth or water to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook the quinoa until it is tender about 10-12 mins. Remove from heat, keep it covered and let it stand for 5 more minutes. Then fluff with a fork and allow it to cool down.
  • Instant Pot Cooking method – for easier clean up, I cook quinoa using pot in pot method. Add 2 cups of water in steel insert. Add the rinsed quinoa in a separate bowl and add 1-¼ cups of broth or water. Place the bowl of quinoa on the trivet and put it in the main insert. Close the lid and pressure cook on high for 1 minute. Once the cook time is up, release the pressure after 5 minutes. Let the quinoa sit for about 10 minutes and then fluff with a for and use it as needed.

Ingredients used in Quinoa Tabuli

Exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here’s the brief overview and Amazon affiliate links for my favorites.

  • Cooked Quinoa – I prefer to cook quinoa in vegetable broth instead of water. It adds nice extra flavor.
  • Fresh Veggies –  I am using cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers and red onion. You can use several other vegetables like sweet peppers, zucchini, artichoke, olives, radishes, carrots etc.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – choose the best quality
  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Herbs – Fresh Parsley and mint. You can use cilantro if you don’t like parsley.
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional Seasoning – I love to dust this salad with warm spice mixes. Zaatar Seasoning, Baharat Mix or Ras El Hanout are all amazing spices. These ethnic spices add a sensational touch to this simple salad. I highly recommend them. You can also use roasted cumin powder if you don’t have these spice mixes easily available.

Ingredients used in Quinoa Tabuli Salad recipe.

How to Make

  1. Wash and rinse quinoa well. Cook quinoa as suggested. 
  2. Meanwhile, wash, dry and chop the veggies and herbs.
  3. Mix quinoa, veggies and herbs.
  4. Add olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle salt and pepper. 
  5. Mix well. Serve immediately or let it sit for 15 minutes so flavors mend together. Enjoy !

Process shot showing all salad ingredients just before mixing

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Healthy Quinoa Tabuli Salad served in a white serving bowl.

Quinoa Salad

Yield: 6 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Refreshing Quinoa Tabuli Salad is full of whole grain, crisp veggies and delicious flavors. Quinoa salad is vegan and gluten free and perfect for barbeque, cookouts, picnic and gatherings. Meal prep this salad for easy work lunches and weeknight dinners.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 small red onion - diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes - halved
  • 2 persian cucumbers - diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves - finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves - coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil - skip if WPPB
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • salt and pepper - per taste

Instructions

Wash and rinse quinoa well. Cook quinoa as suggested. 

Meanwhile, wash, dry and chop the veggies and herbs.

Mix quinoa, veggies and herbs.

Add olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle salt and pepper. 

Mix well. Serve immediately or let it sit for 15 minutes so flavors mend together. Enjoy !

Notes

How to Cook Quinoa :

  • Stove Top Cooking method – In a saucepan, bring quinoa and 1-1/2 cups of broth or water to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook the quinoa until it is tender about 10-12 mins. Remove from heat, keep it covered and let it stand for 5 more minutes. Then fluff with a fork and allow it to cool down.
  • Instant Pot Cooking method – for easier clean up, I cook quinoa using pot in pot method. Add 2 cups of water in steel insert. Add the rinsed quinoa in a separate bowl and add 1-¼ cups of broth or water. Place the bowl of quinoa on the trivet and put it in the main insert. Close the lid and pressure cook on high for 1 minute. Once the cook time is up, release the pressure after 5 minutes. Let the quinoa sit for about 10 minutes and then fluff with a fork and use it as needed.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 177Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 60mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 4g

Nutritional values are provided as a courtesy and the values are approximate. The values will change depending on the exact ingredients, measurements and brands used. As always, for specific health issues and dietary requirements please consult medical professional.

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