A healthy superfood Quinoa Feta Salad packed with garbanzo beans, roasted peppers, onion and feta cheese. Add some grilled chicken or shrimp for the ultimate healthy salad!
I know we’ve only just entered March but this quinoa feta cheese salad isn’t just for good weather and backyard rosé parties. If you’re looking for something healthy and tasty, it checks all of the boxes. You can eat it as I made it or you can add a protein like chicken or shrimp for dinner or lunch. The dressing is a garlic and lemon style vinaigrette with lots of cilantro. It’s also packed with garbanzo beans, feta cheese and crunchy bell peppers. This salad will last for a couple of days at least even after being tossed with the dressing, in fact it actually tastes better once the quinoa takes on all of the flavors!
How to make this easy quinoa feta salad
Quinoa which has been around for thousands of years is now classed as a superfood. It’s packed with protein and low in fat and calories so it’s pretty much the perfect grain to use for healthy side dishes and salads or even soups!
It’s no secret that I really like grain salads and most of them on my blog are results of fridge clean ups believe it or not. There’s not many ways to screw things up using some simple veggies, a little cheese, and some olive oil and lemon or balsamic. This salad is packed with fresh tasting ingredients and loaded with protein, but if you feel like adding some grilled chicken or shrimp, I wouldn’t stop you!
Why should I use quinoa?
There are many different forms of quinoa though they all have similar nutritional content. Color is the easiest way to tell the difference. Paler colors of quinoa will have less flavor than the darker versions. I used white quinoa which tastes just fine but you can use any color you like.
It’s an excellent filler grain for salads and power bowls and can easily be made a few days ahead of time. It’s a great idea to make a big pot at the beginning of the week and use it for multiple lunches and dinners! I like to replace rice with quinoa if I can as quinoa has a higher nutrient density than white or brown rice. It only takes minutes to cook quinoa too so it’s quicker and easier than cooking rice.
What’s the best quinoa for you to eat?
With various colors like red, white and even black quinoa to choose from it can get confusing. While all quinoa is a great option to use in cooking, it seems like red is a little bit ahead of the others due to its high antioxidants.
Tips for making this salad!
- Make the quinoa ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you need it.
- Add the dressing gradually and adjust to your taste.
- Use good quality olive oil for the dressing.
- You can use goat cheese in place of the feta cheese.
- Make a double batch and just add a diffrent protein each day for simple lunches.This is one of my favorite summer recipes and I always make it for pot luck parties. Everyone loves it and I always end up being asked for the recipe!Best salad ever!
This post has been updated from 2014.
Healthy Quinoa Salad with Feta Cheese and Mixed Vegetables
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 14 ounces garbanzo beans drained
- 1/2 cup red roasted peppers sliced into thin strips
- 1/4 cup yellow roasted peppers sliced into thin strips
- 3 tbsp thinly sliced onion
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
For The Dressing
- 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp fred wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp fresh minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Place the quinoa and water in a pot and cook according to the instructions on the pack, about 15 minutes. Let cool in the fridge.
- Make the dressing while the quinoa is cooling.
- Place all of the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor except for the oil.
- Pulse on high speed until well mixed.
- Slowly drizzle in the olive oil with the machine on high and blend until the dressing starts to emulsify. Set aside.
- Once the quinoa is cool, transfer it to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the garbanzo beans, peppers, onion, cilantro and feta.
- Gently toss together then start to add the dressing.
- Once the dressing has been added toss again and transfer to a serving bowl.
- Add some more cilantro or feta to garnish.Serve at once or keep in the fridge until ready to use.