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Quinoa Salad with Herb Dressing

This quinoa salad with herb dressing is refreshing, yet filling. Fluffy quinoa tops a bed of lettuce with veggies and protein. The homemade herb dressing takes this salad to the next level and will have you scraping the plate clean each time!

You may also like my cauliflower broccoli salad, this cucumber tomato goat cheese salad, and this Greek salad recipe too.

Quinoa salad with herb dressing on a countertop

Easy Quinoa Salad Recipe

These days, I’m all about foods that are simple and quick to throw together. This easy quinoa salad recipe fits the bill! I can have this entire recipe put together in 20 minutes or less, including the time it takes to make the fresh herb dressing.

What I really love about this easy quinoa salad recipe is that it’s completely customizable. I usually make it buffet-style so that everyone in the family can choose exactly what to add to their plate. My tomato-loving kids can heap on the tomatoes while those who prefer not to have it can simply leave it off.

Make-Ahead Salad

This is also a great make-ahead salad recipe. If you’d like to use this salad for a make-ahead meal or next day lunch, you can assemble it by putting the dressing on the bottom of a container, then adding cooled down quinoa, followed by the vegetables and the protein. When ready for lunch, just turn over the container onto a salad plate and mix.

Mason jars work well for this purpose, but you can also use a glass Tupperware container too.

What Proteins can I add to this Salad?

Herb Dressing

This salad is all about the herb dressing. The herbs make it very fragrant and delicious. My kids, who typically don’t like foods sprinkled with parsley or dill gladly gobble down the salad with this dressing and rave about it all the while.

It sounds fancy to make a homemade herb dressing, but it’s so easy! I use a blender to mix my ingredients, but you can also use a hand mixer or immersion blender if you prefer.

This dressing is made with a white vinegar base that’s combined with garlic, parsley, dill, dried basil, and oregano, then mixed until silky smooth. If you like, this dressing can be made 24 hours in advance and refrigerated until you are ready to use it. 

Herb dressing being ladled unto a salad with quinoa

Tips for Making the Quinoa Salad

  • Pick your protein. You can combine the salad with any kind of protein to your liking, but grilled meats and fish will work the best.
  • Choose your cheese. For the cheese, you can replace the strips of swiss with feta cheese, blue cheese, or any other cheese you like.
  • Make the fresh dressing within 24 hours of when you will eat the quinoa salad. The dressing is best used within a day of making since it has fresh garlic and garlic changes flavor as it sits in the fridge.
  • Make a large plate or serve it buffet-style. All the quinoa salad ingredients can be combined on a large plate in layers then tossed before serving, or they can be arranged buffet-style for everyone to layer their own salad and then drizzle with a delicious dressing.

How to Make Quinoa Salad with Herb Dressing

For detailed recipe instructions see the recipe card bottom of the post.

Quinoa salad with herb dressing on a large platter

  • Cook the quinoa and fluff with a fork. Set aside and allow it to come to room temperature.
  • Meanwhile, you can make the homemade herb dressing by combining the ingredients in a mixer or blender.
  • Finally, layer the quinoa salad with herb dressing. I start with a bed of greens, then add additional veggies such as cucumber, tomato, onion, and avocado. Layer on the avocado, then add cheese and a protein, then pour on your dressing.

Scroll to the bottom for the full recipe with precise ingredient amounts.

More Salad Recipes:

Quinoa Salad with an Herb Dressing

5 from 4 votes

This quinoa salad with herb dressing is refreshing, yet filling. Fluffy quinoa tops a bed of lettuce with veggies and protein. The homemade herb dressing takes this salad to the next level and will have you scraping the plate clean each time!

Author: Marina | Let the Baking Begin
Calories: 199 kcal
Servings: 8

Ingredients

Quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed in a fine-mesh colander
  • 1 3/4 cups water or broth
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Vegetables

  • 1/2 lb baby lettuce greens
  • 1/2 English cucumber , chopped
  • 1 large tomato , diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 sweet or red onion , sliced into 1/4 rings
  • 1 avocado , cut into large cubes
  • 1 bell pepper , sliced
  • 1/2 cup swiss cheese , sliced into thin strips

Lemon Herb Dressing

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/3 cup light olive oil
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic , finely minced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook Quinoa: Bring 1 3/4 cups of water or broth to a boil. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1 cup of rinsed quinoa and give it a stir. Cover with a lid, turn the heat to a low simmer and cook without lifting the lid for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, open the lid check to make sure that all liquid has evaporated and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Allow to cool to room temp.

    *Can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until needed.

  2. Make the dressing with either a whisk or a hand blender.

    To mix with a blender: to a tall immersion blender cup add 2 tbsp of lemon juice, 2 tbsp white wine vinegar, 2 tbsp water, pressed garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried basil, 2 tbsp chopped parsley and 2 tbsp chopped dill. Place the blender into the cup and blend for about 10-15 seconds. Then, while continuing to blend on high speed slowly drizzle in the 1/3 cup of oil in a steady stream until the dressing is smooth and homogenous.

    To mix with a whisk: Add the lemon juice, white wine vinegar, water, garlic, salt, and black pepper to a bowl and whisk together. While continuing to whisk, slowly drizzle in the oil until it looks homogenous and smooth. Now add the garlic, parsley, dill, dried basil and oregano and whisk again until incorporated.

    Set aside.

    *Can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until needed.

  3. Layer the salad: Spread the baby lettuce greens in a single layer in a large serving platter. Sprinkle the cooled quinoa over the greens. Next, sprinkle the pepper, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and avocado and the cheese. Drizzle the dressing all over the top. Serve as is or toss before serving.

    This salad can also be served "buffet style" with each ingredient in a separate bowl for each person to build their own salad.

Nutrition Facts
Quinoa Salad with an Herb Dressing
Amount Per Serving
Calories 199 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 6mg2%
Sodium 322mg14%
Potassium 346mg10%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 1120IU22%
Vitamin C 35mg42%
Calcium 84mg8%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Marina | Let the Baking Begin

Welcome to Let the Baking Begin! I'm Marina and my love and passion for eating only the most delicious foods drive me to share that love here on Let the Baking Begin (since 2009). With over 20 years of experience in the kitchen, you know the recipes are tested and retested until perfect. I'm so happy to have you here. Enjoy! Read more...

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  • Tom Pagano

    I will eat it.

    · Reply

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