This Cucumber Quinoa Salad is easy to make ahead of time, naturally gluten-free, and full of fresh, feel-good flavors that everyone will love!
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.
This fresh, fun, and fabulously flavorful salad that I already can’t wait to make again.
Cucumber Quinoa Salad Recipe | 1-Minute Video
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.
Then drizzle it all with a simple lemony vinaigrette.
Give it all a good toss.
And then this beautiful, healthy salad will be ready to share and enjoy.
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. :)
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.
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
To Make The Cucumber Quinoa Salad:
Toss all ingredients together until combined. Serve immediately.
To Make The Lemony Italian Vinaigrette:
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.
I switched out for goat cheese and this has become my go-to lunch meal. Love this, so perfectly light and refreshing.
This was a huge hit!! Will be making again – thank you!
Oh my tastiness! So good! I am a pretty eater and I loved this recipe. I toasted my cup of dry, rinsed, quinoa and used a cube of chicken bullion with the 2 cups of water. The quinoa on its own is so delicious and I ended up with more than the recipe called for. I was hesitant to take that first bite of salad, but I was not hesitant to get seconds. I can’t wait to have the salad tomorrow for lunch.
Making it with chicken breast for dinner tonight…all of it goes well with my blood pressure diet…and it looks great
Absolutely delicious and simple!
This is a refreshing summer salad and easy to make.
Hi! What is the serving size and nutritional information for the dressing?? Want to make this for my mom but I have to be careful on her oil intake
Love this salad! Made it with both quinoa and farro and used your pickled red onions! Yum!
I made this today and it was delicious. I added some cherry tomatoes too. The dressing is so tasty. I used one cup uncooked quinoa and cooked it with 1.25 cup water. This made the quinoa less mushy!
This was SO GOOD! It reminds me of my favorite Italian salad that has pasta in it. I wanted to avoid going to the grocery store so I did with what I had. I was a 1/2 cup short of uncooked quinoa so I substituted with leftovers of sprouted brown rice. It was the only side we were having so I had to add more to it to fill our bellies. I added things from the salad I mentioned at the beginning (sun dried tomatoes, toasted pinenuts, and spinach). My super picky 9 year old LOVED it. I don’t want it to get played out at home because I want to keep this in our rotation so how do I avoid making it again tomorrow???
So, so good! Didn’t have basil and added a few cherry tomatoes, everything else stayed per the recipe and it was great! I was amazed that it still held up through the next day. This will be on repeat through the summer!
This was so delicious! Very refreshing meal on a hot summer day! I grew my own English cucumbers this year and so they were super fresh. My husband enjoyed the salad too. I loved your quinoa cooking tip from Bon Appétit. Turned out perfect.
I could eat this for every meal!! ? so delicious!!!
LOVE when people include nutrition facts in there recipes!!! Do you have that information…?
Delicious! I added some halved cherry tomatoes too
I was looking for a yummy cucumber quinoa recipe and this was perfect! Everything blended really wonderfully together! It definitely helped the quinoa not taste quite so bland!