This quinoa tabbouleh salad recipe was developed exclusively for Nuts.com and our customers by Miryam Quinn Doblas, Registered Dietitian (RD). Miryam shares her passion for healthy eating on her website, Eat Good 4 Life.
This flavorful and refreshing quinoa salad is inspired by tabbouleh, a popular Lebanese salad made with fresh vegetables and olive oil. The combination of protein-rich quinoa and fresh chopped veggies goes together so well in this recipe. It’s great for a healthy lunch or a light evening meal. Quinoa tabbouleh salad can easily be packed for work or school, or brought along to potlucks and picnics.
Quinoa is a staple in my household. Its fluffy, grain-like texture makes it an incredibly versatile food that is naturally gluten-free. Considered a complete protein, quinoa provides the body with all 9 essential amino acids required to build proteins. This includes the amino acid lysine, which most grains lack. Lysine is important for bone health as it helps the body absorb calcium, and has also been associated with reducing stress and anxiety.
Although technically a seed, quinoa is often compared to other grains in terms of nutritional content and uses. It contains 12-18% more protein than any other grain, and nearly twice as much dietary fiber. Packed with minerals like magnesium and iron, quinoa truly is a superfood. Soft, fluffy, and delicious, it makes a healthy and interesting alternative to rice and couscous in your recipes.
I love the fact that quinoa is so versatile. This quinoa tabbouleh salad is just one example of how I’ve incorporated it into my cooking. I sometimes replace half the rice in a dish with quinoa to change things up a bit and add more nutrition. If you want to get more creative with this recipe, you can also add cooked chickpeas and feta cheese. I’m going to try that the next time I prepare this salad.
Every summer, I get together with my friends for barbecues and other gatherings. Quinoa salads like this are always a welcomed dish at these events because they are light, healthy, and suitable for most people with diet restrictions. Another bonus is that, unlike other salads, you don’t have to worry about this one wilting; it’s a great portable dish! If you’d like to make the salad ahead of time, just leave the olive oil and vinegar out and add it when it’s ready to be served.
Everyone in my family absolutely loved this salad. I hope you enjoy this simple, healthy recipe, as well!
Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad Recipe (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
Total time: 40 minutes
- 2 cups uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 oz fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 oz fresh mint, chopped
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
To cook the quinoa on the stovetop, combine one part quinoa with two parts water or broth, and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. You can also cook the quinoa in a rice cooker.
Once the quinoa is cooked, let it cool for 20-30 minutes. In the meantime, add the remaining ingredients, except for the olive oil and vinegar, in a large bowl. When the quinoa has cooled, add it to the bowl, along with the oil and vinegar. Toss all the ingredients together and store the salad covered in the refrigerator until it’s ready to be served.
The salad will keep for up to two days in the fridge.
This recipe was developed and photographed exclusively for Nuts.com by Miryam Quinn Doblas, RD, of Eat Good 4 Life.