Cool Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Perfectly light and lemony this chilled salad is delicious on a warm day. Serve it alongside some grilled chicken or all on it's own, since quinoa has a good amount of protein and fiber.


    • 2 cups dry quinoa
    • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
    • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 medium zucchini, cubed
    • 1/2 English cucumber, cubed (~3/4 cup)
    • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
    • 1 medium vine ripe tomato, diced
    • handful of toasted sunflower seeds (~1/2 cup)


    • Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon (~2 tablespoons)
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper


  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (greens and white parts)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, julienne (sliced thinly)

Makes 8


  1. Prepare quinoa first, it's similar to cooking couscous or rice if you aren't familiar with it. Add chicken broth and quinoa to a pot over medium high heat until it comes to a gentle boil then immediately reduce the heat to low to maintain a simmer. Simmer 10-15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed then fluff quinoa with a fork and chill.
  2. You can either make the quinoa in the morning for dinner tonight and let it chill in the fridge or spread the quinoa thinly on a rimmed baking sheet and chill in the freezer quickly for 5-10 minutes. *You don't want to add the cool crunchy ingredients until the quinoa is chilled.
  3. In a medium sauce pan over medium high heat, add olive oil and saute zucchini until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  4. In a bowl, prepare the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  5. Assemble your salad. In a large bowl combine the chilled quinoa, crisp-tender zucchini, fresh cucumber, bell pepper, tomato and sunflower seeds. Next drizzle the dressing over and stir to combine. Garnish with scallions and fresh basil. Try substituting any low-carb veggies you like or have on hand.

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Nutrition facts

Serves 8

  • calories: 257
  • calories from fat: 103
  • carbohydrates: 31.3g
  • cholesterol: 0mg
  • dietary fiber: 4.1g
  • potassium: 420mg
  • protein: 8.4g
  • saturated fat: 1.5g
  • sodium: 116mg
  • sugars: 1.7g
  • total fat: 11.4g
  • trans fat: 0.0g
Photograph by Kelly Dabel. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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