Red Quinoa Salad

Red Quinoa Salad

I love it when I make a dish that my husband Bruce has never tasted or even seen before in his life.  My Red Quinoa Salad is one of those dishes… Last night when I put a bowl of my Red Quinoa Salad next to the grilled chicken that I made him for dinner, he stopped what he was doing, looked down, looked at me and said in a stern voice “Okay, what is this Tess? And, wait, are those zucchinis?  You know I hate zucchini!”.   I looked at him with a big smirk and said, “No, it’s not zucchini silly, it’s cucumber, and before you ask any more questions, the salad is red quinoa with kalamata olives and feta.  You’ve had quinoa before, it’s good for you and I think you will like the salad”.  He looked back at me in silence….  As my sister would say, all you could hear was “crickets”.  And I gotta tell you that I was right.  Bruce liked it!  He ate the whole bowl and then he wanted more…

For those who do not know, quinoa is a type of edible seed that originated in the Andes of South America.  Quinoa is pronounced “keen-wah” and not “key-nowah” like I first thought…  It comes in a couple of varieties including red and black.  I enjoy making quinoa because it is so quick to prepare, easy and versatile.  You can serve it hot or cold and it can be ready in a matter of about 20 – 25 minutes.  Next time you see quinoa at the market, snag some.  I think you’ll like it.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 cup red quinoa (rinsed well in cold water and drained)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup cucumber (diced)
  • 1 cup red tomato (diced)
  • 1/2 cup red onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup parsley (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinaigrette (make mine, you will love it!)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup crumbed feta cheese for garnish (optional)
  • parsley sprig for garnish

Begin by cooking the quinoa in a covered saucepan on medium heat until it boils.  Turn on low and let cook another 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Meanwhile chop all your vegetables and make the Red Wine Vinaigrette.  When quinoa is cool add all ingredients except feta cheese to a mixing bowl and toss well.  Cover and refrigerate for about an hour.   Taste and correct your seasonings.  When ready to serve, sprinkle top of salad with “optional” feta cheese and garnish with parsley.  Serves 4.

16 thoughts on “Red Quinoa Salad

  1. Tobias @ T and Tea Cake

    I have kind of missed the quinoa train, as I never had it before but feel like I’m missing out. .

    The recipe is somewhat similar to the bulgur salad I use to make, so I think I have an idea of what it tastes like and its great. :) Have you tried adding a bit of ayvar and tomato paste?

    Like the presentation and am jealous of that fork – I should really get myself some pretty cutlery haha


    1. Tessa

      Hey Tobias! Quinoa is rather new to me too. It’s only been a couple of years since it has become common in our area. I’ve never prepared bulgar nor am I familiar with ayvar. I guess that I need to add that to my to do list! Thanks for stopping by! Btw… Your photos and website are gorgeous!

      1. Tobias @ T and Tea Cake

        Thanks, how nice! Right back at you. ;)

        Bulgur also goes by the less melodious name “wheat groats” and is similar to couscous in taste but a bit bigger. There are quite a few Turkish immigrants in Germany, so that’s problably why I’m familiar with. ;) Sorry.

        Ayvar is a paste made of bell peppers, eggplants, garlic and chilies. Considering how many great veggie loaded recipes you share, I think it may be right up your alley, Tessa. ;)

  2. BR

    I’ve tasted quinoa in restaurant before, but never had enough courage to make it myself. Your story really made me wanna try to make it now :)

    And, really good to know how to properly pronounce it. I always call it key-nowah :D :D :D

    1. Tessa

      I think you will love the quinoa! It’s so versatile. I hope that you can find it in Finland. If you do, be sure to buy some and try it.

  3. beti

    it looks so bright! quinoa has become one of my favorite things but I’ve only eaten it like if it was rice, I am excited to try your salad recipe

  4. kyleen

    Wow, that’s so cool! I didn’t know such a thing as red quinoa existed. I’ve tried and liked the regular kind, so now I need to try the red one. I’m not surprised that Bruce ended up liking this dish; it looks amazing!

    1. Tessa

      Thank you Kyleen! I hope that you can find the red quinoa. It’s really delicious! Thank you for stopping by!

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