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Cucumber Quinoa Salad

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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!

Love this Cucumber Quinoa Salad! It's super easy to make ahead of time, it's naturally gluten-free, and it's made with lots of fresh cucumber, feta, basil, red onion, and a simple lemon Italian vinaigrette. Perfect as a side or main dish! |

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.

Cucumber Quinoa Salad Recipe | 1-Minute Video


Love this Cucumber Quinoa Salad! It's super easy to make ahead of time, it's naturally gluten-free, and it's made with lots of fresh cucumber, feta, basil, red onion, and a simple lemon Italian vinaigrette. Perfect as a side or main dish! |

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.

Love this Cucumber Quinoa Salad! It's super easy to make ahead of time, it's naturally gluten-free, and it's made with lots of fresh cucumber, feta, basil, red onion, and a simple lemon Italian vinaigrette. Perfect as a side or main dish! |

Then drizzle it all with a simple lemony vinaigrette.

Love this Cucumber Quinoa Salad! It's super easy to make ahead of time, it's naturally gluten-free, and it's made with lots of fresh cucumber, feta, basil, red onion, and a simple lemon Italian vinaigrette. Perfect as a side or main dish! |

Give it all a good toss.

Love this Cucumber Quinoa Salad! It's super easy to make ahead of time, it's naturally gluten-free, and it's made with lots of fresh cucumber, feta, basil, red onion, and a simple lemon Italian vinaigrette. Perfect as a side or main dish! |

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

Love this Cucumber Quinoa Salad! It's super easy to make ahead of time, it's naturally gluten-free, and it's made with lots of fresh cucumber, feta, basil, red onion, and a simple lemon Italian vinaigrette. Perfect as a side or main dish! |

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. :)


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Cucumber Quinoa Salad

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 -6 servings 1x


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.



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


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.

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100 comments on “Cucumber Quinoa Salad”

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

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

  4. 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.

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

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

  6. 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! 

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

  7. 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!


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

  8. 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. 

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

  9. 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.

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

  10. 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!

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

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

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

    • 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. 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.

  14. 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!

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

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

    • 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. love it! Thanks?

  18. This is delicious! I made it as I was needing a little summertime on this chilly Alaska day.

  19. This recipe looks good, but does anyone know the calorie count per serving?

    • Thanks, Julia — we hope you enjoy it! As for the calorie count per serving, we’re sorry but we are aren’t sure. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  20. I enjoyed the recipe, it tasted delicious thank you for sharing such a nice recipe ❤?

  21. LOVE this recipe!
    Made it for a potluck last evening and it was a hit. I actually was worried about mixing the sauce in too early because I thought it might get soggy, but I had some leftovers for lunch today and I must say it actually tastes better the next day! Thanks for the delicious recipe I will be making this again.

  22. Would I be able to make this a day ahead of time ?

    • Hi Shannon! Its best enjoyed the day you make it, but yes you could make it a day ahead of time. We hope you enjoy!

  23. I was looking for a healthy, protein-rich, easy dish to make for a potluck and found this. Just finished making it- it is delicious! I did make a change. I added 1.5 tablespoon of raw honey (heated it with a bit of water to easily whisk in) to the dressing and a tiny bit of balsamic. The first batch tasted too much like straight up apple cider vinegar. Thank you!!

    • Thank you for this, Sharon — we’re so glad you enjoyed it! :)

  24. This recipe is fantastic! I was sure I’d love it beacuse it has all the foods i love in it, but the dressing really set it off. I meal prep, and this is my current lunch for the week. I’m eating it along side 2 poached eggs. I also added scallions to the dish just because I believe scallions make everything better. This will probably become a regular meal for me.

    • Thanks, Amber, we’re so happy you love it! And we love that you added scallions to it (good call)! :)

  25. I calculated on weight watchers site, aimed for 5 servings receive as written comes to 7 smart points per serving , that’s really pretty good considering the protein levels will be great with the quinoa.
    Thank you making this tonight!

  26. We’re so glad to hear you enjoyed it, Sharon!

  27. This looks great! I have been looking for things I can make ahead and then just eat as soon as I get home from work… how does it keep in the fridge over the course of a few days? Should I leave the vinagrette out so it doesn’t get soggy?

