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Red Quinoa Lunch Salad

Red Quinoa Lunch Salad // Karista's Kitchen

You know that salad you’ve always got to have on hand, stocked in the fridge, or someone in the family just might have a meltdown?  Yep, that is this salad.

I first dined on this salad at my favorite co-op market in Seattle many years ago, PCC Natural Markets.  Not only did I work as a cheese specialist at PCC Natural Markets, but I also taught culinary classes at their IACP award winning culinary school, PCC Cooks, for four years.  A fantastic group of professionals committed to our community farms, quality food and nutrition. I couldn’t have asked for a more gratifying place to work.  I met the loveliest and most interesting people, including fellow chef’s, nutritionists and culinary instructors.  Some are now dear friends – I love it when that happens!

This red quinoa salad was always served in the deli at my local PCC Natural Market.  I never left the store without a medium container filled to the brim with this salad.  Sometimes I’d hide it in the back of my refrigerator when I got home; so I could at least sneak a few bites before the rest of my family found it and devoured it.

Red Quinoa Lunch Salad // Karista's Kitchen

I now live about 275 miles south of the nearest PCC Natural Market – so I make this salad at home.  I snagged this recipe (called Red Quinoa Tabouli on the website) and ended up adapting it a bit to suit my family’s tastes.  My family dubbed it the “Red Quinoa Lunch Salad” because that’s usually when everyone wants to eat it;  at lunch.

My family has also been known to add extra ingredients like Italian salami, sweet peppers, bay shrimp, grilled chicken and on occasion Ranger Craig will toss it with some smoked salmon.  However it’s served it’s nutty, fragrant, full of flavor and so completely satisfying.

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend.  Don’t forget to move the clock forward one hour! I’m already feeling sleep deprived just thinking about it.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


Red Quinoa Lunch Salad

Serving Size: 4-6

Red Quinoa Lunch Salad


  • 1 1/2 cups dry red quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 1/3 cups water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Avocado slices for garnish


  • In a medium pan bring the 2 1/3 cups water to a boil. Add the quinoa and bring it back to a boil. Cover, turn the heat down to low and simmer for about five minutes. Then turn off the heat and let the quinoa sit for another five or ten minutes until the quinoa has sprouted or is cooked. Drain well, if needed. Cool in the refrigerator.
  • Whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, minced garlic, Dijon mustard and sugar. Toss the vinaigrette with the quinoa and then add the lightly fold in the green onions, cilantro, cucumbers and tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Let the salad sit overnight or for a few hours so the flavors can meld together. Serve cold or at room temp.
  • Garnish with Avocado slices.
  • Notes

    This recipe was slightly adapted from the PCC Natural Markets Red Quinoa Tabouli.

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  • Reply
    March 5, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    There’s that gorgeous salad! Thrilled to have this recipe!

    • Reply
      March 5, 2015 at 5:22 pm

      So happy you like the recipe. It’s definitely a keeper! Have a lovely weekend Caroline!

  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 6:10 am

    I don’t cook with quinoa enough but this recipe looks like something I like to try. Thank you

    • Reply
      March 11, 2015 at 12:20 pm

      Thanks Gerlinde. I do like quinoa a lot but I typically just make salads with it. I used to use it as stuffing for acorn squash for a client but my family prefers it in a salad. It’s a nice switch to a tossed green salad. Enjoy!

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