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  • Writer's pictureKaren Federici MD

Quinoa Summer Salad

Updated: Feb 18, 2023

So simple, yet so delicious! Enjoy this fresh salad all year round, but it is especially good as a warm weather meal when the veggies are fresh from the garden or farmers' market! This quinoa makes a wonderful fresh lunch to bring to work, or as a side dish for dinner. Try a variation with different herbs, or more raw veggies, or make it spicy!

Also, this is the perfect choice to bring to a potluck or on a picnic. One of my favorite tips to ensure you have a healthy option at a party or potluck, is to bring one yourself! Not only will you enjoy it, but it will stand out among all of the more ordinary and the less colorful dishes!

Quinoa offers great nutritional benefits... it is high in protein, and since it contains all 9 essential amino acids, it is one of the few plant foods with complete protein. Is is also a great source of fiber, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus. Quinoa also comes in several different color varieties, so try a new one! White is fluffiest, darker colors are nuttier and firmer.


1 cup dry quinoa, or 3 cups cooked quinoa

1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed

1 large cucumber, chopped

1 large yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped

4 plum tomatoes, diced

2 cups chopped fresh spinach leaves

1/2 cup chopped green onions

1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves

1/2 cup red wine vinegar (or more to taste)

juice of 2 limes (or lemons)

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

crushed red pepper flakes (to taste, optional)

pinch of kosher or Himalayan pink salt (optional)


  1. Cook quinoa per package instructions. Typically, 1 cup of dried quinoa is cooked in 2 cups of water to yield 3 cups of cooked quinoa.

  2. While quinoa is cooking, chop vegetables and parsley.

  3. Combine all ingredients. Season to taste.

  4. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

  5. Enjoy!


Add or substitute chopped fresh mint or other fresh herbs.

Add other chopped fresh vegetables such as shredded carrots, corn (cooked and cut off cob), green bell pepper, or kale.

Add diced mango for a little sweetness.

Add diced avocado either as a garnish, or mix in gently.

Add seeded & diced jalapeno for a spicier version.


Did you make this recipe? I would love to get your feedback! Also, tag @dr.karen.federici on Instagram!

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