    • Thanks, Kelly, we hope you enjoy! This should hold up fine in the fridge for a few days, but yes, we would recommend leaving the vinaigrette out. Also, after a few days, the cucumber may start to get soggy too, so you may want to cut that up before serving each time (depending on how many days you wanted to make it in advance that is). We hope this is helpful!

  28. Delicious! Realized halfway through I didn’t have vinegar of any kind so I poured a couple tablespoons of the white wine out of my glass for the vinegrette! Worked great! :)

    • We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Kristi, and we LOVE that you did that with your wine (very resourceful)! ;)

  29. We recently moved our daughter home after her college graduation. Since I had kind of gotten into an empty nest rut, I was happy she found this and wanted to try it. *A plus that you too are in KC! :-) I made it as instructed with the exception of adding a bit of honey to dressing. And while I do like feta, I may try it with a different cheese next time.

  30. This looks delicious! I know what I’m going to have for lunch now :D

  31. Love it. Added mini grape tomatoes.

  32. This recipe sounds perfect for a hot summer day! I love adding cucumber into any meal for a simple way to stay hydrated! Can’t wait to share this recipe with my clients!

    • Thanks, Samina, we hope you enjoy it, it really is nice and refreshing! :)

  33. I was thinking about adding a nut to this salad. Would toasted pine nuts work or would you suggest some other kind? Can’t wait to try!!

    • Hi Denise! Yes, we think some toasted pine nuts (or even almond slices) would be really yummy in this. We hope you enjoy!

  34. I am working on making this right now. I decided to add some greek olives and may add some green pepper as well as garbanzo beans… I’ll see once I mix it up! I’ll let you know how it turns out! Today is my hubbies birthday and have a fun, surprise evening planned! We are going to a vineyard for a tour and tasting and then a picnic dinner in a treehouse overlooking the vineyard… Homemade Chicken Salad wraps, this salad, and a dessert (maybe just fruit!), and a live band will be there playing afterwards! Looking forward to a fun night with yummy food!! :)

    • Thanks for sharing, Kim, we hope you enjoyed it! And that sounds like such a fantastic evening! :)

  35. Fabulous and refreshing. Made it for company, had leftovers and used it in many ways – on a bed of lettuce and spinach! In burrito! Added grilled chicken! Awesome change.

  36. This was so easy to make! It was delicious and filling.

  37. I love this recipe! I have added everything from the tailgate market to it and have made it many times already this season. Use lots more fresh lemon juice and a ton of thyme and oregano..yum!

  38. Easy and tasty light summer salad. I added chickpeas and a a little parsley. Very versatile salad and you could really add just about any veggies you have on hand.

  39. I loved this recipe. Light and Healthy and very tasty. Easy to make, which is a big plus for me

  40. Made this tonight with quinoa left over from last week’s new recipe. My husband and I both think it’s a keeper!

  41. Delicious!! Cooked quinoa in vegetable broth and added tomatoes and marinated the vegetables in sesame oil. No need for vinagrette. Awesome recepie!!

  42. Delicious! I once didn’t have basil on hand so I substituted basil with cilantro and lemon with lime – just as good too!

  43. Oh sweet baby Jesus this was delish!! Definitely making his again… Like tomorrow! ❤️❤️❤️

  44. Made this last night, it was a big hit! So yummy :)

  45. Yep, have had this on repeat for the last week and no plans to stop soon. Extremely yummy and simple to keep ready for a side, as a healthy snack, or an entire meal. Curious if there’s some quick nutrition information you can provide? Thanks, we love it.

  46. Hi Hayley!

    I’m making this salad tonight and am really looking forward to it – I’m wondering though, do you happen the have the nutritional information?

  47. I LOVE this recipe! I leave out the basil since we aren’t fans of it but add in a red or green pepper! Delicious! If I have it on hand, I’ll place it on a small bed of spinach before serving.

  48. I made this last night. WoW!!! An absolutely fantastic recipe. Will be making this again.

  49. This is sooooo amazing! I make a double batch for lunch and dinner for a week and it still doesn’t get old.

  50. I made this and loved it! Also added 2 Roma tomatoes and an avocado which was delicious!