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


    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.


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


    • 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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