Best Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Feta Dressing

This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Feta Dressing features protein-rich quinoa, convenient canned chickpeas, crisp cucumbers, bell pepper, red onion, and fresh, flat leaf parsley. Tossed in a creamy, 5-minute feta dressing, it makes a delicious and healthy lunch, dinner, or potluck-worthy side.

colorful tricolor quinoa salad with parsley, orange bell pepper, chickpeas, red onion and parsley with a creamy feta dressing

Introducing the only dish I’ll taking to potluck parties and summer barbecues for the foreseeable future. One taste and you’ll see why.

colorful tricolor quinoa salad with parsley, orange bell pepper, chickpeas, red onion and parsley with a creamy feta dressing

I don’t often use the word “best” in recipes because — lets be honest — it’s always better to underpromise and overdeliver, but this is actually the best Mediterranean quinoa salad of. all. time. It is packed with protein-rich quinoa, convenient canned chickpeas, crisp cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, and fresh, flat leaf parsley and tossed in a creamy, 5-minute feta dressing.

The 5-minute Feta dressing is what takes this salad from tasty to over-the-top amazing. It’s so good I’m willing to bet you’ll have no clean fingers left once you’re done making it.

Ask me how I know.

colorful tricolor quinoa salad ingredients with parsley, orange bell pepper, chickpeas, red onion and parsley in a big white bowl with a creamy feta dressing in a small pitcher on the side

This 5-minute, 5-ingredient feta dressing is made with:

  • Quality feta cheese (made from 100% sheep’s milk)
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Garlic

All you gotta do is mash up the feta with a fork (Pastures of Eden is our fave!) and whisk in the remaining ingredients — or hit it with an immersion blender if you want it ultra creamy.

Creamy feta dressing being poured onto ingredients for mediterranean quinoa salad made with orange bell pepper, red onions, parsley, tricolored quinoa, cucumbers and chickpeas

I mean, come on.

Food Prep-Friendly

What I love most about this Best Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Feta Dressing is how convenient it is prep in advance. When we take it to friends’ for a potluck or barbecue, I prep all of the ingredients in the morning. You know, while the kitchen is still a mess from breakfast and the kids are more apt to self-entertain for a bit.

Here’s how I break it down:

  • Cook the quinoa and let it cool in the pan (covered)
  • Chop the cucumber, bell pepper, red onion and parsley and toss everything in one bowl
  • Drain and rinse the chickpeas and toss those in the same bowl
  • Make the dressing and store it in the fridge

About an hour before the party, I toss everything together and throw a lid on it!

IMO this salad is best at room-temperature the day you make it, but it is great cold, too! Leftovers hold up well in the fridge for at least a few days.

Pack it in a mason jar for a healthy lunch or dinner on-the-go, or serve it as a side at your next barbecue or potluck.

colorful tricolor quinoa salad with parsley, orange bell pepper, chickpeas, red onion with a creamy feta dressing
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Recipe

Best Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Feta Dressing

Protein-rich quinoa, convenient canned chickpeas, crisp cucumbers, bell pepper, red onion, and fresh parsley tossed in a creamy, 5-minute feta dressing. It’s the perfect healthy lunch, dinner, or potluck-worthy side.

  • Prep Time:
    25 min
  • Total Time:
    40 min
  • Makes:
    10 cups 1x
  • Prep Time:
    25 min
  • Total Time:
    40 min
  • Makes:
    10 cups 1x
  • Ingredients

    • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or 1 2/3 cups cooked chickpeas)
    • 1 medium cucumber, seeded and chopped small
    • 1 medium orange bell pepper, chopped small
    • ¾ cup diced red onion (from 1 small red onion)
    • 1 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (from 1 large bunch)
    • 5 ounces quality Feta cheese (not crumbles), divided
    • ¼ cup olive oil
    • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 to 3 lemons)
    • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

    Instructions

    1. Cook the quinoa. Combine the rinsed quinoa and the water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let the quinoa rest for 5 minutes before removing the lid. Then, remove the lid and allow to cool for at least 15-20 minutes.
    2. Make the dressing. In a small mixing bowl, mash 3 ounces of feta cheese with a fork. Whisk in the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, or use an immersion blender and blend until smooth.
    3. Combine and toss. In a large serving bowl, combine the quinoa, chickpeas, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, and parsley, and crumble the rest of the feta into the bowl. Drizzle the dressing on top and gently toss until well combined. For best flavor, let the salad rest 10 minutes (or longer) and serve at room temperature.

    Notes

    Ingredient Notes

    • Using leftover quinoa — You’ll need about 3 cups for a full recipe.
    • Feta — Buy a block of quality, 100% sheep’s milk Feta if you can find it. Our favorite is made by Pastures of Eden (from Israel) and is sold at Trader Joe’s and Wegmans — that is when it’s not out of stock! If using crumbles, omit feta from the dressing and mix directly into the salad instead.

    Ingredient Prep

    • Make the dressing; drain and rinse the chickpeas; store both in the fridge up to 1 week
    • Chop the cucumber, bell pepper, onion and parsley; store in the fridge up to 2 days
    • Pre-cook the quinoa the morning of assembly; allow to cool

    For Vegan & Dairy-Free 

    Omit the feta and add ½ teaspoon kosher salt to the dressing

    Little Helpers

    Involving little ones can decrease picky eating and increase appetite and willingness to try new foods. Here are a few ways they can help: 

    • Toddlers — Rinse chickpeas; whisk the dressing; mash and crumble the feta; mix salad ingredients 
    • Little Kids — Juice the lemons; measure dressing ingredients; press garlic; remove seeds from cucumber
    • Big Kids — Open cans; dice cucumber, bell pepper, and onion; chop parsley

    Leftovers

    Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator, covered, for about 2-3 days. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

    Nutrition

    • Serving Size: 1 cup (1/10th of recipe)
    • Calories: 206
    • Sugar: 3 g
    • Sodium: 174 mg
    • Fat: 9 g
    • Saturated Fat: 3 g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 6 g
    • Trans Fat: 0 g
    • Carbohydrates: 22 g
    • Fiber: 3 g
    • Protein: 8 g
    • Cholesterol: 9 mg

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