Cucumber Quinoa Salad

This Cucumber Quinoa Salad is made with lots of fresh basil and feta, tossed with a simple lemony vinaigrette, and it's SO fresh and delicious! Plus, it's naturally gluten-free and quick and easy to make. | gimmesomeoven.com

Doesn’t it feel so easy to cook this time of year?!?

Man, I don’t know about you, but one glance at the rainbow of gorgeous summer produce available at the farmers market feels like — poof! — instant inspiration to want to run home and cook something fresh and healthy and yummy.  I love it!!!  Yet one more reason why I believe summer is the most wonderful time of the year.  ;)

With all of the fresh greens in season (and showing up in abundance my CSA) lately, I’ve been making kale and arugula and spring greens salads galore, which always feel so good.  But for something different last week, I decided to make a refreshing little cucumber salad.  I seem to be obsessed with English cucumbers lately, so I grabbed one from the fridge and tossed it with some fresh basil, red onion, and feta I had on hand.  And then added in some quinoa for extra protein, and tossed it all with a simple lemony vinaigrette.

The result?

This fresh, fun, and fabulously flavorful salad that I already can’t wait to make again.

This Cucumber Quinoa Salad is made with lots of fresh basil and feta, tossed with a simple lemony vinaigrette, and it's SO fresh and delicious! Plus, it's naturally gluten-free and quick and easy to make. | gimmesomeoven.com

Truly, it’s super easy to make.  Just chop up a big English cucumber, some red onion, and lots fresh basil.  Toss those together with some crumbled feta (or Parmesan, or any cheese that sounds good) and chilled (<– you don’t want it to be too hot and melt the cheese and wilt the basil) quinoa.

This Cucumber Quinoa Salad is made with lots of fresh basil and feta, tossed with a simple lemony vinaigrette, and it's SO fresh and delicious! Plus, it's naturally gluten-free and quick and easy to make. | gimmesomeoven.com

Then drizzle it all with a simple lemony vinaigrette.

This Cucumber Quinoa Salad is made with lots of fresh basil and feta, tossed with a simple lemony vinaigrette, and it's SO fresh and delicious! Plus, it's naturally gluten-free and quick and easy to make. | gimmesomeoven.com

Give it all a good toss.

This Cucumber Quinoa Salad is made with lots of fresh basil and feta, tossed with a simple lemony vinaigrette, and it's SO fresh and delicious! Plus, it's naturally gluten-free and quick and easy to make. | gimmesomeoven.com

And then this beautiful, healthy salad will be ready to share and enjoy.

This Cucumber Quinoa Salad is made with lots of fresh basil and feta, tossed with a simple lemony vinaigrette, and it's SO fresh and delicious! Plus, it's naturally gluten-free and quick and easy to make. | gimmesomeoven.com

It’s the perfect salad to make ahead for nights when you want to grill out, or to take along for a picnic or potluck, or to bring to work for a fresh lunch, or — really — anytime you’re craving a healthy and zesty little salad.  Feel free to add in whatever vinaigrette you have on hand, or even add in some cooked chicken if you’d like some extra protein.  I just recommend that you make this one…soon.  :)

Enjoy!

Cucumber Quinoa Salad

This Cucumber Quinoa Salad is made with lots of fresh basil and feta, tossed with a simple lemony vinaigrette, and it's SO fresh and delicious! Plus, it's naturally gluten-free and quick and easy to make.

Ingredients:

Cucumber Quinoa Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • 2 cups chilled* cooked quinoa (see this tutorial for how to cook quinoa)
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup julienned or roughly-chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 batch Lemony Italian vinaigrette (see below)

Lemony Italian Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, homemade or store-bought
  • pinch of salt and black pepper

Directions:

To Make The Cucumber Quinoa Salad:

  1. Toss all ingredients together until combined.  Serve immediately.

To Make The Lemony Italian Vinaigrette:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl until combined.

*If you add hot quinoa fresh out of the pan, it will melt the cheese and wilt the basil a bit in this recipe.  So I recommend cooking it beforehand and letting it chill in the refrigerator before making the salad.  Or, if you need to cook it immediately beforehand, just spread the cooked quinoa out in a thin layer on a baking sheet and pop it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.  That will help it cool down nice and quickly!

**Cook time does not include the time needed to prepare the quinoa.  See this post for instructions on how to cook quinoa.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

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Comments

  1. Sheila — June 13, 2016 @ 10:54 am (#)

    This looks like a great summer dish. Thanks for the share!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 14th, 2016 @ 7:40 pm

      Thanks Sheila — we hope you enjoy it! :)

  2. Julia @ Sprinkles & Saturdays — June 14, 2016 @ 10:24 am (#)

    Oh Yum! Cucumber and quinoa are two of my favorites so I think I have to try this! It seems so easy too, which is what I’m always craving when summer rolls around.

  3. Mary @ LOVE the secret ingredient — June 14, 2016 @ 10:31 am (#)

    I’m so loving salads with grains lately, and all of these flavors marry beautifully! Everything sounds delicious.

  4. Susan — June 14, 2016 @ 2:26 pm (#)

    This one sounds like a real winner, even though I just finished eating lunch.  Definitely an excellent choice for a summer meal, probably lunch for us.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 14th, 2016 @ 5:57 pm

      Thanks Susan — we hope you can give it a try sometime soon! :)

  5. Anna — June 14, 2016 @ 2:58 pm (#)

    Looks like a nice variation on Tabbouleh – I might add some garbanzo beans as well!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 14th, 2016 @ 5:57 pm

      We hope you enjoy it Anna, and the garbanzo beans would be a great addition! :)

  6. Angelica — June 15, 2016 @ 7:39 pm (#)

    I was wondering if I leave the feta cheese out will it still be good or can I substitute it for something else as my tummy doesn’t do well with dairy? It looks delicious! I really want to make it this weekend! Can’t wait! 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 17th, 2016 @ 1:12 pm

      Hi Angelica! Yes, we think this would still be good if you left out the feta — we hope you enjoy! :)

  7. Leah — June 16, 2016 @ 9:43 pm (#)

    Oh wow! I will try this as soon as I get back from Korea (haven’t had access to a kitchen in 4 months so I’m like craving everything basically haha)

    Have a good day!

    Leah

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 17th, 2016 @ 11:43 am

      Wow, have an awesome time in Korea! And we hope you enjoy this when you get back! :)

  8. Thalia @ butter and brioche — June 17, 2016 @ 12:03 am (#)

    such a fresh, delicious and healthy salad – perfect for summer time! never tried quinoa and cucumber together but it seems like a fresh & natural pairing. love the photos. 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 17th, 2016 @ 11:42 am

      Thank you Thalia! We hope you enjoy it if you get a chance to make it sometime soon! :)

  9. Christine Carini — June 25, 2016 @ 5:22 pm (#)

    I made this today and it is very easy very tasty. It is a keeper for me. Any type of Vinaigrette will work but I do like it the way it is. Perfect with Chicken or anything off of the grill.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 26th, 2016 @ 10:26 am

      We’re happy to hear you enjoyed it Christine — thanks for giving it a try! :)

  10. Ellie Crossley — June 29, 2016 @ 1:47 pm (#)

    This looks delicious! I’ve been eating a lot of quinoa recently since I’ve discovered how good it is and I’m really excited to try this!
    Ellie
    xxx

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 1st, 2016 @ 12:22 pm

      Thanks Ellie — we hope you enjoy it! :)

  11. Anna — July 8, 2016 @ 12:21 pm (#)

    Just made this-delicious! And that’s saying something considering I’m NOT a salad person. How long will this keep in the fridge?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 11th, 2016 @ 12:51 pm

      We’re so happy you enjoyed it Anna! We would say this would probably keep 3-5 days or so.

  12. Devon — August 26, 2016 @ 8:45 am (#)

    I know recipe says serve immediately…do you know how well/how long it keeps in the fridge? Thanks! 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 26th, 2016 @ 9:22 am

      Hi Devon! Because of the cucumber in this, it doesn’t hold up really well (the cucumber will start to lose its crispness and get kind of watery/soggy). It’s best the day of. It will be fine the next day, just not quite as good texture-wise. We hope this helps!

  13. Kassie — September 5, 2016 @ 10:20 am (#)

    Made this for a Labor Day gathering and it was a HIT! Forgot the red onion, so I used half a vidalia and then several shallots and it still came out great. (Sorry, no pic this time.) Definitely a repeater.
    Thanks!!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 5th, 2016 @ 3:01 pm

      We’re so glad it was a hit, Kassie! :)

  14. Sheila — October 22, 2016 @ 10:19 am (#)

    I’m becoming obsessed with your site! Everything I make of yours turns out great, and is a hit with the fam. Very healthy, too! Made this cucumber quinoa salad a week or so ago and loved it. Kept the feta in, even though I have one son who dislikes it, and even he gobbled it up. I work and tend to start cooking too late so had to put the quinoa in the freezer to cool, as suggested, but that worked out fine; everything still came together quickly. Love the light, fresh vinaigrette! Made a little extra and used it to dress our tossed salad the next night. Thanks for another keeper recipe!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 26th, 2016 @ 1:34 pm

      Thanks for your sweet words! We’re so happy you and your son enjoyed this recipe, and that you’re enjoying the blog! :)

  15. Susan — December 30, 2016 @ 11:21 pm (#)

    Don’t know how I missed this one the first time around – it sounds wonderful!  Looking forward to trying it in a few months when it is warmer…

  16. Sophie — January 16, 2017 @ 8:13 pm (#)

    Sounds great but I don’t have fresh basil. Can I use dried basil? If yes, how much should I use? Thanks!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — January 16th, 2017 @ 8:45 pm

      Hi Sophie! You’re welcome to try dried basil, but we do think fresh works best in this, so you may just want to leave it out. If adding dried though, we would only do 1/4 tsp. If you can find fresh mint, that would also be another yummy herb to use in place of the basil. We hope this helps!

  17. Tracey — January 19, 2017 @ 11:22 am (#)

    Wow.delicious.love love it! Thanks😊

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — January 19th, 2017 @ 4:21 pm

      We’re glad you enjoyed it, Tracey!